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Sparta Carnegie Township Library

FOIA Procedure and Guidelines

Freedom of Information Act Procedure and Guidelines for Sparta Twp. LIbrary

Adopted 6/23/15
Amended 6/11/19

Sparta Carnegie Township Library
FOIA Procedures and Guidelines

Preamble:  Statement of Principles

It is the policy of Sparta Township Library that all persons, except those incarcerated, consistent with the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees.  The people shall be informed so that they fully participate in the democratic process.

The Library’s policy with respect to FOIA requests is to comply with the State law in all respects and to respond to FOIA requests in a consistent, fair, and even-handed manner regardless of who makes such a request.

 The Library acknowledges that it has a legal obligation to disclose all nonexempt public records in possession pursuant to a FOIA request.  The Library acknowledges that sometimes it is necessary to invoke the exemptions identified under FOIA in order to ensure the effective operation of government to protect public records consistent with and in compliance with State law.

The Library will protect the public’s interest in disclosure, while balancing the requirement to withhold or redact portions of certain records.  The Library’s policy is to disclose public records consistent with and in compliance with State law.

The Library Board has established the following written procedures and guidelines to implement the FOIA and will create a written public summary of the specific procedures and guidelines relevant to the general public’s written responses, deposit requirements, fee calculations, and avenues for challenge and appeal.  The written public summary will be written in a manner so as to be easily understood by the general public.

 Section 1:   General Policies

The Library Board, acting pursuant to the authority at MCL 15.236, designates the Library Director as the FOIA Coordinator.  He or she is authorized to designate other Library staff to act on his or her behalf to accept as process written requests for the Library’s public records and approve denials.


If a request for a public record is received by fax or email, the request is deemed to have been received on the following business day.  If a request is sent by email and delivered to a Library spam or junk-mail folder, the request is not deemed received until one day after the FOIA Coordinator first becomes aware of the request.  The FOIA Coordinator shall note in the FOIA log both the date the request was delivered to the spam or junk-mail folder and the date the FOIA Coordinator became aware of the request.

The FOIA Coordinator shall review Library spam and junk-mail folders on a regular basis, which shall be no less than once a month.  The FOIA Coordinator shall work with Library Information Technology staff to develop administrative rules for handling spam and junk-mail so as to protect Library systems from computer attacks which may be imbedded in an electronic FOIA request.

The FOIA Coordinator may in his or her discretion, implement administrative rules, consistent with State law and these Procedures and Guidelines to administer the acceptance and processing FOIA requests.

The Library is not obligated to create a new public record or make compilation or summary of information which does not already exist.  Neither the FOIA Coordinator nor other Library staff is obligated to provide answers to questions contained in requests for public records or regarding the content of the records themselves.

The FOIA Coordinator shall keep a copy of all written requests for public records received by the Library on file for a period of at least one year.

The Library will make this Procedures and Guidelines document and the Written Public Summary publically available without charge.  If it does not, the Library cannot require deposits or charge fees otherwise permitted under the FOIA until it is in compliance.

A copy of this Procedures and Guidelines document and the Library’s Written Public Summary must be publicly available by providing free copies both in the Library’s response to a written request and upon request by visitors at the Library.