Public Records Policy

Mansfield Richland County Public Library
Mansfield, Ohio
Public Records Policy

I. Purpose:

The Mansfield/Richland County Public Library, Mansfield, Ohio, hereafter referred to as the Library, acknowledges that it maintains many records that are used in the administration and operation of the Library. In accordance with The Ohio Revised Code and H.B. 9, the Library Records Commission has adopted Schedules of Records Retention and Disposition (RC-2) that identify these records. These schedules identify records that are stored on a fixed medium that are created, received, or sent under the jurisdiction of the Library and documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Library. The records maintained by the Library and the ability to access them are a means to provide trust between the public and the Library.

II. Scope:

Each office, department or function that maintains records has a designated employee who serves as the custodian of all records maintained by the office, department or function.

The period of time for which the Library stores or maintains records was determined by assessing the administrative, legal, fiscal, and/or historical value of the records to the Library, efficient business practices, and by reviewing the suggested retention periods developed by the Local Government Records Program of the Ohio Historical Society.

III. Definitions:

A. "Records"
(As used in Section 149.011(G) of the Ohio Revised Code): Includes any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, created or received by or coming under the jurisdiction of any public office of the state or its political subdivisions, which serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office.

B. "Public Record"
(As used in Section 149.43(A)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code): Records kept by any public office, including, but not limited to, state, county, village, township, and school district units, and records pertaining to the delivery of educational services by an alternative school in Ohio kept by a nonprofit or for profit entity operating such alternative school pursuant to Section 3313.533 [3313.53.3] of the Revised Code. For definition of what a "Public record" does not mean please refer to ADDENDUM A.

C. Definitions as used in Section 1347.01 of the Ohio Revised Code:

1. “Maintains” means state or local agency ownership of, control over, responsibility for, or accountability for systems and includes, but is not limited to, state or local agency depositing or information with a data processing center for storage, processing, or dissemination. An agency “maintains” all systems of records that are required by law to be kept by the agency.
2. “Personal information” means any information that describes anything about a person, or that indicates actions done by or to a person, or that indicates that a person possesses certain personal characteristics, and that contains, and can be retrieved from a system by, a name, identifying number, symbol, or other identifier assigned to a person.

IV Contact Information and Fees:

Mansfield/Richland County Public Library
Attn: Public Records
Business Office
43 West Third Street
Mansfield, Ohio 44902
Voice: 419.521.3124 Fax: 419.521.3129
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. / Monday - Friday

A. The Library, in accordance with Section 149.43 of the Revised Code; has established the following fees for providing copies or reproductions of public records maintained by the Library:

1. For photocopies of either letter or legal size documents there shall be charged five (5) cents per photocopy calculated from the first photocopy. Advance payment is required for all requests that exceed 20 pages before any copies are prepared. Two sided photocopies shall be charged at a rate of ten (10) cents per sheet.
2. For video tapes, cassette tapes or for any other type of electronic media, the fee shall be the replacement cost or the reproduction (copying) cost.
3. Bulk Commercial Requests and Special Extraction Costs will follow Ohio Revised Code Section 149.43 (E) (2) (b).
4. Established costs fees under this policy shall be clearly posted and visible to the public at all locations authorized to provide copies of public records.

B. Cost and fees established under this policy represent the actual cost. The actual cost means the cost of depleted supplies, records storage media costs, actual mailing and alternative delivery costs, or other transmitting costs, and any direct equipment operating and maintenance costs, including actual costs paid to private contractors for copying services.

V. Availability:

A. All public records maintained by the Library shall be promptly prepared and made available for inspection to any person during regular business hours as well as a copy of the Library’s current records retention schedule(s). Departmental, office or functional records are the property of the Library. No record shall be removed, changed, modified or destroyed except by a Library employee in the performance of their official duties and as authorized under Ohio law.

B. Individuals requesting access to inspect public records and/or receive copies of public records will be asked to voluntarily complete a written request (Form RC100) explaining or identifying the records they wish to inspect and/or receive copies of. In no event shall an individual be denied access to inspect and/or obtain copies of public records based on their refusal to complete a written request.

C. Requests for the inspection and/or copies of public records shall be directed to the Library Business Office regardless of which department or individual maintains the requested record(s).

D. The regular business hours for the Library Business Office 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday except holidays.

E. Each Office, Department and / or function has designated an employee within every department, office or function under their direction to act as the custodian of records for their assigned unit.

