Revised: July 2019
The mission of the North Central Washington Libraries is Connecting the people of North Central Washington to vital resources and opportunities that foster individual growth and strengthen communities.
II. Organization And Structure
- The North Central Washington Libraries District is organized and operates under Chapter 27 of the Revised Code of Washington and other statutes applicable to inter-county rural library districts.
- The library’s service area is comprised of the rural areas of Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant and Okanogan counties and incorporated cities and towns which are either annexed to or contracting for service from the library district.
- The library district is under the jurisdiction of a board of seven trustees jointly appointed by the commissioners of Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant and Okanogan counties.
- Any incorporated city or town within the library district may request authorization to annex to the district. Service to annexed cities and towns may be by means of branches, located in the community or nearby, mail order library service or combination of such services.
- Any incorporated city or town within the library district may request to contract for service. Financial support shall be at a rate no higher than the millage support paid by the residents of the library district. Service to such incorporated cities and towns may be by means of branches, located in the community or nearby, mail order library service or combination of such services.
- District administrative offices are located at 16 N Columbia Street, Wenatchee.
III. Board Of Trustees
- The North Central Washington Libraries District Board of Trustees has been duly established under Chapter 27.12.190 of the Revised Code of Washington.
- The Board exercises the authority and assumes the responsibilities delegated to it under Chapter 27.12.210 of the Revised Code of Washington.
- The Board’s proceedings are governed by the North Central Washington Libraries District Board Revised Bylaws as adopted on June 16, 1983 and thereafter amended.
- Regular meetings of the Board are held on the second Thursday of each month at 1:00pm at a place designated at the preceding meeting. When the second Thursday of a given month falls before the tenth day of the month, the Board shall exercise the option to call its meeting on the third Thursday of the month.
- The Board encourages the establishment of local advisory boards and Friends of the Library.
IV. Who May Use The Library
- Library service is available to all residents of the library district’s service area. Persons residing outside the library district, but owning property within the library district are eligible for library service.
- Students attending a community college or other institution of higher education within the service area are given free service for the length of the school year even if legal residence is maintained elsewhere. Other non-residents are charged a standard use fee determined by the Board.
- Residents of the service area are entitled to use all branch library outlets and mail order library service.
- Any resident of the service areas of the King County, Pierce County, Kitsap County, Sno-Isle, Timberland, North Olympic, and Yakima Valley library districts may use the branch services of the North Central Washington Libraries without charge. In turn, any resident of the North Central Washington Libraries District may use the branch services of the aforementioned library districts without charge.
- Library service may be denied for due cause. Such cause may be failure to comply with library regulations, destruction of library property or disturbance of other users.
- All library staff are expected to apply library policy in a fair and reasonable manner. If a patron disagrees with the way a policy has been interpreted or applied by staff, he or she should be referred to the Director for resolution. If the Director’s response is not satisfactory, the patron is encouraged to contact the Board of Trustees.
V. Services Of The Library
- The library strives to select from the mass of available materials, and organizes for easy access, those books and related materials which best meet the needs of the service area.
- The library staff provides guidance and assistance for people to obtain the information they seek.
- The library initiates programs, exhibits and activities to stimulate the use of library materials by people of all ages.
- The library operates on the basis of free flow of all materials within the library system. Patrons are encouraged to request material when a local collection does not meet a specific need.
- The library will work with schools in an effort to promote full use of public library services. The library will cooperate with, but cannot perform some functions of school or other institutional libraries which are designed to meet curricular needs.
- Regular branch library hours of service are established by the library district. In doing so the district shall take into account the population served, the use made of library service and the funds available in the district’s budget.
- The library may charge such fees or impose such penalties as it deems necessary in order to assure fair use of its services or to ensure return of borrowed material.
VI. Library Material
- The District’s Collection Development Policy exists at the end of this document.
- Materials, which are no longer useful are systematically weeded from the collection according to accepted professional practices. Such materials will be declared surplus and placed on sale, recycled or discarded.
- Library circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users with specific materials are confidential in nature. Such records shall not be made available to any agency of federal, state or local government except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigator power. Any patron is entitled to information regarding his or her items on loan, items on hold, items overdue and fees. A parent or guardian may have access to the same information for his or her minor child. This applies to children up to 18 years of age unless the minor is emancipated (legally free of parental control).
- The District’s Internet Public Use Policy exists at the end of this document.
VII. Library Personnel
- The Board of Trustees employs as Director a person who is certified by the State Board for the Certification of Librarians and meets the qualifications set forth by the Board for proper job performance.
- The Director makes appointments subject to the approval of the Board and has full charge of the staff of the library under adopted Board policies.
- The rights and obligations of staff members are defined in the North Central Washington Libraries Personnel Guidelines as adopted by the Board of Trustees.
- The Board adopts the Staff Classification & Compensation Plan as part of its annual budget.
VIII. Director, Staff And Board Relationship
- The Director serves as the liaison agent and two-way channel of communication between the library board and the library staff. The Director administers the library and directs the library staff.
