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Open Meetings Law: Videoconferencing

Post-Pandemic Rules

When a state of emergency is not in effect the following rules govern videoconferencing of public meetings:

  • A quorum at a single physical location is required
  • Under “extraordinary circumstances” a board member may participate from a location not open to the public
    • “Extraordinary circumstances” include, but are not limited to, disability, illness, caregiving responsibilities, or a significant or unexpected factors that preclude attendance
    • To invoke “extraordinary circumstances”, a library must hold a public hearing on the subject and then pass a resolution authorizing the use of videoconferencing during extraordinary circumstances
    • Board members using extraordinary circumstances to join a meeting remotely from a non-public location may participate in the meeting and vote, but they do not count towards the quorum
    • If a library allows public participation at the physical location of the meeting, and a board member is using ‘extraordinary circumstances’ to participate remotely, the public must be allowed to participate remotely.
  • The minutes must reflect which board members participated remotely
  • Meetings conducted using ‘extraordinary measures’ must be recorded.  The recording, or a link to it, must be posted on the website within 5 business days and stay there for 5 years
  • The recording must be transcribed upon request 
  • During the meeting, all board members must be heard, seen, and identified
    • Teleconferencing is out, except for executive session
  • If public participation is allowed at the physical location, public participation must be allowed remotely as well
  • The in-person requirements do not apply during a state of emergency declared by the Governor
    • Or a local state of emergency declared by the chief executive of a county, city, village, or town