Seminars, conferences and professional memberships policy

Click here for a pdf version of this policy.

Policy adopted by the Board of Trustees May 12, 1997

Policy revised September 12, 2005

Policy revised September 13, 2010

Policy revised October 15, 2013

Bethlehem Public Library supports staff attendance at seminars, workshops and conferences and participation in local, state and national professional organizations’ committee work. These activities provide opportunities for library staff to keep abreast of developments and trends in library services and demonstrate a continuing commitment to professional growth.


  • Attendance at seminars or participation in committee work will be determined on an individual basis. Permission must be obtained in advance.
  • The director will make the final decision based on several factors: the location of the seminar, cost, and potential benefit to the
  • For attendance at seminars and conferences in the Capital Region, the library will pay registration costs and parking, and allow for leave time.
  • For state and national conferences, the library will reimburse
    • “early bird” registrations at member rates.
    • a predetermined price for lodging based on current GSA per-diem allowance.
    • a predetermined per diem for meals and incidental expenses.
    • the most economical method of transportation; approval for mileage reimbursement must be obtained in advance.
  • For serving on a local, state, or national committee, the library will allow leave time for meetings and will permit necessary email and telephone communications related to committee service during work time.
  • Time spent at conferences or programs beyond the regular work day will not be compensated. Conference attendance on non-scheduled work days will need prior approval for compensatory time.
  • The employee is expected to
    • maintain professional memberships. (The library will reimburse 50% of the annual cost of membership in the New York Library Association).
    • make travel and lodging arrangements as appropriate.
    • keep accurate expense records.
    • submit a complete expense record with receipts to the director within 15 days of completion of travel.
    • take full advantage of the program opportunities at the conference/seminar.
    • prepare a written report for the director/department head.
    • share the learning experience with other staff.

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