F. Mailed Requests for Public Records:

1. Upon receiving a written request for copies of a public record made in accordance with section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code via the United States Postal Service, the Library shall promptly respond to the request.

a. An authorized employee of the Library shall, by any means practical, contact the requestor and advise them that advance payment is required prior to providing copies of public records via the United States Mail System, and in addition, the fee shall also include the cost of postage and the envelope.

b. When practical, the Library may forward copied records by any other means reasonably acceptable to the requestor.

2. In accordance with section 149.43(B)(7) of the Ohio Revised Code, the Library limits the number of requested public records, to be transmitted through the U. S. Mail, to a maximum of ten records per month, unless the requestor certifies that the records or information in them will not be used for commercial purposes.

a. “Commercial purposes” shall be narrowly construed and does not include reporting or gathering news, reporting or gathering information to assist citizen oversight or understanding of the operation or activities of government, or nonprofit educational research.

3. Authorized Library employees shall comply with the following procedures upon receiving a valid public record request through the United States Postal System:

a. Library employees shall promptly process requests.

b. Requestors shall be charged the postage fees and the cost of the envelope required to properly send the requested records through the mail.

G. Requests for inspection and/or copies of public records, which are not maintained or are prohibited from release pursuant to applicable state or federal law, shall be processed in the following manner:

1. If the Library receives a request for a record that it does not maintain or the request is for a record which is no longer maintained, the requestor shall be so notified in writing utilizing County Form RC101 that one of the following applies:

a. Their request involves records that have never been maintained by the Library, or

b. Their request involves records that are no longer maintained or have been disposed of or transferred pursuant to applicable Library Schedules of Record Retention and Disposition (RC-2). or

c. Their request involves a record that has been disposed of pursuant to an Application of the One-Time Records Disposal (RC-1).

d. If the record that is requested is prohibited from release due to applicable state or federal law the responsible Library employee shall complete County Form RC101 and mark the appropriate box indicating the applicable state or federal law.

e. If the record that is requested is not a record used or maintained by the Library an authorized employee of the Library shall complete County Form 101 notifying the requestor that, in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 149.40, the Library is under no obligation to create records to meet public record requests.

H. Ambiguous or Overly Broad Request for Public Records

1. If a requestor makes an ambiguous or overly broad request or has difficulty in making a request for copies or inspection of public records under section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code such that the Library employee responsible for the requested public record cannot reasonably identify what public records are being requested, the Library employee responsible for the requested public record may deny the request, but shall provide the requestor with an opportunity to revise the request by informing the requestor of the manner in which records are maintained by the public office and accessed in the ordinary course of the public office’s or Library employee’s duties.

I. Denial

1. If a request is ultimately denied, in part or whole, the responsible Library employee shall provide the requestor with an explanation, including legal authority, setting forth why the request was denied.
2. If the initial request was provided in writing then the explanation shall also be provided in writing;
3. The explanation shall not preclude the Library from relying upon additional reasons or legal authority in defending an action commenced under law.
4. The Library is not required to permit a person that is incarcerated pursuant to a criminal conviction or a juvenile adjudication to inspect or to obtain a copy of any public record concerning what would be a criminal investigation or prosecution if the subject of the investigation or prosecution were an adult, unless the request to inspect or to obtain a copy of the record is for the purpose of acquiring information that is subject to release as a public record under this section and the judge who imposed the sentence or made the adjudication with respect to the person, or the judge’s successor in office, finds that the information sought in the public record is necessary to support what appears to be a justifiable claim of the person.

J. Written Requests for Public Records

1. For the purpose of enhancing the ability of the Library to identity, locate or deliver the public record(s) sought by the requestor, the Library may provide to the requestor County Form RC100 for the requestor to complete.
2. Although the Library may ask the requestor to make the request in writing, ask for the requestor’s identity, and inquire about the intended use of the information requested, the requestor shall be advised that a written request is not mandatory, and that the requestor may decline to reveal his identity or the public record’s intended use
3. The requestor’s refusal to complete County Form RC100 does not impair the requestor right to inspect and/or receive copies of the public record.

K. Media Types/Distribution of Records

1. If a person requests a copy of a public record, the Library shall permit the requestor to choose to have the public record duplicated on paper or upon the same medium upon which the Library maintains the public record or upon any other medium on which the record can reasonably be duplicated as an integral part of the normal operations of the public office, or the responsible Library employee for the public record. The request shall be acted upon and a copy of the pubic record prepared within a reasonable period of time. Fees shall apply in accordance with section IV of this policy.
2. Persons seeking copies of public records are not permitted to make their own copies or utilize their copying or reproduction equipment.

