Public Records Policy
It is the policy of the Akron-Summit County Public Library to adhere to the state's Public Records Act. Public records are to be open to the public at all reasonable times with exceptions only as provided for in the law. Any denial of public records in response to a valid request must be accompanied by an explanation, including legal authority, as outlined in the Ohio Revised Code.
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 office. Public records are to be open to the public at all reasonable times with exceptions only as provided for in the law.
As required by Ohio law, records will be organized and maintained so that they are available for inspection and copying at all reasonable times during regular business hours. Copies will be made available within a reasonable period of time.
Records retention schedules will be updated as needed and will be available to the public upon request.
A poster describing the public records policy will be displayed at Main Library and each branch location.
Each request for public records should be evaluated for a response using the following guidelines.
Although no specific language is required to make a request, the requester must at least identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow the Library to identify, retrieve, and review the records. If it is not clear what records are being sought, the requester will be allowed to revise the request to clarify it. The Library will inform the requester of the manner in which records are maintained and accessed in the ordinary course of the Library's functions in order to assist the requester in clarifying the request.
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.
Public records responsive to the request will be made available for inspection during regular business hours, with the exception of published holidays. Public records will be available for inspection promptly. 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; and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.
Each request will be evaluated for an estimated length of time required to gather the records. 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 will be redacted and the rest released. The redaction should be plainly visible.
Costs for Public Records
Those seeking public records will be charged only the actual cost of making copies.
Upon request, the Library will 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 time after receiving the request for the copy.
The Library may require the requester to pay in advance for the cost of postage or other means of delivery and the costs incurred for supplies used in the mailing, delivery, or transmission. The Library may require a requester to pay in advance for the cost of providing a copy of the requested public record in accordance with the requester's choice of the medium in which the copy is duplicated.
Email is to be treated in the same fashion as records in other formats and should follow the same retention schedules.
Custodian of Records
The Akron-Summit County Public Library designates the Director of the Library or his or her designee to be the custodian of the records.