- Employees are to direct questions and concerns regarding employment and regional library policy to their supervisor and as necessary to the Director. The Director will advise the Board of Trustees of any unresolved questions and concerns.
- No consideration will be given by the Board to an employee’s grievance that has not followed the steps listed in the Personnel Guidelines.
- If circumstances require bypassing normal administrative channels, the Board shall act upon the matter as a whole.
- Citizen comments and complaints on policy matters are referred to the Board by the Director for action and information. Similarly, the Director should be informed by the Board of any inquiries directed to them.
- Members of the Board are not to discuss policy matters with members of the staff without knowledge of the Director.
IX. Friends Groups
The North Central Washington Libraries Board of Trustees welcomes the establishment of Friends of the Library and library citizen’s groups. The Board recognizes that the purpose of such groups may vary based on local community interest and needs and requests that such groups coordinate efforts with local advisory boards and regional library staff.
X. Community Library Quarters
- The Board establishes and maintains community libraries under the following conditions:
- Availability of physical quarters
- Potential for future growth
- Contribution to overall service pattern in the area
- Available funding
- Contracting and annexed cities and towns desiring community library service shall be solely responsible for providing a suitable building or space in a building for library quarters and will pay all necessary maintenance and utilities relating to such library quarters.
- In unincorporated communities, provision of library quarters will be the responsibility of a legally recognized library committee.
- The Board, while not having an obligation to provide physical facilities, will assist such cities, towns and legally recognized library communities in paying a portion of the maintenance of community library quarters as financially feasible and stipulated by contract.
- The provision and maintenance of library furniture and fixtures in a community library is the joint responsibility of contracting and annexed cities in incorporated areas, legally recognized library committees in unincorporated areas, and the Board.
- Meeting rooms located in community library quarters and rules and regulations governing their use are under the jurisdiction of the city, town or unincorporated community owning or leasing such quarters.
- Gifts of books, magazines, pamphlets or audio-visual materials from individuals or groups are encouraged with the understanding that District material selection standards are met. The District reserves the right to accept or reject all gift materials and to assign them where they are needed. Gifts become the property of the District. New gift, memorial, Northwest historical materials and magazines subscriptions may be donated to a specific community library in accordance with District material selection standards. These materials will be cataloged and processed by the District and returned to the individual library. Such materials will be made available for interlibrary loan and returned to the community library to which they were donated after each use. Rare or irreplaceable local history materials may be restricted to “in library use only.”
- Gifts of money, stock or real property are accepted if conditions attached thereto are acceptable to the Board.
- Personal property, art objects, portraits, antiques and other museum objects are accepted if conditions attached thereto are acceptable to the Board.
XII. Reporting Improper Governmental Actions
It is the policy of the North Central Washington Libraries (hereinafter referred to as Library) (1) to encourage reporting by its employees of improper governmental action taken by Library officers or employees and (2) to protect Library employees who have reported improper governmental actions in accordance with the Library’s policies and procedure(s).
As used in this policy, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- “Improper governmental action” means any action by a Library officer or employee
- That is undertaken in the performance of the officer’s or employee’s official duties, whether or not the action is within the scope of the employee’s employment; and
- That (i) is in violation of any federal, state, or local law or rule, (ii) is an abuse of authority, (iii) is of substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety or (iv) is a gross waste of public funds. “Improper governmental action” does not include personnel actions, including employee grievances, complaints, appointments, promotions, transfers, assignments, reassignments, reinstatements, restorations, reemployment, performance evaluations, reductions in pay, dismissals, suspensions, demotions, violations of collective bargaining or civil service laws, alleged violations of labor agreements or reprimands.
- “Retaliatory action” means any adverse change in the terms and conditions of a Library employee’s employment.
- “Emergency” means a circumstance that if not immediately changed may cause damage to persons or property.
- “Improper governmental action” means any action by a Library officer or employee
- PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING
Library employees who become aware of improper governmental actions should raise the issue first with their supervisor. If requested by the supervisor, the employee shall submit a written report to the supervisor, or to some person designated by the supervisor, stating in detail the basis for the employee’s belief that an improper governmental action has occurred. Where the employee reasonably believes the improper governmental action involves his or her supervisor, the employee may raise the issue directly with the Library director or such other person as may be designated by the Library director to receive reports of improper governmental action. In the case of an emergency, where the employee believes that damage to persons or property may result if action is not taken immediately, the employee may report the improper governmental action directly to the appropriate government agency with responsibility for investigating the improper action. The supervisor, the Library director or the Library director’s designee, as the case may be, shall take prompt action to assist the Library in properly investigating the report of improper governmental action. Library officers and employees involved in the investigation shall keep the identity of reporting employees confidential to the extent possible under law, unless the employee authorizes the disclosure of his or her identity in writing. After an investigation has been completed, the employee reporting the improper governmental action shall be advised of a summary of the results of the investigation, except that personnel actions taken as a result of the investigation may be kept confidential. Library employees may report information about improper governmental action directly to the appropriate government agency with responsibility for investigating the improper action if the Library employee reasonably believes that an adequate investigation was not undertaken by the Library to determine whether an improper governmental action occurred, or that insufficient action has been taken by the Library to address the improper governmental action or that for other reasons the improper governmental action is likely to recur. Library employees who fail to make a good-faith attempt to follow the Library’s procedures in reporting improper governmental action shall not receive the protections provided by the Library in these procedures.
