It is the goal of the Board of Library Trustees of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library to keep its members, as well as the Executive Director, informed about matters affecting the board’s work. However, trustees must be mindful of the requirements imposed by the Illinois Open Meetings Act and the Local Records Act, particularly as they apply to communication among trustees outside normal library board meetings.
Generally, trustees must not use email or any other electronic means, including but not limited to social media, telephone calls, blogs and text messaging, to conduct library business. Email or other electronic communication by and between board members is permitted on a limited basis for non-substantive matters such as:
- Agenda item suggestions
- Reminders regarding meeting time, dates, and places
- Board meeting agenda or public record information concerning agenda items
Email sent between and among trustees regarding such non-substantive matters should be copied to the Executive Director. There is no expectation of privacy for any messages sent or received by email.
The Board of Library Trustees endorses the following appropriate examples for the use of email or any other electronic forms of communication.
- The Executive Director may provide information relating to library business to trustees using email, attachments, or other electronic methods. Any response from trustees regarding these communications must be sent only to the Executive Director (i.e., no “reply to all” responses).
- A trustee may send email items of interest to all other trustees provided that no response is requested. Such emails should clearly state that no response should be made.
- When a message is of a non-substantive nature, trustees may reply to the sender provided that their response is limited to the subject of the original message and does not cross over to items of substance.
- Two trustees may correspond between themselves in certain limited circumstances that would not constitute a violation of the Open Meetings Act.
|1)||A trustee on a committee consisting of three trustees may copy a committee member on an email to the Executive Director about a committee matter without its being a violation, but the receiving trustee may not send a reply email to the sending trustee. Communications between two trustees of this committee about substantive committee business would constitute a violation of the Open Meetings Act.|
Two trustees, who are not members of the same committee, may correspond between themselves on substantive library business without violating the Open Meetings Act. Communication between three trustees, however, would constitute a violation of the act because three trustees constitute a majority of a quorum of the Board of Library Trustees.
- In terms of social media, the best practice is to avoid any contact with another trustee such as commenting on a trustee’s blog postings or associating with a trustee on a social media site.