Public Records Policy

Bliss Memorial Public Library
Bloomville OH

Bliss Memorial Public Library, in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code and applicable judicial decision, defines records as including the following: Any document – paper, electronic (including, but not limited to, e-mail), or other format – that is created or received by, or sent under the jurisdiction of a public office that documents the organizations 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 in the law. 

As required by Ohio law, records will be organized and maintained so that they are readily available for inspection and copying.

Each request for public records should be evaluated for a response using the following guidelines:

  1. The requestor must sufficiently identify the requested records so that the records custodian can retrieve and review the records. If it is not clear what records are being sought, the records custodian will contact the requestor for clarification.
  2. The requestor 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.  
  3. Public records will be available for inspection during regular business hours, with the exception of published holidays. Records will be made available promptly or within reasonable time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” take into account the volume of requested; the proximity of the location of the records stored; and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.
  4. Each request should be evaluated for an estimated length of time required to gather the records.
  5. 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 are to be redacted and the rest released.

Those seeking public records will be charged only for the actual cost of making copies. 

  1. There will be a charge for making paper copies
  2. There will be a charge for downloading computer files.
  3. There is no charge for documents e-mailed.
  4. If documents are to be mailed to the requestor, they will be charged the actual cost of postage and mailing supplies.

E-mail is to be treated in the same fashion as records in other formats and will follow the same retention schedules.

  1. Records in private e-mail accounts used to conduct public business are subject to disclosure, and all employees or representatives of this office are instructed to retain their e-mails that relate to public business.
  2. The records custodian is to treat the e-mails from private accounts as records of the public office, filing them in the appropriate way, retaining them per established schedules and making them available for inspection and copying in accordance with the Public Records Act.

June 16, 2020