- PROTECTION AGAINST RETALIATORY ACTIONS
Library officials and employees are prohibited from taking retaliatory action against a Library employee because he or she has in good faith reported an improper governmental action in accordance with these policies and procedures. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for reporting an improper governmental action should advise their supervisor, the Library director or the Library director’s designee. Library officials and supervisors shall take appropriate action to investigate and address complaints of retaliation. if the employee’s supervisor, the Library director, or the Library director’s designee, as the case may be, does not satisfactorily resolve a Library employee’s complaint that he or she has been retaliated against in violation of this policy, the Library employee may obtain protection under this policy and pursuant to state law by providing a written notice to the Library council that: a. Specifies the alleged retaliatory action, and b. Specifies the relief requested. Library employees shall provide a copy of their written charge to the Library director no later than thirty (30) days after the occurrence of the alleged retaliatory action. The Library shall respond within thirty (30) days to the charge of retaliatory action. After receiving either the response of the Library or thirty (30) days after the delivery of the charge to the Library, the Library employee may request a hearing before a state administrative law judge to establish that a retaliatory action occurred and to obtain appropriate relief provided by law. An employee seeking a hearing should deliver the request for hearing to the Library director within the earlier of either fifteen (15) days of delivery of the Library’s response to the charge of retaliatory action, or forty-five (45) days of delivery of the charge of retaliation to the Library for response. Upon receipt of request for hearing, the Library shall apply within five (5) working days to the State Office of Administrative Hearings for an adjudicative proceeding before an administrative law judge: Office of Administrative Hearings PO Box 42488, 4224 Sixth SE Row Six, Bldg I Lacey WA 98504-2488 (206) 459-6353. The Library will consider any recommendation provided by the administrative law judge that the retaliator be suspended with or without pay, or dismissed.
The director is responsible for implementing the Library’s policies and procedures (1) for reporting improper governmental action and (2) for protecting employees against retaliatory actions. This includes ensuring that this policy and these procedures (1) are permanently posted where all employees will have reasonable access to them, (2) are made available to any employee upon request and (3) are provided to all newly-hired employees. Officers, the director and supervisors are responsible for ensuring the procedures are fully implemented within their areas of responsibility.
- LIST OF AGENCIES
Following is a list of agencies responsible for enforcing federal, state and local laws and investigating other issues involving improper governmental action. Employees having questions about these agencies or the procedures for reporting improper governmental action are encouraged to contact the business office.
- LOCAL AGENCIES Local Law Enforcement Office Local Health Center Local Prosecuting Attorney
- STATE OF WASHINGTON Attorney General’s Office Fair Practices Division 2000 Bank of California Center 900 Fourth Ave Seattle WA (206) 464-6684; State Auditor’s Office Legislative Bldg PO Box 40021 Olympia WA 98504-0021 (206) 753-5280; State Department of Ecology 3190 160th SE Bellevue WA 98008-5852 (206) 649-7000; Human Rights Commission 402 Evergreen Plaza Bldg FJ-41711 S Capitol Way Olympia WA 98504-2490; State Department of Health Health Consumer Assistance PO Box 4789 Olympia WA 98504-7891 800-525-0127; Department of Labor & Industries 300 W Harrison Rm 201 Seattle WA (206) 281-5400; State Liquor Control Board Enforcement Office 2101 Sixth Ave Seattle WA (206) 464-6094; Department of Natural Resources PO Box 68 Enumclaw WA 98022 (206) 825-1631; Puget Sound Water Quality Authority PO Box 40900 Olympia WA 98504 (206) 493-9300; Dept of Social & Health Services Special Investigation Office 5200 Southcenter Blvd Suite 23 Tukwila WA (206) 764-4048; Fraud Complaints: 800-562-6025
- UNITED STATES Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General 915 Second Ave Seattle WA Supervisor Auditor (206) 553-8290 Supervisor Special Agent Investigation (206) 552-8286 Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms Criminal Enforcement 915 Second Ave Seattle WA (206) 553-4485 US Attorney 800 Fifth Ave Seattle WA (206) 553-7970 Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General Office of Audits 915 Second Ave Seattle WA (206) 553-0801 Government Accounting Office Fraud Hot Line: 800-424-5454 Consumer Product Safety Commission Hot Line: 800-638-2772 US Customs Service Office of Enforcement 909 First Ave Seattle WA (206) 553-7531 US Department of Education Office of Inspector General 915 Second Ave Seattle WA Audits Investigations (206) 553-0657 (206) 553-1482 Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigations 1200 Sixth Ave Seattle WA (206) 553-8306 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 2815 Second Suite 500 Seattle WA (206) 553-0968 Federal Emergency Management Agency 130 228th St SW Bothell WA (206) 487-4600 Federal Trade Commission 915 Second Ave Seattle WA Office of Inspector General Audits Investigations (206) 931-7650 (206) 931-7654 Law Enforcement (206) 553-0290 Department of Health & Human Services Food & Drug Administration 22201 23rd Dr SE Bothell WA Trade