The Chilmark library trustees opened the door to hosting lawyer and seasonal resident Alan Dershowitz as part of its author series next summer.

At a library trustees meeting last Thursday, Mr. Dershowitz met with library representatives to find common ground on a disagreement that has been festering for the last few years. Mr. Dershowitz has not spoken at the library since 2017, which he said is evidence of censorship for his defense of Donald Trump during Mr. Trump’s first impeachment proceeding. The trustees said it is because each year Mr. Dershowitz has asked to speak after the library set its summer schedule.

The issue received new attention this summer after Mr. Dershowitz made public comments about it and threatened to sue the library if it did not host him. Mr. Dershowitz has since submitted a written apology and suggested ways the two sides could come together.

“I’m happy to try to reach an accommodation about the time and place and manner,” Mr. Dershowitz said at the meeting. “But it has to be a principled accommodation that is consistent with the first amendment.”

Trustee Jane Kaplan sketched out a timeline from 2009, the year Mr. Dershowitz first spoke at the library, to this summer. Since then, she said, Mr. Dershowitz has spoken at the library four times by invitation and three times at his own request. In 2013, 2016 and 2017, the years Mr. Dershowitz requested to speak, he did so before the lecture series schedule had been set for the summer, Ms. Kaplan said.

In 2018 Mr. Dershowitz started giving the library notice in July that he would like to speak, after the schedule had already been decided, Ms. Kaplan said. In 2019 and this year, Mr. Dershowitz again brought the matter up in July.

“Every time Mr. Dershowitz made a timely request to speak at the summer speaker series, he was accommodated,” Ms. Kaplan said. “Anyone interested should look at our slate of summer speakers and their topics over the years. You will not find a single instance of any effort to promulgate any point of view or political position whatsoever.”

The trustees took the apology letter as an application for next summer and said it would consider it in the spring, as it does with other applications. But Mr. Dershowitz asked the board to accept or reject the application at the meeting.

“I do not accept a resolution that says you’ll let me know in the spring. I have to decide whether to take action or not. I need to know now,” Mr. Dershowitz said.

The trustees voted unanimously to consider the application next spring. Town counsel Ron Rappaport read a statement of support on behalf of select board chair Jim Malkin.

“On behalf of himself as the chair of the board of selectmen, he supports the library trustees and their decision,” Mr. Rappaport said on behalf of Mr. Malkin. “They will make whatever town resources are necessary and appropriate [available] so that your decision can be implemented.”