L . Grievances

1. If a person allegedly is aggrieved, due to the inability to inspect a public record or due to the inability to receive a copy of the public record; the person shall be advised that they may:

a. Contact the County Prosecutors Office. If the person is not satisfied with the results they shall be advised that Ohio Revised Code section 149.43 provides a legal means for addressing their complaint in these disputes.

VI. Personnel and Personal Information.

A. The Deputy Director manages the personnel management function for the Library.

B. To better facilitate requests for inspection or information and/or copies of records involving current or past employees of the Library, inquiries shall be directed to the Deputy Director.

1. To better facilitate, manage and administer this process the Library has adopted a Schedule of Records Retention and Disposition (RC-2) for Personnel Records and implemented a Personnel Record Management policy that has been approved by the Library Records Commission.
2. To the extent practical, current and past employees should be notified in the event that a request has been made to inspect or obtain a copy of their employment related records. Current and past employees shall have the right to be present during the inspection and, if they so request, receive a duplicate copy of any record requested at no charge.

VII. Exempted and/or Restricted Information:

A. In accordance with the Federal Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C., 552a, no public record shall be released which contains a Federal Social Security number. Public records containing Federal Social Security numbers will have that information redacted prior to their release.

B. In the event a request is made to inspect and/or obtain a copy of a record maintained by the Library whose release may be prohibited or exempted by either State or Federal Law, the request may be forwarded to legal counsel for the Library for research and/or review. The person submitting the request shall be advised that his/her request is being reviewed by legal counsel to ensure that protected and/or exempted information is not improperly released by the Library.

C. Records, whose release is prohibited or exempted by either State or Federal Law, shall NOT be subject to public inspection. The following represents a partial list of records maintained by the Library, that may not be inspected or copied:

1. Information pertaining to medical treatment.
2. Employee’s residential and familial information (refer item D).
3. Infrastructure and Security Records including Security & Data Codes.
(refer page 15 et al)
4. Patron information, which means personally identifiable information about an individual who has used any library service or borrowed any library materials. (refer addendum A)
5. Library records which means a record, in any form, that the library requires of an individual to use library services or borrow materials. Information that identifies an individual as having requested or obtained specific materials on a specific subject. Information that is provided by an individual to assist a library staff member in answering specific questions or providing specific information.
(refer addendum A)

D. Residential and familial information is exempted from release under the provisions of Ohio Revised Code and is defined as: 

a. Any of specified employee’s information maintained that discloses any of the following:

1. The address of the actual personal residence except for the state or political subdivision in which specified employees reside.
2. Information compiled from, referral to, or participation in an employee assistance program for a specified employee;
3. The social security number, the residential telephone number, any bank account, debit card, charge card, or credit card number, or the emergency telephone number of, or any medical information that pertains to the specified employees;
4. The name of any beneficiary of employment benefits, including, but not limited to, life insurance benefits, provided to the specified employees;
5. The identity and amount of any charitable or employment benefit deduction made by the specified employees unless the amount of the deduction is required by state or federal law;
6. The name, the residential address, the name of the employer, the address of the employer, the social security number, the residential telephone number, any bank account, debit card, charge card, or credit card number, or the emergency telephone number of the spouse, a former spouse, or any child of the specified employee

b. Any record that identifies a person's occupation of the specified employees other than statements required to include the disclosure of that fact under the campaign finance law.

2. Upon written request made and signed by a journalist, on or after December 16, 1999, the Library employee responsible for the public record, having custody of the records, shall disclose to the journalist the address of the actual personal residence of specified employee, and if specified employee’s spouse, former spouse, or child is employed by a public office, the name and address of the employer of the specified employee. The request shall include the journalist’s name and title and the name and the address of the journalist’s employer and shall state the disclosure of the information sought would be in the public interest.

E. "Information pertaining to the recreational activities of a person under the age of eighteen" is exempted from release and means information that is kept in the ordinary course of business by a public office, that pertains to the recreational activities of a person under the age of eighteen years, and that discloses any of the following:

1. The address or telephone number of a person under the age of eighteen or the address or telephone number of that person's parent, guardian, custodian, or emergency contact person;
2. The social security number, birth date, or photographic image of a person under the age of eighteen;
3. Any medical record, history, or information pertaining to a person under the age of eighteen;
4. Any additional information sought or required about a person under the age of eighteen for the purpose of allowing that person to participate in any recreational activity conducted or sponsored by a public office or to use or obtain admission privileges to any recreational facility owned or operated by a public office.