Complaints (206) 483-4949 Office of the Regional Secretary General Counsel’s Office, Inspector General Audits Investigations (206) 553-0452 (206) 553-0229 Department of Housing & Urban Development Office of Counsel 1321 Second Ave Seattle WA (206) 553-4976 Office of Inspector General Audits Investigations (206) 553-0270 (206) 553-0272 Interstate Commerce Commission 915 Second Ave Rm 1894 Seattle WA 98174 (206) 553-5421 Department of Interior US Fish & Wildlife Services Division of Law Enforcement 121 107th NE Bellevue WA (206) 553-5543 Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration 220 W Mercer Suite 300 Seattle WA (206) 553-5443 Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) 1111 Third Ave Suite 715 Seattle WA 98101-3212 (206) 553-5930 Office of Inspector General Audits 1111 Third Ave Suite 780 Seattle WA 98101-3212 (206) 553-4880 Investigations 1111 Third Ave Suite 785 Seattle WA 98101-3212 Office of Women’s Bureau 1111 Third Ave Suite 885 Seattle WA 98101-3212 Mine Safety & Health Administration 117 107th NE Bellevue WA (206) 553-7037 National Transportation Safety Board 19518 Pacific Hwy S Seattle WA (206) 764-3782 Nuclear Regulatory Commission 510-975-0200 Securities & Exchange Commission 915 Second Ave Seattle WA 98174 (206) 553-7990 Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General 915 Second Ave Seattle WA 98178 (206) 553-5720 Department of Treasury Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Law Enforcement Division 915 Second Ave Rm 806 Seattle WA 98174 Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General 915 Second Ave Seattle WA 98174 Fraud/Waste/Abuse Hot Line 800-488-8244
XIII. Collection Development Policy
North Central Washington Libraries’ Board of Trustees recognizes that within the District’s service area there are individuals and groups with diverse interests, backgrounds, ages, and needs, and that the District was created to serve all of the people within the communities that it serves. The District fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association.
The Collection Development Policy is based on and reflects the District’s mission, vision, and strategic goals.
Library materials, including digital content, will be selected and retained in a variety of formats and comprehension levels, to serve cultural, informational, educational, and recreational interests.
Some of the factors which will be considered in adding to or removing materials from the library collection shall include: present collection composition, current and anticipated community needs, public interest, demand, timeliness, accuracy, audience, current or historical significance of author or subject, diversity of viewpoint, community relevance, effective expression, cost and funding, and shelf space.
The District neither encourages or discourages any particular viewpoint. No library materials that meet the District’s selection criteria shall be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of the author or those contributing to its creation. Selection of materials by the District does not mean endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in those materials. Not all materials will be suitable for all members of the community.
The District shall be responsive to public suggestion of titles and subjects to be included in the library collection when these requests meet selection criteria. Remaining requests may be met through resource sharing with other library systems (interlibrary loan), electronic retrieval, or other means when feasible. Patrons may make purchase suggestions by logging into their library account.
Gifts of materials may be accepted with the understanding that the same standards of selection are applied to gifts as to materials acquired by purchase, and that any gifts may be discarded at the District’s discretion.
The systematic removal of materials is a crucial part of maintaining a collection that has continuing value to the community. An item will be transferred or removed from the collection for any of the following reasons: poor physical condition, obsolete or inaccurate information, insufficient public use, number of copies exceeds demand, availability of similar or more recently published materials in the subject area, and the prohibitive cost of maintaining the material.
The library collection shall be organized and maintained to facilitate access. There shall be no prejudicial labeling, sequestering, or alteration of materials because of controversy surrounding the author or the subject matter.
The Board of Trustees delegates its authority to purchase library materials to the District’s Executive Director and his/her designees.
The Board believes that reading, listening to, and viewing library materials are individual, private matters. Individuals are free to select or reject materials based on personal values; however, they cannot restrict the freedom of others to read, view, or inquire. Only parents or guardians have the right and responsibility to guide and direct the reading, listening, and viewing of their own minor children.While available to provide guidance, library staff members are not responsible for monitoring a child’s use of and selection from library collections.
Persons from the community wishing to request a review of a particular item in the District’s collection may submit a Material Selection Review Formopens PDF file . The request will be reviewed by the Executive Director and staff, bearing in mind the Library’s mission statement and the selection criteria of this collection development policy. The Executive Director, or the Collection Development Manager as his/her designee, will respond within 30 days of receiving the completed review form.
