Public Comment at Board Meetings Policy

Library Board approved February 28, 2023

The Illinois Open Meetings Act provides in Section 2.06 that at meetings of public bodies, “any person shall be permitted an opportunity to address public officials under the rules established and recorded by the public body”—5 ILCS 120/2.06(g). In compliance with the act, the Oak Park Public Library Board of Trustees has adopted this policy to provide the following rules and guidelines for public participation at its meetings.

Individuals attending board meetings must conduct themselves with respect and civility toward others. Abusive, profane, threatening, or harassing language and/or personal attacks will not be permitted. The Library Board President or presiding officer may prohibit further comment at the meeting by a speaker whose remarks violate this rule.

Public comments are permitted during the time designated on the library board agenda unless otherwise directed by the Library Board President.

Public comments may be provided in one of the following ways:

  • In person at a board meeting;
  • As an email to the Library Executive Director and to the Library Board President sent by 4:30 pm on the date of the meeting; or
  • As a submission through this Public Comment Form sent by 4:30 pm on the date of the meeting.

Comments submitted in writing or by voicemail will be shared with the board in advance of the meeting and may be read or played aloud during the public comment section of the board agenda.

The Library Board President determines the order in which speakers will be recognized.

When recognized by the Library Board President, the speaker may begin by stating their name. The board may request but will not require a speaker to provide their address.

Public comments will ordinarily be limited to three (3) minutes. The Library Board President shall have the discretion to modify this time limit, as well as to limit repetitive comments.

Board members are not obligated to respond to comments from the public. Issues requiring possible action by the board may be added to a future meeting agenda, and issues that can be addressed by the administration will be noted.

A copy of these guidelines will be placed next to the sign-in sheet made available to members of the public at the entrance to board meetings.

Minutes are a summary of the board’s discussion and actions. Speaker requests to append written statements or correspondence to the minutes are not favored. Generally, written materials presented to the board will be included in the library’s files rather than in the minutes. The Library Board President shall have the authority to determine procedural matters regarding public participation not otherwise defined in these guidelines. Petitions or other written correspondence directed to the board shall be shared with the board. A response, if appropriate, may be provided by the library’s director or a member of the board.

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