Making a FOIA Request
Letters of request, addressed to the FOIA Information Officer, may be submitted by mail or in person to the Library Director, Forest Park Public Library, 7555 Jackson Blvd, IL 60130; or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your request will be responded to within five business days. For more information, please see our FOIA Procedures below.
Freedom of Information Act
The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act is to ensure that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them as public officials. Such access is necessary to enable the people to fulfill their duties of discussing public issues fully and freely and monitoring the government to ensure that it is being conducted in the public interest. [5 ILCS 140/1]
The principle mandate of the Act provides that each public body shall make available to any person for inspection, upon submission of a written request, copies of any public records that are subject to disclosure under the Act. It assures that a written request for information will receive a timely response and allows the organization to recoup certain production costs incurred by supplying a response.
A public record is any record, report, form, writing, letter, memoranda, book, paper, amp, photograph, card, tape, recording, electronic data processing record, recorded information, and all other documentary material, regardless of physical form of characteristics, having been prepared, or having been or being used, received, possessed or under the control of a physical body. [5 ILCS 140/2]
For more information, see “Illinois Freedom of Information Act Frequently Asked Questions.”
A brief description of our public body is as follows:
- The Forest Park Public Library is a village library established under the Illinois Local Library Act, 75 ILCS 5, with a 6-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Mayor and the Village Council.
- The mission of the Library is to maintain and share a collection that meets the needs of our diverse community, and provides programs that educate, empower, and entertain the public.
- An organization chart is attached
- The office is located at 7555 Jackson Blvd., Forest Park, IL 60130
- The following organization exercises control over our policies and procedures: The Forest Park Public Library Board of Trustees, which meets monthly on the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m., at the library.
- We are required to report to and be answerable to: Illinois State Library, Springfield, Illinois. Its members are: State Librarian Jesse White; Director of the State Library; and various other staff.
Procedure to Request Library Records:
- Applicants must submit their request in writing, providing their full name, current address, phone number, email address (for electronic responses) and a detailed account of the documents they are requesting and whether or not they are requesting the documents for commercial use. There is no requirement under the Act to respond to oral requests.
- Your request should be directed to Pilar Shaker, FOIA Officer, Forest Park Public Library, 7555 Jackson Blvd., Forest Park, IL 60130. It may be emailed to email@example.com
- Requests for public records are fulfilled under the guidelines of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 40). Requestors will be contacted within the time allotted by law with a response to their request. At that time, the requestor will be told of any fees associated with their request.
- Records may be inspected or copied. If inspected, an employee must be present throughout the inspection.
Response to FOIA Requests
The FOIA Officer will respond to all requests as mandated by the Freedom of Information Act as outlined below:
- Within five business days following the date of a written request, the FOIA Officer will respond with information regarding access to the information, request an extension under the Act, or deny the request in writing. A public body has 21 business days to respond to a request for information for a commercial purpose.
- The public body is not required to copy a public record that is published on the public body’s website. The FOIA Officer must notify the requester that the public record is available online and direct the requester to the website where the record can be reasonably access.
- The charge for copies of the records will be as follows: 1) First 50 pages black and white on legal or letter size will be free; 2) 10 cents per page for black and white on legal or letter size after the first 50 pages; 3) 50 cents per page for color or oversized copies or electronic media.
Certain types of Information maintained by us are exempt from inspection and copying.
However, the following types or categories of records are maintained under our control:
- Monthly financial statements
- Annual Receipts and Disbursement Reports
- Operating Budgets
- Annual Audits
- Minutes of the Board of Library Trustees
- Library Policies, including Materials Selection
- Adopted Resolutions of the Board
- Annual Reports to the Illinois State Library