PUBLIC RECORDS — INSPECTION, RELEASE, AND RETENTION
1. It is the policy of the Library to adhere to its obligations under Ohio’s Public Records Act premised on the principle that openness leads to a better-informed citizenry, which leads to better government and better public policy.
2. In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code and applicable judicial decisions, records are defined as any item that
(i) contains information stored on a fixed medium (such as paper, electronic—including but not limited to email and other formats);
(ii) is created or received by, or sent under the jurisdiction of a public office and
(iii) documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the public office.
All records of the Library meeting this definition are public unless they are specifically exempt from disclosure under Ohio or federal law.
1. Record Requests
a. An individual making a public record request is under no obligation to put the request in writing and does not have to provide his or her identity or the intended use of the requested public record.
b. No specific language is required to make a request. However, the requester must identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow the Library to identify, retrieve, and review the records.
c. If it is not clear what records are being sought, the Library records custodian may request clarification. The Library records custodian should assist the requester in revising the request by informing the requester of the manner in which the Library keeps its records.
2. Record Availability
a. As required by Ohio law public records will be organized and maintained so that they are readily available for inspection and copying. The Records Retention Schedule shall also be made available to the public.
b. Public records responsive to a request will be promptly prepared and made available for inspection to any person at reasonable times during regular business hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). 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 necessity for any legal review of the records requested and the effort required to redact confidential information.
c. If a request is deemed significantly beyond "routine," such as seeking a voluminous number of copies, requiring extensive research, or requiring redaction of confidential information, a good faith effort will be made to provide the requester with the following: An estimated number of business days it will take to satisfy the request. An estimated cost if copies are requested. Any items within the request that may be exempt from disclosure.
a. Any denial of a public record request will include an explanation, including legal authority.
b. If portions of the requested record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions will be redacted and the rest released. When portions of the requested public record are redacted, each redaction will be made plainly visible.
4. Email Records in private email accounts used to conduct public business are subject to disclosure and all employees or representatives of the Library are instructed to retain emails that relate to public business.
5. Costs for Public Records
a. Copies of requested public records will be made available at cost.
b. Payment for copied records is due upon delivery.
c. When public records are mailed, the requester will be charged the actual cost of the postage and mailing supplies. The Library may choose to defer action to prepare copies of documents for record requests if the requester has repeatedly failed to collect copies created as a result of prior public requests or to pay for those requested copies.
d. Advance payment may be required for all actual costs which are anticipated to exceed ten dollars ($10.00).