Public Records Policy
It is the policy of the Harris-Elmore Public and Genoa Branch Library that openness leads to a better informed citizenry, which leads to better government and better public policy.
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.
As required by Ohio law, records will be organized and maintained so that they are readily available for inspection and copying. Records will be available for inspection and copying at all reasonable times during regular business hours.
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 public office to identify, retrieve, and review the records. If it is not clear what records are being sought, the records custodian may deny the request, but shall provide the requester with an opportunity to revise the request by informing the requestor of the manner in which the library keeps its records and how those records are accessed. 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 a request are to be available for inspection during regular business hours, with the exception of published holidays. Public records must 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.
Each request should be evaluated for an estimated length of time required to gather the records. Any denial of public records requested must include an explanation, including legal authority. If the request is in writing, the explanation must also be in writing. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions are to be redacted and the rest released.
Those seeking public records will be charged only the actual cost of making copies.
The Library requires the person making the request to pay in advance the cost of postage if the copy is transmitted by United States mail or the cost of delivery if the copy is transmitted other than by United States mail, and to pay in advance the costs incurred for other supplies used in the mailing, delivery, copying, or transmission.