The Executive Director will establish administrative procedures necessary to implement this policy. Any appeal of an administrative action under this policy will first be made in writing to the Executive Director and then to the Board of Trustees. The District will make a good faith effort to implement this policy in a fair and consistent manner.
XIV. Internet Usage Policy
It is the policy of North Central Washington Libraries to set guidelines for the use of any Library District resource, including Library District Network and Hardware (public computing devices, public wired networks,and public wireless networks).
Applicable RCWs and Federal Laws:
RCW 9.68.13018 U.S.C. § 1460opens PDF file
RCW 9.68A.05318 U.S.C. § 1466Aopens PDF file
RCW 9.68A.07018 U.S.C. § 2256opens PDF file
RCW 9.68A.07547 U.S.C. § 223(d)opens PDF file
To deﬁne the conditions and responsibilities associated with in-person use of NCW Libraries-provided public access computing devices, and internet access provided via NCW Libraries’ networks (both wired and wireless).
Statement of Policy:
- In order to protect patron data, internet activity, and our organization networks, as a best-practice the libraries use a content ﬁlter that blocks access to internet resources with known security risks. Security risk categories we currently block include: Peer-to-peer File Sharing, Malicious Websites, Proxy Avoidance, Phishing, Spam URLs, Hacking, and Dynamic DNS.
- In order to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the libraries use a content ﬁlter that blocks access to adult content when attempting to access it from a device on our library networks. Adult content categories we currently block include: Pornography, Child Abuse, Nudity and Risqué.
- Intentionally viewing or printing images that could be considered adult content on any library-owned computing device is prohibited.
- Users of library computing devices and library networks may not:
- Use any computing device located within NCW Libraries or on its networks for any illegal activity, including child pornography, as deﬁned by RCW 9.68A.070 and 9.68A.075.
- Attempt to destroy or damage equipment, software, or data belonging to the library.
- Attempt to alter software conﬁgurations or install software on library computing devices.
- Attempt to bypass ﬁltering or security systems within library-owned networks.
- Make unauthorized use of library accounts, access codes, or network identiﬁcation numbers.
- Make unauthorized copies of copyrighted or other protected material.
- Engage in activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment for the public or staff.
- To help protect patron privacy, Library District computers that are connected to the internet automatically delete history and temporary internet and cache files after each computer session ends. Users should be aware the internet is not a secure medium and third parties may still be able to obtain information regarding the user’s activities. NCW Libraries does not release information to the public on our patrons’ use of internet-connected computers and network resources.
Requests to “Block” or “Unblock” an Internet Website:
No filtering or security technology is 100% effective and may still allow access to information or websites that are objectionable or potentially harmful. Conversely, filters may inadvertently block websites that do not fall within the categories defined above.
A customer may request an internet website be blocked, or unblocked for “bona fide research or other lawful purposes”, by completing an Internet Website Review Form or by contacting library staff.
Requests to block or unblock websites will be reviewed in a timely manner. Decisions to block or unblock a website will typically be made in accordance with Library District guidelines within five (5) business days.
By the enactment of this policy the Board of Trustees of North Central Washington Libraries is concurrently rescinding any prior policy or procedure within NCW Libraries that is either in conflict with or expansive of the matters addressed in this policy.
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) provides United States Code citations for the deﬁnitions of “obscene” (18 U.S.C. § 1460) and “child pornography” (18 U.S.C. § 2256). The Act itself deﬁnes “harmful to minors” in Section 1703 (b)(2). The Full text of CIPA from US Government Printing Ofﬁce may be found here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-106publ554/pdf/PLAW-106publ554.pdf
Federal Communications Commission’s Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Guide: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/childrens-internet-protection-act
XV. Uniform Policy
In order to provide continuity in appearance for public representation of the North Central Washington Libraries District, uniform shirts and/or aprons will be made available to employees who wish to wear them. Guidelines are as follows:
- Shirts and aprons may be worn while representing NCW Libraries.
- Shirts and aprons remain the property of NCW Libraries and must be returned to the Human Resources Department upon resignation or termination of employment, or when deemed to be worn out and unwearable.
- Employee will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the shirts and aprons assigned to them.
- Orders will be placed twice each year, two shirts and/or aprons per employee in the spring and two shirts and/or aprons per employee in the fall. A limited amount of styles and colors will be made available. Information can be obtained from the Human Resources Department.
XVI. Request For Public Records
NCW Libraries records are available for public inspection and duplication as provided by RCW 42.56 Public Records Act. To request public records, complete a Request to Inspect Public Records formopens PDF file . Forms are available hereopens PDF file , at the NCW Libraries Distribution Center and branch libraries.
Section 1. Authority and Purpose.
The Washington State Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW (the “Act”), requires each government agency to make available for inspection and copying nonexempt public records in accordance with published rules. RCW 42.56.070(1). The Act further defines “public record” to include any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained” by the agency. RCW 42.56.070(2) requires each agency to set forth “for informational purposes” every law, in addition to the Act, that exempts or prohibits the production of public records held by that agency.
