Access To Public Records
Access to Public Records (IC 5-14-3)
The Access to Public Records Act (IC 5-14-1.5) was enacted to permit citizens of Indiana broad and easy access to public records. By providing the public with the opportunity to review and copy public records, individuals have the ability to fully participate in the governmental process. The Switzerland County Public Library is a public agency as defined by IC 5-14-3-2.
The Library has the responsibility to protect its public records from loss, alteration, mutilation, unauthorized access, or destruction, and regulate any material interference with the regular discharge of the functions or duties of the Library and its employees.
A request for inspection or copying of public records owned by the Library must identify with reasonable particularity the record being requested and be in writing on the “Request for Access to Public Records” form provided by the library. Request forms can be submitted in person, by fax, or mail.
Some records are excepted from disclosure by law (IC 5-14-3-4). Requests to inspect or receive copies of such records will be denied unless access is ordered by a court under the rules of discovery. These records include, but are not limited to:
- Personnel files of employees and files of applicants for employment except for:
- The name, compensation, job title, business address & telephone number, job descriptions, education and training background, previous work experience or dates of first and last employment of present or former officers or employees of the Library.
- Information relating to the status of any formal charge against the employee.
- Information concerning disciplinary actions in which final action has been taken and that resulted in the employee being disciplined or discharged. However, all personnel file information shall be made available to the affected employee or the employee’s representative.
- Administrative or technical information that would jeopardize a record keeping or security system.
- Computer programs, computer codes, computer filing systems, and other software that are owned by the library or entrusted to it.
- Records specifically prepared for discussion or developed during discussion in an executive session under IC 5-14-1.5-6.1.
- Identity of donors of gifts made to the library if the donor or donor’s family requests non-disclosure.
- Information identifying library patrons.
Additional records may be excepted from disclosure at the Library’s discretion (IC 5-14-3-4(b)) and any request for those records will be determined on a case by case basis. A patron shall be allowed access to his/her Library records concerning currently checked out materials and fines. In addition, a legal guardian and/or parent of a child may also have access to the child’s records concerning currently checked out materials and fines. The Library will not allow a noncustodial parent access to the child’s Library records if a court has terminated the parent’s legal rights and the Library has received a copy of the court order or has actual knowledge of the court order.
The Library director shall respond to a request and in the absence of the Library director, the person in charge of the Library is designated. The Library’s attorney may be consulted as needed.
If the request is delivered personally to the Library, the Library has 48 hours to respond to the request. If the request is delivered by U.S. Mail or facsimile, the Library has seven days to respond. “Respond” does not mean provide the records but only acknowledges receipt of the request. The Library has a reasonable period of time to provide access to the records or deny the request.
Responses will be made in writing. If a request is denied, the response will include a statement of the specific exemption or exemptions authorizing the withholding of all or part of the public record.
If the request is not denied, the Library shall either allow inspection or provide copies to the person as requested. Originals shall not be removed from Library premises and inspection may be supervised.
The Library will not charge any fee to inspect a public record; or to search for, examine, or review a record to determine whether the record shall be disclosed.
The Library will furnish one copy of the public record if requested. Payment must be made upon receipt. The Library Board of Trustees has established the following fee schedule for copies provide by the Library:
Photocopies, letter or legal size-$.10 per page
Email transmission-no charge (Email transmission is only available if the record(s) is in electronic format suitable for duplication on such medium.)
Adopted by the Switzerland County Public Library Board of Trustees May 8, 2012.