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Library Policies

Open Meetings Act (OMA)

The Illinois Open Meetings Act [5 ILCS 120/] was enacted to protect the citizens' right to know the actions and reasoning of public body decisions, since the purpose of a public body is to assist the people. The statute fosters open meetings and is construed against closed meetings. The Act is important to local government because it contains the rules and requirements for all meetings, notifications, and manner of conducting them.

The Act applies to all library boards and any subsidiary bodies including but not limited to committees and subcommittees that are supported in part by tax revenues.

The Open Meetings Act defines a meeting as "any gathering of a majority of a quorum" of the members of a public body held for the purpose of meeting to discuss public business, regardless of what communication format is used. For library boards composed of six, seven, or nine members, a majority of a quorum is three members. The majority of a quorum for committees of such boards would be as few as two members.

Sample Library Board Meeting Agenda

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of Minutes from Prior Meeting
  3. President’s Comments or Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. Director’s Report
  6. Communications
  7. Committee Reports
  8. Public Comment
  9. Old Business
  10. New Business
  11. Adjournment

These entries are simply common examples in use and intended more as an outline. They are not an exhaustive list; nor does each need to be on every Library’s Agenda since they may not be appropriate. But several points of note: it is always preferable to combine the Agenda with the posted Meeting Notice, which shows the time, place, and date of the meeting. This is required in the case of special, rescheduled, or reconvened meetings. It is important that the Agenda be as complete as possible. Although the Board may consider any matter legally coming before it in a regular meeting (interpreted by courts as “discussion or debate” but not motion and vote), it may only act on agenda items (listed and labeled in some detail) at regular, special, rescheduled, or reconvened meetings under the Open Meetings Act.

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