The purpose of this Policy is to provide rules by which the North Central Washington Libraries, including all branches thereof (“NCWL”), implements the provisions of the Act for NCWL’s public records. This Policy provides information to persons wishing to request access to public records of NCWL and establishes processes for both requestors and NCWL staff that are designed to best assist members of the public in obtaining such access.
Section 2. Interpretation and Construction.
The provisions of this Policy shall be liberally interpreted and construed to promote full access to NCWL’s public records in order to assure continuing public confidence in government: provided, that when making public records available, NCWL shall prevent unreasonable invasions of privacy, shall protect public records from damage, loss, or disorganization, and shall prevent excessive interference with essential government functions.
Section 3. Public Records Index.
- NCWL does hereby formally order that maintaining an index of public records pursuant to RCW 42.56.070 would be unduly burdensome for the following reasons:
- The initial construction and subsequent maintenance of such an index would be a financial burden upon NCWL.
- NCWL does not have sufficient staffing available to initially prepare and subsequently maintain such a comprehensive index.
- NCWL shall make available for public inspection and copying any index maintained by NCWL for NCWL use.
Section 4. Public Records Available – Public Records Officer.
- Public records of NCWL shall be made available for public inspection and copying pursuant to this Policy, except as otherwise provided by law.
- The Public Records Officer shall serve as the official point of contact for members of the public who request disclosure of public records. The Public Records Officer shall be responsible for implementation of and compliance with this Policy and the Public Records Act.
- The Executive Assistant is the Public Records Officer for NCWL. The Public Records Officer may delegate responsibilities as needed to process and complete any response to a public records request pursuant to this Policy.
Section 5. Public Records Requests – How Made.
- Public records may be inspected and/or copies may be obtained under the following procedures:
- A request for public records shall be directed to the Public Records Officer for NCWL. A public records request must be for identifiable records. A request for all or substantially all records prepared, owned, used, or retained by NCWL is not a valid request for identifiable records under this Policy or state law, provided that a request for all records regarding a particular topic or containing a particular keyword or name shall not be considered a request for all of NCWL records.
- A request for public records shall be documented in writing and include the following information:
- The requester’s name, mailing address, and telephone number;
- The date of the request;
- A clear indication that the document is a “Public Records Request;”
- Whether the request is to inspect the public records or for paper or electronic copies of public records, or both;
- A clear description of the public records requested for inspection and/or copying and the office or department having custody of the public records;
- If the request is for a list of individuals, a statement that the list will not be used for any commercial purposes or that the requester is authorized or directed by law to obtain the list of individuals for commercial purposes, with a specific reference to such law; and
- Whether the request is for printed or digital copies of the public record.
- NCWL shall develop and maintain forms to facilitate public record requests. Copies of any such forms shall be made available at NCWL’s administrative offices. Although use of NCWL provided forms is preferred (and may be required by NCWL for requestors that repeatedly fail to comply with this Policy), NCWL may honor email or other written requests including the information contained in subsection A(2) above.
- The Public Records Officer may accept oral requests for public records that contain the above information by telephone or in person. If the Public Records Officer accept such a request, the Public Records Officer will confirm receipt of the information and the substance of the request in writing. The confirmation will be deemed the correct statement of the scope of the request unless the requestor responds with a different statement of the scope of the request.
- Records requests may only encompass records existing as of the date of the request. A request cannot be used to obtain copies of records not yet in existence.
Section 6. Response to Public Records Requests.
- The Public Records Officer shall, to the extent practicable, assist requesters in identifying the public records sought.
- NCWL is not obligated to allow inspection or provide a copy of a public record on demand.
- Within five (5) business days after receiving a public records request, the Public Records Officer shall respond to the request in writing. The Public Records Officer shall make one or more of the following responses:
- The request for inspection of public records is approved and indicating whether an appointment for inspection needs to be scheduled by the requester;
- The request for copies of public records is approved and indicating that copies of requested records are enclosed with the response;
- The request for copies or inspection of public records is approved, and indicating that the responsive records are available on or through NCWL website (with either a link or instructions to locate records online);
- The request has been received by the Public Records Officer; indicating that additional time is needed to respond to the request; and, stating a reasonable estimate of the time required to respond;
- The request has been received by the Public Records Officer and indicating the records shall be provided on a partial or installment basis as the records are identified, located, assembled and/or made ready for inspection or copying;
- The request is denied, in whole or in part, whether by withholding a requested record or redacting a requested record, stating the specific exemption(s) prohibiting disclosure and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to each withheld and redacted record;
- There are no records responsive to the request; and/or
- Notifying the requestor that the Public Records Officer does not understand the request and requesting that the requestor clarify the request to enable the Public Records Officer to respond to the same.
