Responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests
Here are some general guidelines for handling FOI requests:
- Consult your state FOI and open records laws. In general, if there is a written record of the complaint, it is covered by FOI laws.
- Identify possible exemptions:
- Out-of-State requestors - some states have citizenship requirements.
- Library Privacy—many states have statutory exemptions for the disclosure of certain library records.
- Personnel Records
- Ongoing Investigations
In most states, libraries will be required to produce redacted (edited to eliminate identifying information such as name and address) versions of Internet-related complaints even if the complaint falls under an exemption.
Libraries receiving FOI requests should consult their attorneys who will determine whether they can or must provide the information requested.