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

Policy revised February 10, 2020


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.


The library may pay for membership in professional organizations that are of direct benefit to the library.  The director will recommend and the Board of Trustees will decide on approval for membership in professional organizations.

Seminar and Conference Attendance

  • Attendance at seminars or participation in committee work will be determined on an individual basis. Permission must be obtained in advance.
  • Decisions about attendance will be made based on several factors including; location, cost, and potential benefit to the library.
  • The Board of Trustees will decide on conferences and seminars that require overnight lodging, air travel, or significant cost. Employees should submit an estimated budget for the full cost to be included in the monthly board packet.
  • For attendance at local seminars and conferences, the library will pay registration costs, parking, and allow for leave time. Employees should use the library vehicle for transportation when available. For mileage reimbursement rules consult the library’s collective bargaining agreement.  The Director may approve attendance at local or regional conferences.
  • For state, regional, and national conferences, the library will reimburse
    • the least expensive registration price possible. Employees are expected to plan far enough in advance to take advantage of early registration prices.
    • a predetermined price for lodging if an overnight stay is necessary. The Board of Trustees will determine acceptable lodging prices that balance distance from the conference venue, travel time for employees, and price.
    • 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 those approved to serve 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 for FLSA exempt employees. Conference attendance on non-scheduled work days will need prior approval for compensatory time.
  • The employee is expected to
    • 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 supervisor. For those attending a state or national conference the written report should be submitted to the director and Board of Trustees.
    • share the learning experience with other staff.

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