Requesting Public Records

Public Records Officer:

Timberland Regional Library's (TRL's) Administrative Service Center is located at 415 Tumwater Blvd. SW, Tumwater, WA 98501. Any person wishing to request access to public records may make the request to the Public Records Officer. Any person seeking assistance in making a request should contact the Public Records Officer:

Public Records Officer
Attn: Cheryl Heywood, Library Director Timberland Regional Library
415 Tumwater Blvd SW Tumwater, WA 98501
Phone: 360-943-5001
Fax: 360-586-6838
LibraryDirector@trl.org

Information is also available at the Timberland Regional Library web site at: www.TRL.org

Availability of Public Records:

1.    Index. Timberland Regional Library determined that maintaining an index is unduly burdensome, costly, and would interfere with Library operations due to the number and complexity of records generated as a result of the wide range of Library activities and locations.

2.    TRL website. Many records are available on TRL's web site at www.TRL.org. Requesters are encouraged to view the documents available on the website prior to submitting a records request.

3.    Protocol for Inspection/Copying. Public records are generally available for inspection and copying during normal business hours of Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, excluding legal holidays, by appointment. Records must be inspected, by appointment, at the Timberland Regional Library Administrative Service Center. Requesters are prohibited from removing records from Library offices.
 
Making a Request for Public Records:

Any person wishing to inspect or copy public records of the Library is asked to make the request in writing on the Library's request form in person, by regular mail, or by fax to the designated records officer. The Public Records Request Form is available at www.TRL.org. Email requests must be addressed to the Library Director, sent to LibraryDirector@trl.org, and must include the information following:

1.    Name of requester;
2.    Date of request;
3.    Phone, email, and/or address or other contact information of requester;
4.    Identification of the public records adequate for the public records officer or designee to locate the records (title and date, if known);
5.    Location of the requested records, if known;
6.    Whether the requester intends to inspect the records or obtain a photocopy of the records, at the cost set forth herein; and
7.    Method by which the Library should contact requester.

Processing Public Records Requests:

1.    The Public Records Officer or designee will process all public record requests. Public record requests received at a library must be immediately sent to the Public Records Officer.

2.    The Public Records Officer will provide the library's attorney with a copy of the public records request. Within five business days of receipt of the request (day one is the first working day after the request is received); the Public Records Officer or designee will provide a response to the requestor. That response may include one or more of the following:

1.    Make the records available for inspection or copying; or
2.    Identify an internet location where the record can be accessed. Requesters who cannot access the internet may be provided hard copies or access to a Library terminal to access the record; or
3.    If copies are requested and payment of a deposit for the copies, if any, is made or terms of payment are agreed upon, send the copies to the requester; or
4.    Provide reasonable estimate of when records will be available; or
5.    If the request is unclear or does not sufficiently identify the requested records, request clarification from the requester. The
 

Public Records Officer or designee may revise the estimate of when records will be available; or

3.    In the event that the requested records contain information that may affect rights of others and/or may be exempt from disclosure, the Public Records Officer may, prior to providing the records, give notice to those persons. Such notice should be given to make it possible for those receiving the notice to seek an order from a court to prevent or limit the disclosure.  The notice to the affected persons will typically include a copy of the request.

4.    Some records are exempt from disclosure, in whole or in pmt. If the Library believes that a record or p01tion of a record is exempt from disclosure and should be withheld, the Public Records Officer or designee will state the specific exemption and provide a brief explanation of why the record or a portion of the record is being withheld.

Inspection of Records:

1.    The Library will provide a space for persons to inspect public records, by appointment. No member of the public may remove a document from the viewing area or disassemble or alter any document. The requester shall indicate which documents he or she wishes the Library to copy.

2.    Parties wishing to inspect electronic records may be provided copies of the records on a CD or other storage device may be directed to an internet address where the records can be accessed, or may receive records by email.  If a requester cannot access records in these ways, the Library may provide hard copies or allow a requester to view copies on a Library computer.

3.    The requester must make arrangements to claim or review the assembled records within thirty days of notification that the records are available for inspection or copying.

4.    If the requester fails to claim or review the records within the thirty-day period or make other arrangements, the Library may close the request and re-file the assembled records. In the event the requester submits a new request for the same or almost identical records, the process will begin anew.

Providing Copies of Records: After inspection is complete, the Public Records Officer or designee shall make the requested copies or arrange for copying. The requester shall pay any applicable deposit prior to copies being made. Full payment for copies must be received prior to delivery of the requested copies.
 
Providing Records in Installments:

a.    When the request is for a large number of records or when a portion of responsive records is more readily available than others, the Public Records Officer or designee may provide access for inspection and copying in  installments  if he or she reasonably  determines  that it would be practical  to provide the records in that  way.

b.    If, within thirty days, the requester fails to inspect the available installments, the Public Records Officer may discontinue his/her search for the remaining records and close the request.

Completion of Response to Inspect Records: When the search for requested records is complete and all requested records are provided for inspection, the Public Records Office or designee will indicate that the Library has completed a reasonable search for the requested records and made any located, nonexempt records available for inspection.

Closing Withdrawn or Abandoned Requests: When the requester either withdraws the request or fails to fulfill his or her obligation to timely inspect the records or fails to pay the required amount due for requested copies, the Public Records Officer will close the request and indicate to the requester the Library has closed the request.

Completion of Request: The Library's response to a request shall be deemed completed upon the requester's inspection of the records or upon notification that copies of all the requested records are available for payment and delivery or pick­ up, or that no responsive records exist.

No Duty to Create New Records: The Library is not obligated to create new records to satisfy a records request; however, the Library may, at is discretion, create such new records to fulfill the request where the Library deems that method of response more expedient.

Exemptions:

a.    The Public Records Act provides a number of exemptions from public inspection and copying.

b.    The Library is prohibited by statute from disclosing lists of individuals for commercial purposes.

Costs of Providing Copies of Public Records:

a.    Costs of paper copies: There is no fee for inspecting public records, and a requester may obtain standard black and white photocopies for ten cents ($.10) per page. For example, a request for twenty-one pages will cost $2.10. If, at the Library's discretion, materials need to be copied by an outside source either due to volume, current workload of Library staff, or any other reason, the requester will be charged the actual amount invoiced to the Library by the copying vendor.

b.    Envelopes and/or packaging are charged at the actual costs of those supplies.

c.    Postage is charged at the actual cost of postage.

d.    Costs for electronic copies: The cost of electronic copies shall be the actual cost of materials (such as a CD) and the cost to scan the records if scanning is necessary. There will be no charge for e-mailing electronic records to a requester, except where another cost applies. Ten cents ($.10) per page will be charged for hard copy records that are scanned into electronic format if the request exceeds twenty pages to cover the cost of producing them in electronic format.

e.    In the event a request is estimated to exceed $25, the Library may require the requester to deposit an amount to exceed 10% of the estimated cost prior to the duplication of record(s).

f.    Payment may be made by cash, check, or money order payable to Timberland Regional Library.

 

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