F. Infrastructure and Security Records are exempted from release under the provisions of Ohio Revised Code section 149.433.

1. “Infrastructure record" means any record that discloses the configuration of a public office's critical systems including, but not limited to, communication, computer, electrical, mechanical, ventilation, water, and plumbing systems, security codes, or the infrastructure or structural configuration of the building in which a public office is located. "Infrastructure record" does not mean a simple floor plan that discloses only the spatial relationship of components of a public office or the building in which a public office is located.

2. “Security Record" means either of the following:

a. Any record that contains information directly used for protecting or maintaining the security of a public office against attack, interference, or sabotage;

b. Any record assembled, prepared, or maintained by a public office or public body to prevent, mitigate, or respond to acts of terrorism, including any of the following:
1. Those portions of records containing specific and unique vulnerability assessments or specific and unique response plans either of which is intended to prevent or mitigate acts of terrorism, and communication codes or deployment plans of law enforcement or emergency response personnel;
2. Specific intelligence information and specific investigative records shared by federal and international law enforcement agencies with state and local law enforcement and public safety agencies;
3. National security records classified under federal executive order and not subject to public disclosure under federal law that are shared by federal agencies, and other records related to national security briefings to assist state and local government with domestic preparedness for acts of terrorism.

G. A record kept by a public office that is a security record or an infrastructure record is not a public record under Ohio Revised Code section 149.43 and is not subject to mandatory release or disclosure under that section.

1. Notwithstanding any other section of the Ohio Revised Code, a public office's or a public employee's disclosure of a security record or infrastructure record that is necessary for construction, renovation, or remodeling work on any public building or project does not constitute public disclosure for purposes of waiving division (B) of this Section and does not result in that record becoming a public record for purposes of Ohio Revised Code Section 149.43.

H. Information related to/and maintained in accordance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that qualifying personal medical information be kept separate from regular personnel information and maintained in a secured area. Such information may only be released to:

1. Supervisors and managers in order to provide information regarding work restrictions.
2. First aid or safety personnel if the disability would require treatment or procedures related to the disability.
3. Government officials investigating compliance with ADA, FMLA and HIPAA provisions.
4. With respect to Bureau of Workers' Compensation second injury funds or in compliance with workers' compensation laws.
5. To insurance companies which require medical exams to provide health or life insurance for the employe

VIII. Redacting Exempted Records / Procedure:

A. “Redaction” means obscuring or deleting any information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or copying from an item that otherwise meets the definition of a “record” in section 149.011 of the Ohio Revised Code.

B. If a public record contains certain information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or to copy the public record, the responsible Library employee for the public record shall make available all of the information within the public record that is not exempt.

C. When making that public record available for public inspection or copying that public record, the public office or the person responsible for the public record shall notify the requester of any redaction or make the redaction plainly visible.

D. Redaction shall be deemed a denial of a request to inspect or copy the redacted information, except if federal or state law authorizes or requires a public office to make the redaction.

E. If a request is ultimately denied in part or in whole, the public office or the person responsible for the requested public record shall provide the requester with an explanation, including legal authority, setting forth why the request was denied.

F. The releasing employee shall then reproduce a copy of the page with the redactions; the resulting copy shall be the page that is released to the requester.

G. The first reproduction page, with the original redactions made by the employee, is the work sheet. It shall be attached to the original record, and maintained in accordance with the retention period established for the original document.

IX. American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance.

A. The Library and its employees shall facilitate all requests made by persons, regardless of handicap or disabilities. Employees authorized to release public records shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that no one is denied access to public information based on a handicap or disability.

B. The Library and its employees shall follow all standards and guidelines established by local, state and federal laws or mandates, as it pertains to the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws.

X. Training and Education

A. In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, The Library provides continuing education in compliance with the Library’s obligations pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code and all other appropriate local, state, and federal laws.

ADDENDUM A

LIBRARY RECORDS AND PATRON INFORMATION:

The Library shall not release any library record or disclose any patron information except in the following situations:

1. If patron information or a library record pertaining to a minor child is requested from the library by the minor child’s parent, guardian, or custodian, the Library shall make that record or information available
In accordance with division (B) of section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code.
2. Patron information or library records shall be released in the following situations

a. In accordance with a subpoena, search warrant, or other court order;

b. To a law enforcement office who is acting within the scope of the officer’s law enforcement duties and who is investigating a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances.
2.
Patron information or library records shall be released upon the request or with the consent of the individual who is the subject of the record or information.