- Any response providing an estimate of the additional time needed must be based upon criteria that can be articulated and may be presented in the response estimating the additional time needed. For example, additional time may be needed under the following circumstances:
- To request clarification from the requestor if the request is unclear or does not sufficiently identify the requested records. Such clarification may be requested and provided by telephone or email. If the clarification is made by telephone, the Public Records Officer will confirm the scope of the clarification in writing. The confirmation will be deemed the correct statement of the scope of the request unless the requestor responds with a different statement of the scope. If the requestor fails to timely clarify the request, the Public Records Officer will fulfill any portion of the request that is reasonably understood by the Public Records Officer, if possible, and cancel and close the remaining request;
- To locate and assemble the information requested;
- To notify third persons or agencies in the event the requested records contain information that may affect rights of others and may be exempt from production. Such notice should be given so as to make it possible for those other persons to contact the requestor and ask him or her to revise the request, or, if necessary, seek an order from a court to prevent or limit the disclosure. The notice to the affected persons will include a copy of the request or a statement of the request if no written request was received; or
- To determine whether any of the information requested is exempt from production and that a denial should be made as to all or part of the request.
- When a request for public records is received that concerns a subject known to involve litigation that is pending, threatened or anticipated, the Public Records Officer shall promptly notify the NCWL Attorney of the request. Copies of the request, all correspondence between the Public Records Officer and the requester, and copies of the public records provided to the requester shall be delivered to the NCWL Attorney. The requester shall not be charged for copies delivered to the NCWL Attorney.
- If the Public Records Officer does not respond in writing within five business days of receipt of the request for disclosure, the requestor should consider contacting the Public Records Officer to determine the reason for the failure to respond.
Section 7. Exempt Records.
- NCWL hereby adopts the list of laws maintained by the Municipal Research Services Center of Washington (MRSC) as the list containing every law, other than those specifically set forth in the Act or interpretive case law, which NCWL believes exempts or otherwise prohibits disclosure of specific records or information of NCWL. Public records and information exempt from disclosure under the Act or any other law are exempt from disclosure under this Policy whether or not such exemption is on any list of exemptions adopted, published, or maintained by NCWL.
- If a record is exempt from production and should be withheld, the Public Records Officer will prepare an exemption log stating the specific exemption and providing a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record being withheld. If only a portion of a record is exempt from production, but the remainder is not exempt, the Public Records Officer will redact the exempt portions, produce the nonexempt portions, and indicate to the requestor why portions of the record are being redacted.
Section 8. Locating Responsive Records
- A requestor must request an “identifiable record” or “class of records” before NCWL must respond. An identifiable record is one that NCWL staff can reasonably locate. The Act does not allow a requestor to search through NCWL files for records which cannot be reasonably identified or described to NCWL.
- Requests for information are not public records requests. The NCWL is not required to conduct legal research for a requestor.
- NCWL is not required to create records to respond to a request. However, with prior approval of the requestor, NCWL may create a record if doing so would simplify the response for NCWL and provide the requestor with the records or information requested. NCWL will determine, in its sole discretion, if a record may be created in order to facilitate a response to a public record request.
- In order to prevent excessive interference with essential functions of NCWL, NCWL shall not search backup or security systems for copies of public records when the originals of such records have been identified, located and are available for inspection and/or copying.
- When requests are made for electronic records that may be contained on personal devices, the Public Records Office and/or NCWL staff or officials whose records have been requested may be required to complete a declaration confirming that they have located, retrieved and transferred records responsive to the request (if any) to the Public Records Officer. In the event a declaration is prepared, it will be provided with the responsive records (if any) or other correspondence from the Public Records Officer to complete the response to the request.
Section 9. Production of Records
- Public records may be inspected at NCWL administrative office during normal business hours when the administrative office is open to the public. However, NCWL is not required to allow inspection immediately upon a demand.
- The Public Records Officer may request that the person seeking to inspect public records schedule an appointment for inspection.
- No member of the public may remove a document from the viewing area or disassemble or alter any document.
- The requestor shall indicate which documents he or she wishes NCWL to copy or scan, if any, and provide payment for those copies or scans.
- The requestor must claim or review the assembled records within 30 days of the Public Records Officer’s notification that the records are available for inspection or copying/scanning. The Public Records Officer will notify the requestor, in writing, of this requirement and inform the requestor that he or she should contact the Public Records Officer to make arrangements to claim or review the records. If the requestor or a representative of the requestor fails to claim or review the records within the 30-day period or make other arrangements, the Public Records Officer may close the request and re-file the assembled records.
- When the request is for a large number of records, the Public Records Officer may provide access for inspection and copying in installments, if the Public Records Officer reasonably determines that it would be practical to provide the records in that manner. If, within 30 days, the requestor fails to inspect the entire set of records or one or more of the installments, the Public Records Officer may stop searching for the remaining records and close the request.
- In the event a requestor fails or refuses to timely inspect available records, to clarify a request within a requested timeframe, to pay the deposit, or to make payment for any requested copies, the Public Records Officer will close the request and so inform the requestor.
