It is the goal of the Board of Library Trustees of the Gail Borden Public Library District to keep its Board members, as well as the Library Director, informed about matters affecting the Board’s work. However, the Board must be mindful of the requirements imposed by the Illinois Open Meetings Act and the Local Records Act, particularly as they apply to communications among Board members outside normal Library Board meetings.
1. Generally, trustees shall not use e-mail to conduct Library business (see Article II, Paragraph 6). E-mail communication to, by and between the Board members is permitted on a limited basis for non-substantive matters such as:
- Agenda items suggestions;
- Reminders regarding meeting times, date, and places;
- Board meeting agenda or public record information concerning agenda items; or
- Responses to questions posed by the community, administration or staff.
E-mail sent between and among trustees regarding such non-substantive matters shall be copied to the Library Director. There is no expectation of privacy for any messages sent or received by e-mail.
2. The Board finds that electronic “chat rooms” and “bulletin boards” are inherently detrimental to the open meetings process and will not utilize such methods to conduct library business or deliberations.
3. The Library Director may provide information relating to library business to Board members using e-mail. Any response from Board members regarding these communications must be sent only to the Library Director (no “reply to all” responses). An appropriate record of these communications will be maintained in the district files to assure compliance with open records laws.
4. A Board member may send e-mail items to all other Board members with items of passing interest provided that no response is requested or required. Such e-mails should clearly state that no response should be made. It is required that any such e-mails be copied to the Library Director for storage.
5. A Board member may send e-mail to all other Board members regarding scheduling issues. Board members may reply to the sender provided only that their response is limited to the subject of the original message and does not cross over to items of substance.
6. Trustees may correspond between themselves if such correspondence would not constitute a violation of the Open Meetings Act.
7. E-mails from the public to the Board will be copied to all trustees and the Library Director. When e-mails from the public require Board response, the President or his designee will respond, and will copy the other trustees and the Library Director.
8. Any items of business for a Board agenda shall be directed to both the Board President and the Library Director so that is may be included in the Board’s agenda according to normal procedures. Action items shall be prepared and distributed by the Library director in accordance with the Board’s established procedures.
9. The Library Director shall maintain a separate e-mail address to store official e-mail records as described herein. This record shall be maintained indefinitely. If software changes require this record to be transferred to paper, the records shall be maintained for such time period as may be established by the State of Illinois.