Freedom of Information Act Policy

Library Board approved July 16, 2002, revised September 26, 2023.

Any patron requesting public records of the Oak Park Public Library under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140/1/(“Act”) must make such a request in writing, either in print or electronically. The person requesting records should specify in particular the records to be provided and copied.

All requests should be directed to FOIA Officer Suzy Wulf at, Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois, 60301.

The first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal paper are free. The fee for records copied, after the first 50 pages, will be $.15 per page. Colored copies, copies sized other than legal or letter size, electronic records, e.g. disks, diskettes, tapes, etc., will be charged at the actual cost of reproduction.  The fee for certification will be $1 per certificate. Fees exceeding $5 will be payable in advance. For commercial FOIA requests the Library may charge the requestor for the costs of any search for and review of public records or other personnel costs associated with reproducing public records. For requests of a record maintained in electronic format, the Library will furnish the copy in the requested format if feasible. If not feasible, then the copy will be provided in the electronic format in which it is maintained, or in a paper format, at the option of the requestor. If a copy is provided in electronic format, no fee will be charged beyond the actual costs of the recording medium. 

The Library shall respond to a written request for public records within five (5) working days after its receipt, or 21 days if the request is for a commercial purpose.  Denial shall be by letter from the Library’s FOIA Officer.  No denial shall be issued without the knowledge and consent of the Executive Director.

A request will be denied if the public records requested fall within one of the specific exemptions of the Act or in those situations where the public body does not have either a right of access or ownership of the public records or where the public body is prohibited from disclosing public records. If only part of the request is denied, access will be given to the remaining non-exempt portion of response of public records. The Library’s written response to requests will explain the Library’s detailed factual basis for withholding exempt records or parts thereof. Records may be inspected or copied. If inspected, a Library employee must be present throughout the inspection. The letter denying the request for public records shall notify by letter the person making the request of the decision to deny such, the reasons for the denial, and the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial.  Each notice of denial shall also inform such person of his right to appeal to the Public Access Counselor, Office of the Illinois Attorney General not later than sixty (60) days after the date of the Library’s final denial or the requester may seek judicial review of the denial under Section 11 of the Act [5 ILCS 140/11].  When a request for public records is denied on the grounds that the records are exempt under Section 7 of the Act [5 ILCS 140/7], the notice of denial shall specify the exemption claimed to authorize the denial.  

Public records available to the public may be requested in the following manner:

  • All requests must be in written form, either in print or in electronically. 
  • Request form is available at the Library’s Administrative Office weekdays 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays and is available here
  • Request forms must be completed legibly. 
  • The Act does not require the Library to create new public records that do not already exist within the Library’s possession and custody. 
  • Requests must specify the records requested to be disclosed for inspection or to be copied. If any records are to be certified, they must be specified. 
  • Legal counsel may be consulted to advise as to the proper response to the request. 
  • The Library may not require the requestor to specify the reason or purpose of the request “except to determine whether the records are requested for a commercial purpose or whether to grant a request for a fee waiver.”
  • Request is to be returned to (, Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois 60301. 
  • Requests received after 3:00 p.m. will be dated as being received on the next consecutive business day. 
  • Within five (5) business days or twenty-one (21) business days for commercial requests, of receipt of a written request in the Administrative Office, the Library will respond with information regarding: access to the public records, extension of response time under the Act, or the grant or denial of the request, in whole or in part, in writing. 
  • Records will be made available by appointment on weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays, at Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois 60301. 

The five (5) working day time limits prescribed above may be extended for five (5) additional working days including any of the following reasons:

  • The requested records are stored in whole or in part at other locations than the office having charge of the requested records.
  • The requested records require the collection of a substantial number of specified records.
  • The requested records are couched in categorical terms and requires an extensive search for the records responsive to it.
  • The requested records have not been located in the course of routine search and additional efforts are being made to locate them.
  • The requested records require examination and evaluation by personnel having the necessary competence and discretion to determine if they are exempt from disclosure under 5 ILCS 140/7 or should be revealed only with appropriate deletions.
  • The requested records cannot be complied with by the Library within the time limits without unduly burdening or interfering with Library operations.
  • There is a need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another public body or among two or more components of a public body having a substantial interest in the determination or in the subject matter of the request.

When additional time is required for any of the above reasons, the Library shall notify by letter the person making the written request within the five (5) working day time limit the reasons for the delay and the date by which the records will be made available or denial will be forthcoming.

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