3.Library records may be released for administrative library purposes, including establishment or maintenance of a system to manage the library records or to assist in the transfer of library records from one record management system to another, compilation of statistical data on library use, and collection of fines and penalties.

4.
A library may release under division (B) of section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code records that document improper use of the internet at the library so long as any patron information is removed from those records. As used in division (B)(5) of this section, “patron information” does not include information about the age or gender of an individual.

RECORDS RETENTION POLICY

Mansfield/Richland County Public Library, like other public entities in the State of Ohio, must retain certain records that are used in the administration and operation of the Library. In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code and H.B. 9,

The Library Records Commission shall consist of the members of the Board of Trustees and the Clerk-Treasurer of said Board. The President of the Library Board shall serve as chair of the commission and the commission must meet at least once every twelve months to review both the Retention Policy and Public Records Policy and consider any requests to dispose of records.

Records shall fall into two categories: Permanent and Non-Permanent. Records may be retained on any commercially viable media that provides an accurate reproduction of the record.

The following list shows the retention period of specific records, which is compiled from recommendations of the Ohio Historical Society and Auditor of State’s Office and needs of the Library:

MANSFIELD/RICHLAND COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY
RECORDS RETENTION POLICY

Permanent

Annual financial report to the Auditor of State
Annual report to the State Library
Audit reports from the Auditor of State
Board of Trustees minutes
Building specifications and plans
Library statistics – annual report
Payroll records
Payroll tax records
Ohio public employee retirement system (OPERS) reports
W-2 forms

Non-Permanent Retention Period
Incident report form 5 years provided no pending action; discretionary
Accounting records not specified 5 years provided audited
Accounts payable ledger 5 years provided audited
Amended official certificates 5 years provided audited
Annual budget resolutions 5 years provided audited
Annual certificate of estimated resources 5 years provided audited
Applications for employment Retain with personnel record if applicant is employed; others, 1 year from posting month
Appropriation ledgers 5 years provided audited
Automated system backups 3 months
Bank deposit receipts Until audited
Bank statements 4 years provided audited
Bids – successful 15 years after completion of project

 

Non-Permanent Retention Period
Bids – unsuccessful 4 years after letting of contract, provided audited
Board agenda packets 3 years
Book inventories Duration of project
Budgets – annual 10 years
Canceled checks Bank retains
Cash journals 4 years provided audited

Certificates of total amt. from
sources available for expenditures

4 years provided audit
Check registers 4 years provided audit
Committee reports One year
Deposit record card Until audited
Contracts and leases 12 years after expiration
Deduction authorizations Until superseded or employment terminated
Deferred compensation deduction reports 2 years provided audit
Depository agreements 4 years provided audit
Employee handbooks Until superseded
Employee request for time off slips Until audited
Encumbrance and expenditure journal 5 years provided audited
General correspondence 3 years – included in Board packet agenda
Gift donor forms – gifts for the Library 3 years
I-9 immigration verification forms Retained separately from personnel files, 3 years after date of hire, or one year after termination of employment, whichever comes first.
ILL records Once the item is returned, the card is destroyed (unless financial obligations)
Insurance policies/bonds 12 years after expiration provided all claims have been settled
Investment reports 4 years provided audited
Job descriptions Until superseded

Job postings/advertisements of job openings

One year, if no action pending
Levy official files Life of levy, plus 5 years
Lost books/ fine records Once paid remains in customer history
Personnel files Indefinitely
Prevailing wage records 4 years provided audited
Purchase orders 2 years provided audited
Quarterly payroll reports for state 75 years
Receipt books Until audited
Receipt journals 5 years provided audited

 

Non- Permanent Retention Period
Public records request 2 years
Records commission/records disposal documents 10 years
Time sheets 4 years provided audited
Transient material (informal and/or temporary messages and notes, including email and voice mail messages, and all drafts used in the production of public records) Discretionary; retain until no longer of administrative value
Unemployment compensation claims 4 years provided audited
Vehicle maintenance records Until vehicle sold
Voucher with invoices 5 years provided audited
W-4 forms Until superseded and provided audited
Worker’s compensation claims 10 years after date of final payment

 

‘Until audited’ and ‘provided audited’ is defined as the Auditor of State, or other contracted auditors, have audited the fiscal years encompassed and the audit report has been duly released.

    
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