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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Policy& Procedures


MESSENGER PUBLIC LIBRARY ILLINOIS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
POLICY AND PROCEDURE
[APPROVED BY BOARD OF TRUSTEES 7/11/2013]
 
I. Description The Messenger Public Library:
A. Preface. The Illinois Freedom of Information Act provides that “all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them as public officials and public employees consistent with the terms of this Act. Such access is necessary to enable the people to fulfill their duties of discussing public issues fully and freely, making informed political judgments and monitoring government to ensure that it is being conducted in the public interest.” 5 ILCS 140/1 Section 1.
 
This statutory provision applies to all information collected, assembled, or maintained by a public body in the course of its official business that is to be made available during normal business hours for inspection or copying. It assures that a written request for information will receive a timely response and allows the organization to recoup certain production costs incurred by supplying a response.
 
The Messenger Public Library is committed to providing citizens and taxpayers access to applicable public records under the Act. The intent of this policy is to clarify the requirements and to assist staff in the compliance of both the letter and the spirit of the Act. The Act is not intended to cause an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, nor to allow the requests of a commercial enterprise to unduly burden public resources, or to disrupt the duly-undertaken work of any public body independent of the fulfillment of any of the fore-mentioned rights of the people to access to information.
 
Restraints on access to information, to the extent permitted by the Act, are limited exceptions to the principle that the people of this State have a right to full disclosure of information relating to the decisions, policies, procedures, rules, standards, and other aspects of government activity that affect the conduct of government and the lives of any or all of the people.
 
B. MISSION and VISION STATEMENT:
MISSION: The Messenger Public Library informs, connects, and enriches the community of North Aurora. VISION: The Messenger Public Library serves as a gateway to an expanding world enhancing the quality of life for the community of North Aurora. The Library’s vision is to be: -essential and relevant; -first choice in information; first in customer services excellence and to be a leader in technology to further literacy and lifelong learning
C. ORGANIZATIONAL CHART: An organizational chart is at the end of the document.
 
D. FINANCES: The Messenger Public Library of North Aurora Illinois is a village library supported primarily by local property taxes. The total amount of our operating budget for FY 2014 is: $ 1,523,313. This total is consists of our Corporate Property Tax ($1,438,537) and our .02 Maintenance Property Tax ($84,776). Funding sources are property (Corporate and .02 Maintenance Tax) and personal property replacement taxes, impact fees, state and federal grants, fines, charges, and donations. Tax levies are for:
1. Corporate purposes (for general operating expenditures)
2. Maintenance or .02 (for maintaining the building)
E. LOCATION: The library is located at this address: 113 Oak Street North Aurora Illinois 60542
 
F. EMPLOYEES: We have the following number of persons employed as of FY 2014 (June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014):
1. Full-time 9
2. Part-time 21
 
G. GOVERNING BODY: The following organization exercises control over our policies and procedures: The Messenger Public Library Board of Trustees, which meets monthly on the 2nd Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m., at the library in the Conference Room. Committee of the Whole Planning and Operations Committee Meetings are held on an as need basis.
Members of the Board of Trustees: Marguerite Treest, President; Shannon Rapp. Vice President; William Middleton, Secretary; Tanya Berley, Treasurer; and Justin Kline, Dr. Mary Beth Hutches, and Dominick Leo.
 
H. REPORTING. We are required to report and be answerable for our operations to:
Illinois State Library, Springfield, Illinois. Its members are: State Librarian Jesse White (Secretary of State), Director of State Library Anne Craig; and various other staff.
 
II. PROCEDURE TO REQUEST LIBRARY RECORDS.
Information and the records available to the public may be requested in the following manner:
A. A written request must be provided (see attached suggested form). E-mails are accepted as well as written requests on paper. There is no requirement under the Act to respond to oral requests or to provide information other than what already exists in the records.
 
B. Requests should be directed to the: G. Kevin Davis, Library Administrator / FOIA (& Open Meetings Act) Officer at the Messenger Public Library, 113 Oak St., North Aurora, IL 60542. E-mail: director@northaurora.lib.il.us. Phone: 630- 801-2345 or to the secondary FOIA Officer: Judith Jarvis, Administrative Assistant to the Library Administrator E-mail: jjarvis@northaurora.lib.il.us.
 
C. The request must specify the records requested to be disclosed for inspection or to be copied. If you desire that any records be certified, you must specify which ones. Legal counsel may be solicited to advise as to the proper response to the request.
 
D. Within five (5) business days of the receipt of a written request, the FOIA Officer will respond with information regarding access to the information, request an extension under the Act, or deny the request in writing. Denial of the request will occur if the public records requested fall within one of the specific exemptions of the Act. If only part of the request is denied, and access will be given to the remainder, it will be stated in the response. Any denial will include the reason and legal citation.
 
E. Denial of access by the Administrator/FOIA Officer may be appealed to the Public Access Counselor within sixty (60) days.
 
F. Reimbursement for actual costs for reproducing and certifying (if requested) the records will be charged as follows: 1) First 50 pages black and with/legal or letter size will be free; 2) $0.15 per page for black and white/legal or letter size after the first 50 pages; 3) color copies or other sizes actual cost of reproduction, electronic media actual cost of medium (i.e., disc, tape, etc.); 4) $1.00 per page for certification of records.
 
G. The office will respond to a written request within five (5) business days or sooner if possible. An extension of an additional five (5) business days may be necessary to properly respond.
 
H. Records may be inspected or copied. If inspected, an employee must be present throughout the inspection.
 
I. Records will be made available by appointment on weekdays, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding holidays at the Messenger Public Library Administrator’s Office.
 
III. PUBLIC INFORMATION AVAILABLE. Certain types of information maintained by us are exempt from inspection and copying. However, the following types or categories of records are maintained under our control. (Note: * = Denotes that this information is readily available on the Library website at www.messengerpl.org under the links “About the Library” and “About the Board” ):
A. Monthly Financial Statements *
B. Annual Receipts and Disbursements or Treasurer’s Reports
C. Budget and Appropriation Ordinances
D. Levy Ordinances
E. Operating Budgets *
F. Annual Audits *
G. Minutes and Agendas of the Library Board of Trustees *
H. Library Policies, including Materials Selection Policy *
I. Annual Reports to the Illinois State Library
J. Annual Disclosure of Salaries and Benefits*
 
Messenger PUBLIC LIBRARY ORGANIZATIONAL CHART
Board of Library Trustees:
President
Vice-President
Secretary
Treasurer
Trustee   Trustee
Trustee   Trustee
 
Library Administrator
[Administrative Assistant]
[Maintenance Staff]
 
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