Public Participation in Board of Library Trustee Meetings

Under the Open Meeting Law, the public is permitted to attend meetings of the Board of Library Trustees but is excluded from an executive session that is called for a valid purpose listed in the law. While the public is permitted to attend an open meeting, an individual may not address the public body without permission of the chair. An individual may not disrupt a meeting of a public body, and at the request of the chair, all members of the public shall be silent. If, after clear warning, a person continues to be disruptive, the chair may order the person to leave the meeting. If the person does not leave, the chair may authorize a constable or other officer to remove the person. 

Guidelines for Individuals Speaking at Public Meetings

The chair of the Trustees is responsible for conducting all public meetings in an orderly and peaceable manner.

Members of the public may speak only with the permission of the chair. To maintain an orderly and peaceable meeting, all speakers must identify themselves by name and address prior to speaking.

All remarks shall be addressed to or through the chair or to the public body as a whole. Matters presented by speakers during a public comment session will not be debated or acted upon by the public body at the time they are presented. Public session is not a dialogue; rather, it is an opportunity to be heard by the Board of Library Trustees regarding issues of concern. Due to the necessity of efficiently running a meeting with a set agenda, it will be unlikely for the Board to address your concern immediately. 

Individuals in attendance at a public meeting may not interrupt recognized speakers or members of the public body.

Whenever the public is allowed to participate in remote public meetings, the same rules and guidelines that apply to in-person meetings apply to their remote counterparts.

Comments made during public comment sessions do not reflect the view or the positions of the public body before which the member of the public is speaking. Because of constitutional free speech principles, public bodies do not have the authority to prevent or limit all speech that may be upsetting or offensive during such sessions.


Any member of the public may make an audio or video recording of an open session of a public meeting. A member of the public who wishes to record a meeting must first notify the chair and must comply with reasonable requirements regarding audio or video equipment established by the chair so as not to interfere with the meeting. The chair is required to inform other attendees of any such recording at the beginning of the meeting. If someone arrives after the meeting has begun and wishes to record a meeting, that person should attempt to notify the chair prior to beginning recording, ideally in a manner that does not significantly disrupt the meeting in progress. The chair should endeavor to acknowledge such attempts at notification and announce the fact of any recording to those in attendance.