Approved by the Library Board: April 17, 2019
Effective: April 18, 2019

Wisconsin legislative policy favors the broadest practical access to government.  Providing citizens with information on the affairs of the government is one of the strongest declarations of policy found in the Wisconsin statutes.1

The Menomonee Falls Public Library (Library) recognizes the importance of orderly management, retrieval, and disposal of all official public records, and the need for a documented records retention schedule adopted in accordance with the Wisconsin Public Records Law for local municipalities and in conjunction with Village of Menomonee Falls (Village) Public Records Policy.

The Library Board has adopted and will adhere to the records retention schedule Record Retention Schedule for Wisconsin’s Public Libraries and Public Library Systems, as recommended by the Wisconsin Public Records Board. This retention schedule establishes the timeframe for the disposal of records that are no longer required for administrative, financial, or legal purposes.  The adoption of the schedule also enables Library to dispose of records without prior approval of the Wisconsin History Society.   The retention schedule remains in effect until June 12, 2027 or until it is formally amended or superseded.

Records created by Library that are not included in the adopted Record Retention Schedule for Wisconsin’s Public Libraries and Public Library Systems follow the Village records retention schedule.

The official records of the Library are retained at the Library business office located at W156 N8436 Pilgrim Road, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin or at the Village offices located at W156 N8430 Pilgrim Road, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.  The official custodian of the Library records is the Library Director.

The Library operates with the Village as its fiscal agent.  Records created by the fiscal agent are their records.  The official custodian of Village records is the person identified as official custodian for the department identified as being responsible for the record in the Village records retention schedule.

The definition of a public record is found in Chapter 19.32 (2) of Wisconsin Statutes, and includes any document in any format that is created or received by, or comes under the jurisdiction of, the Library, that documents the organization, function, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Library.  All records of the Library meeting this definition are public unless they, or parts of them, are specifically exempt from disclosure under Wisconsin or federal law. 

Records created and stored electronically are subject to the same retention schedule as their paper counterparts, along with the hardware and software necessary to access them.  Duplicate files, duplicate copies, library materials, and community forms, booklets, or pamphlets originally intended for distribution are not considered to be official public records.

A public record may not be destroyed if any litigation, claim negotiation, audit, public records request, administrative review, or other action involving the records is initiated before the expiration of the retention period set in the Records Retention for Wisconsin’s Public Libraries and Public Library Systems.

Upon request, all public records responsive to the request, and not exempt from disclosure, will be prepared within a reasonable amount of time and made available for inspection to any person during regular business hours at the Library.  Copies of requests may also be mailed or sent electronically.  The requester of public records will be charged the actual cost of reproducing and delivering the information.

Whenever there is a doubt as to whether information may or may not be released in response to a public records request, the Library Director will seek the counsel of the Village attorney’s office.  Any denial of a public record request will include an explanation, including legal authority.  If a public record contains information that is confidential or exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or to copy the public record, the Library Director will redact the confidential or exempt information and will make available all the information within the public record that is not exempt or confidential. 

1 Brad Schimel, Wisconsin Public Records Law Compliance Guide (Madison:  Department of Justice, March 2018), p.1.