Kirtland Public Library
Policy on Disclosure of Public Records Introduction
It is the policy of the Kirtland Public Library to adhere to the Public Records Act of the State of Ohio. All records of the Library that meet the definition of “public records” are public unless they are exempt from disclosure under Ohio law and/or federal law, such as under the exemption in Section 149.432 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) that prohibits the Library from releasing any library records or from disclosing any patron information except in situations specified in that statute.
Section 1 Public Records
Kirtland Public Library, in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, defines records as including the following: Any document – paper, electronic (including, but not limited to, e-mail), or other format – that is created, received by, or comes under the jurisdiction of the Kirtland Public Library that documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office. All records of the Kirtland Public Library meeting this definition are public unless they are exempt from disclosure under Ohio or federal law.
To facilitate broader access to its public records the Library will organize and maintain its records in a manner so that they can be made available in accordance with this policy.
The Library’s records retention schedule will be posted at the Library and on the Library’s website (www.kirtland.lib.oh.us).
Requestors should be aware that certain records are disposed of periodically by the Library’s Records Commission according to a records retention schedule approved by the Ohio Historical Society and the Office of the State Auditor.
Section 2 Record Requests
Upon request, all public records responsive to the request, and not exempt from disclosure, will be prepared promptly and made available for inspection to any person during regular business hours of the Library’s administrative offices. Copies of public records will be made available within a reasonable period of time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the records are stored; the availability of the Library Records Custodian and/or the employee charged with maintaining the specific record; and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.
The Library’s Records Custodian will be the Library Director. Although no specific language is required to make a request, the requestor must at least identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow Kirtland Public Library to identify, retrieve, and review the records. If it is not clear what records are being sought, the Records Custodian must contact the requestor for clarification, and will assist the requestor in revising the request by informing the requestor of the manner in which the Library keeps its records.
The requestor does not have to put a records request in writing and does not have to provide his or her identity or the intended use of the requested public record. It is Kirtland Public Library’s general policy that this information is only to be requested if the written request or disclosure of identity of the requestor or intended use of the record would benefit the requestor by enhancing the ability of the Library to identify, locate or deliver the requested public records, and if the requestor is informed that the written request or disclosure of identity of the requestor or intended use of the record is not mandatory.
Any denial of public records requested will include an explanation, including legal authority. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions are to be redacted and the rest released. If there are redactions, each redaction will be accompanied by a supporting explanation, including legal authority. If the initial request was in writing, the explanation also will be provided in writing.
Section 3 Costs for Public Records
The public may inspect the Library’s public records at all reasonable times during business hours. To preserve original records, the Library may require appropriate supervision during inspection of those records or apply other safeguards as necessary.
Upon request, the Library will provide copies of requested public records. The requestor will be charged for the public record copies, postage, and mailing supplies.
Standard-size paper photocopies will be the same cost per page as charged for the Library’s public use copier. (Two-sided copies count as two copies.)
Nonstandard-size paper copies and copies in all other formats will be billed at actual cost.
Upon request, the Library will transmit a copy of a public record by United States Mail or by other appropriate means of delivery transmission within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request.
The Library may require the requestor to pay in advance the cost of providing the copies including postage and mailing supplies.
Section 4 E-Mail
Documents in electronic mail format are records as defined by the Ohio Revised Code when their content relates to the business of the office. E-mail is to be treated in the same fashion as records in other formats and should follow the same retention schedules.
Approved: April 9, 2008