It is the policy of Reed Memorial Library to adhere to Ohio’s Public Records Act. Reed Memorial Library will prepare for prompt inspection of its public records in response to requests. Upon request, Reed Memorial Library will provide copies of public records within a reasonable time period. It is also the policy of Reed Memorial Library to establish procedures and schedules for the review and disposal of public records.
Regulations - Public Records
Section 1 - In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code and applicable judicial decision, 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 office.”
Section 2 - Public records are open to the public unless they are specifically exempt from disclosure under Ohio Revised Code Section 149.432 covering library patron records; under Ohio Revised Codes Section 149.433 covering security and infrastructure records, or other records explicitly exempt in Ohio Revised Code Section 149.43.
Section 3 - A records commission will administer proper retention and disposition of public records pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Sections 121.22 and 149.411.
Section 4 - The Fiscal Officer shall serve as the Custodian of the Library’s public records. It is the duty of the Custodian to record and respond to each request for public records in a timely fashion.
Procedures – Record Requests
Section 1 - 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.
Section 2 - 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.
Section 3 - If it is not clear what records are being sought, the Library may request clarification. Library staff should assist the requester in revising the request by informing the requester of the manner in which the Library keeps its records. A Public Records Request Form will be provided which may be used to facilitate the process.
Section 1 - As required by Ohio law public records will be organized and maintained so that they are readily available for inspection and copying.
Section 2 - 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. 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.
Section 3 - 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.
Section 1 - Any denial of a public record request will include an explanation.
Section 2 - If portions of the requested record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions will be redacted and rest released. When portions of the requested public record are redacted, each redaction will be made plainly visible.
Section 1 - 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.
Costs for Public Records
Section 1 - Copies of requested public records will be made available at cost.
Section 2 - Payment for copied records is due upon delivery.
Section 3 - When public records are mailed, the requester will be charged the actual cost of postage and mailing supplies.
Section 4 - 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.
Library Records Commission
Section 1 – Reed Memorial Library will create and maintain a records commission composed of the members and the Fiscal Officer of the Board of Trustees per Ohio Revised Code Section 149.411.
Section 2 – The Records Commission will meet at least once every twelve (12) months.
Section 3 – The functions of the Records Commission are to review applications for one-time disposal of obsolete records, and schedules of records retention and disposal submitted by any employee of the Library.
Section 4 – The Records Commission will insure record retention schedules are updated regularly and are made readily available to the public.
Records Disposal Procedures
Reed Memorial Library will follow the disposal procedures per ORC 149.381.
Section 1 - No record may be disposed of when subject to or likely to be subject to current or pending litigation, claim or proceeding.
Section 2 - When the Reed Memorial Library records commission has approved an application for one-time disposal of obsolete records or any schedule of records retention and disposition, the records commission shall send that application or schedule to the Ohio history connection for its review. The Ohio history connection shall review the application or schedule within a period of not more than sixty days after its receipt of it. During the sixty-day review period, the Ohio history connection may select for its custody from the application for one-time disposal of obsolete records any records it considers to be of continuing historical value, and shall denote upon any schedule of records retention and disposition the records for which the Ohio history connection will require a certificate of records disposal prior to their disposal.
Upon completion of its review, the Ohio history connection shall forward the application for one-time disposal of obsolete records or the schedule of records retention and disposition to the auditor of state for the auditor of state's approval or disapproval. The auditor of state shall approve or disapprove the application or schedule within a period of not more than sixty days after receipt of it.
Before public records are to be disposed of pursuant to an approved schedule of records retention and disposition, the records commission shall inform the Ohio history connection of the disposal through the submission of a certificate of records disposal for only the records required by the schedule to be disposed of, and shall give the Ohio history connection the opportunity for a period of fifteen business days to select for its custody those public records, from the certificate submitted, that it considers to be of continuing historical value.
The Ohio history connection may not review or select for its custody any of the following:
(1) Records the release of which is prohibited by section 149.432 of the Revised Code.
(2) Records containing personally identifiable information concerning any pupil attending a public school other than directory information, as defined in section 3319.321 of the Revised Code, without the written consent of the parent, guardian, or custodian of each such pupil who is less than eighteen years of age, or without the written consent of each pupil who is eighteen years of age or older.
(3) Records the release of which would, according to the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974," 88 Stat. 571, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, disqualify a school or other educational institution from receiving federal funds.
Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 141, §1, eff. 9/29/2015.
Added by 129th General Assembly File No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.