The Board Meeting – Taking Minutes

Written Minutes of Public Meetings

Idaho's Open Meetings Law requires that the governing body of a public agency, such as a library board, must provide for the taking of written minutes of all of its meetings, but it is not necessary to make a full transcript or recording of a meeting.  [See Idaho Code § 74-205(1).]  These minutes are public records and must be made available to the general public within a reasonable time after the meeting.  The board's meeting minutes must include, at a minimum, the following information:

  1. All members of the governing body present;
  2. All motions, resolutions, orders, or ordinances proposed and their disposition;
  3. The results of all votes, and, upon the request of a member of the governing body, the vote of each member by name.

In addition, section 74-205(2) provides that minutes of executive sessions must be kept, but they need contain only sufficient detail to identify the purpose and topic of the executive session and do not need to include the disclosure of material or matters that compromise the purpose of the executive session.  The minutes pertaining to the executive session, however, must include a reference to the specific statutory subsection authorizing the session.

Record Keeping Requirements for Public Libraries

  • For City Libraries, § 33-2607(11) requires that the board "maintain legal records of all board business."  Meeting minutes are a legal record of board business and must be retained indefinitely by the library.
  • For District Libraries, § 33-2720(1)(n) requires that the board "maintain legal records of all board business."  Meeting minutes are a legal record of board business and must be retained indefinitely by the library.

Rule of Thumb: Be Specific

♦ Name/Title of Board

♦ Type of Meeting:

  • Executive Session
  • Working Session
  • Committee
  • Regular or Special Meeting

♦ Date, time, place of meeting

♦ Members present:

Minutes should show which members are present at any point in the meeting, not just who is present at time of roll call. If a member arrives late or leaves early, this should be noted in the discussion.

♦ Members absent

♦ Visitors and guests

Follow the agenda:

  • Items discussed, announcements and reports
  • General description of meeting's content

♦ Decisions/Actions:

  • What, when, who
  • Record the number of votes if appropriate
  • Put members "on record" as being for or against a decision if they request (roll call vote)

♦ Assignments/Issues and Items:

  • Next steps
  • To be held for further consideration

♦ Next meeting:

  • Next meeting's date, time, place
  • Preliminary agenda items

♦ Other information (at board's request)