FOIL- Freedom of Information Law Policy

Purpose

The Gates Public Library has adopted this Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Policy to ensure transparency of records and administration documents.

The main goals of Gates Public Library’s FOIL Policy are to establish:

  • The administrator of library records, and
  • The process for requesting information from the library and the library’s process for responding to information requests

New York State’s Freedom of Information Law allows members of the public to access records from certain agencies including municipal, school district, and special legislative district libraries. The full scope of Public Officers Law Article 6 §87 can be found on the New York State Committee on Open Government website.

Administrator of library records

The Library Director is the administrator of library records. In the Director’s absence, the Assistant Director is the administrator of library records.  The Director will receive, process, and respond to all inquiries relating to the availability of library records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law.

Process for initiating a request

  • The request shall include the name, mailing address and telephone number of the requester and specific details to sufficiently identify the information requested.
  • The request shall be submitted to the Director in writing using the form on this page, or via a paper form available at the library, and shall specify whether the requester wishes to see and read the requested record or to receive a copy.  Printed copies of documents cost $.20 per side; scanned documents are free. 

Process for responding to requests

The individual requesting information in writing as outlined above, shall receive a written acknowledgment within 5 business days.  This will include an approximate and reasonable date when the request will be granted or denied in whole or in part, and shall be no more than 20 business days after the date of acknowledgment.  If it is known that circumstances prevent disclosure within 20 business days from the acknowledgment, a written statement will be given indicating the reason for the delay.  An alternate date for the disclosure will be provided. If the information is not available or a request for information is denied, the Director shall notify the requester in writing.  If the request is denied, a written explanation will be provided.

Access to records if request is approved

When access to records is granted, records must be inspected at the library in the presence of the Director.  Inspections must be arranged by the Director in advance and must occur during regular hours of operation.  If the original of a record includes information, details, and/or particulars requiring deletion, the requester shall only be permitted to inspect a copy of the record with deletions. Copying of the record will be conducted only by the Director. No original records may be removed from the custody of the library.

Process for appeal if request is denied

Any person denied access to a record may within thirty days appeal in writing such denial to the President of the Library Board of Trustees, who shall within ten business days of the receipt of such appeal fully explain in writing to the person requesting the record the reasons for further denial, or provide access to the record sought. In addition, the Library shall immediately forward to the New York State Committee on Open Government a copy of such appeal when received by the library and the ensuing determination thereon.

Statement of compliance

As a Public Library, Gates Public Library is bound to conform to the requirements of the New York Freedom of Information Law. Gates Public Library strives to meet expectations of transparency and will consider all information requests under the provisions of the law.

The Freedom of Information Law Policy will be periodically evaluated by the Director and Board of Trustees in relation to the mission of the Gates Public Library and in accordance with all local, state and federal laws a and regulations.  The Director and Board of Trustees may update or modify the FOIL Policy as necessary. Modifications must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees at an open meeting.

Questions or concerns regarding Gates Public Library records or this policy should be directed to the Director.

ADOPTED by the Gates Public Library Board of Trustees, December 21, 2023

Application for Access to Public Records

Name(Required)
Address(Required)
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Electronic Checkbox

Upon review of the application, a notice of receipt will be sent within 5 business days as to the disclosure and availability of the requested document(s) to be provided. It shall not be more than 20 business days after the date of the acknowledgment that the record(s) are available or that access is denied in which notification will be given in writing stating the reasons for denial.

Copies of requested documents are subject to a photocopying fee of $.20 per page, per side unless you choose to receive response via electronic mail.