Public Records and Records Retention Policy
Morley Library is committed to the open flow of information that leads to a better informed citizenry. To that end, it is the policy of Morley Library to maintain as appropriate and release for public information any public records in accordance with Ohio’s Public Records Act.
Section I. Public Records
In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code and applicable judicial decisions, records are defined as any item that (a) contains information stored on a fixed medium (such as paper, electronic – including but not limited to e-mail - and other formats); (b) is created or received by, or sent under the jurisdiction of a public Office and (c) documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the office. Public records are to be open to the public at all reasonable times with exceptions only as provided for in the law.
A. As required by Ohio law, records will be organized and maintained so that they are readily available for inspection and copying (See Section IV of this policy for the e-mail record policy). Retention schedules will be made readily available to the Public [ORC 149.43 (B) (2)], and reviewed as needed.
Section II. Records Requests
Each request for public records should be evaluated for a response using the following guidelines:
A. All documents which are public records shall be available for review and inspection by any person upon reasonable request to the Director. If the Requester makes an ambiguous or overly broad request, or has difficulty in making a request for copies or inspection of public records under this section such that the Director cannot reasonably identify what public records are being requested, the Director may deny the request but shall provide the Requester with an opportunity to revise the request by informing the Requester the manner in which records are maintained and accessed in the ordinary course of duties.
B. The Requester 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. However, since name and contact information may expedite the provision of the requested information, the Director may request this after informing Requestor that he/she is under no obligation to supply it.
C. Public records responsive to the request need to be made available for inspection promptly. Copies of public records must 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, and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.
D. Each request should be evaluated for an estimated length of time required to gather the records.
E. Any denial of public records requested must include an explanation. If the original request was in writing, the explanation for denial also needs to be written. If portions of the record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions are to be redacted and the rest released. (It has been determined that besides patron records, staff medical records, and non-performance information such as social security numbers, home addresses and phone numbers are not public information.)
Section III. Costs for Public Records
Those seeking public records will be charged only for the actual cost of making copies.
A. The Director shall transmit a copy of a public record to any person by United States mail or by any other means of delivery or transmission within a reasonable period of time after receiving a request for the copy. The Requester will be charged for the cost of delivery and supplies used in the mailing, delivery, or transmission.
B. The Director may require the Requester to pay in advance the cost involved in providing the copy of the public record in accordance with the choice made by the Requester seeking the public record.
C. The Director shall permit the Requester to choose to have the public record duplicated upon paper, upon the same medium on which the record is kept, or upon any medium that the Director determines that it can be reasonably can be duplicated as an integral part of the normal operations of Morley Library. Once a choice is made, the Library will provide a copy of it in accordance with the choice made by the Requester.
Section IV. E-Mail
E-Mail is to be treated in the same fashion as records in other formats and should follow the same retention schedules.
Section V. Records Retention
All public records shall be maintained in an organized manner for the period they are useful to the conduct of the official business of Morley Library, or as necessary as required by law.
A. A records inventory shall be conducted, and a schedule set that determines the length of retention and / or discard of those items no longer useful to the day-to-day operations.
B. This schedule shall be filed as required with the appropriate State entities.
C. A Records Retention Committee, consisting of the Board of Trustees and the Clerk Treasurer, will review the original schedule, and meet as necessary when changes are needed to it.
D. Items will be maintained and discarded per this schedule and as required by law.
Approved by the Morley Library Board of Trustees September 19, 2007