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General Guidelines

General Guidelines for Putting Together a Policy or Procedures Manual   

Policy Handbook/Manual Guidelines:

Policies will:

    1. be formatted and numbered consistently throughout the manual,
    2. be formatted for easy updating and dates of adoption and revision are noted on each policy,
    3. be approved by the library’s board of trustees.

In addition to the policies, it is suggested that you include in the manual:

    • a welcome statement,
    • the library’s mission statement,
    • an organizational chart,
    • a table of contents [an index is nice if possible].

And for a personnel policy manual, also include:

    • job descriptions,
    • a liability release statement,
    • a signature sheet acknowledging receipt, reading, and understanding of the contents of the manual
    • wording to the effect that the policies are for general guidance in the relationships between staff and the agency, the board has authorized the policy, that policies can be changed at any time and that the policies do not constitute a contract between the organization and the employee. Consider the following wording to include in your personnel policies manual:
      “Nothing contained in or implied by this manual creates or shall be deemed to create or constitute a contractual obligation to employees on the part of the ______ Public Library.  The policies, procedures and guidelines contained in this manual are subject to change at any time, do not confer any obligation on the part of the ______ Public Library and do not create any right to employment on the part of the employee.”
      Personnel policy handbooks/manuals may be published in paper format or electronically.  The important point is that these policies be easily accessible to employees and that updates are communicated promptly to all staff.  If you have employees with disabilities, you may need to make the document available in a format that is accessible to them.

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