- If, after the Public Records Officer has informed the requestor that he or she has provided all available records, the Public Records Officer becomes aware of additional responsive documents existing at the time of the request that had not been provided previously, the Public Records Officer will promptly inform the requestor of the additional documents and provide them on an expedited basis.
Section 10. Costs of Providing Copies of Public Records.
- No fee shall be charged for the inspection of public records. Fees shall be charged, as further set forth below, for any copies of records that are requested during an inspection.
- No fee shall be charged for locating public documents and making them available for copying or inspection.
- NCWL has not calculated the actual cost to provide copies of public records as doing so would be unduly burdensome to NCWL staff. As a result, NCWL charges the maximum fees and charges authorized to be charged for providing paper and electronic copies of public records set forth in RCW 42.56.120, as existing or hereafter amended. NCWL shall charge the following:
- The maximum per page copy charge set forth in RCW 42.56.120(2)(b(i), as existing or hereafter amended, for photocopies of public records, printed copies of electronic public records when requested by the person requesting records, or for the use of NCWL equipment to photocopy public records.
- The maximum per page copy charge set forth in RCW 42.56.120(2)(b)(ii), as existing or hereafter amended, for public records scanned into an electronic format or for the use of NCWL equipment to scan the records.
- The maximum per file charge set forth in RCW 42.56.120(2)(b)(iii), as existing or hereafter amended for each four electronic files or attachment uploaded to email, cloud-based data storage service, or other means of electronic delivery.
- The maximum per gigabyte charge set forth in RCW 42.56.120(2)(b)(iv), as existing or hereafter amended, for the transmission of public records in an electronic format or for the use of agency equipment to send the records electronically.
- Actual costs of any digital media or device provided by NCWL and/or the actual costs of any container or envelope used to mail or provide copies to the requestor.
- Actual costs to reproduce other non-standard size documents shall be charged.
- Actual mailing costs shall be charged.
- In addition to the charges imposed for providing copies of public records set forth above, NCWL may include a customized service charge for responses to certain requests. A customized service charge may only be imposed if NCWL determines that the request would require the use of information technology expertise to prepare data compilations, or provide customized electronic access services when such compilations and customized access services are not used by NCWL for other NCWL purposes.
- The customized service charge may reimburse NCWL up to the actual cost of providing the services in this subsection.
- NCWL may not assess a customized service charge unless the Public Records Officer, or designee, has notified the requestor of the customized service charge to be applied to the request, including an explanation of why the customized service charge applies, a description of the specific expertise, and a reasonable estimate cost of the charge. The notice also must provide the requestor the opportunity to amend his or her request in order to avoid or reduce the cost of a customized service charge.
- The Public Records Officer is authorized to request a pre-payment deposit in an amount estimated to cover up to ten percent (10%) of the actual copying and mailing costs. If the deposit is not paid as requested, the Public Records Officer will cancel the request.
- To the extent any statute provides a specific charge for reproduction of records, NCWL will charge the amount authorized pursuant to the other statutes rather than as provided under the act.
- NCWL must receive payment, in full, for the costs and charges to provide the records, including any installment of records, as authorized by this chapter on or before the date the records are made available to the requestor. NCWL will not mail or otherwise release records until payment has been received for the available records or installment of records. Failure to pay for or pick up any records or installment of records within 30 days of notice of availability of the records will result in cancellation of the request for public records.
Section 11. Electronic Records.
- NCWL produces and maintains data in electronic records to maximize efficiency in fulfilling its basic public service functions. Electronic records are public records subject to disclosure under the Act and this Policy, unless exempt from disclosure under state or federal law. The process for requesting electronic public records is the same as for requesting paper public records.
- If public records are requested in an electronic format, the Public Records Officer will provide the nonexempt records or portions of such records that are reasonably locatable in an electronic format that is used by NCWL and is generally commercially available, or in a format that is reasonably translatable from the format in which NCWL keeps the record. However, if an electronic record necessitates redaction due to an exemption, NCWL is under no obligation to provide the redacted record electronically.
- At the option of the Public Records Officer, and if acceptable to the requester, electronic records may be printed and provided in paper format. If the electronic record is large and/or not capable of being printed in an understandable format, then the electronic record may be provided in the digital format in which the record is maintained by NCWL. NCWL does not have the obligation to convert an electronic record to a digital or other format that is different than the format maintained by NCWL.
- Fees for providing electronic records in electronic form shall be based on the actual cost of the media used to provide the records. Overhead for information system acquisition and maintenance shall not be included in such fees. The fees for providing electronic records are set forth in Section 10, above.
- NCWL does not warrant or in any way guarantee the accuracy or completeness of electronic records.
Section 12. Review of Denials of Public Records Requests.
- Any person who objects to the denial of a request for a public record, including an alleged failure to produce responsive records, may petition NCWL’s Executive Director for prompt review of such decision by delivering a written request to NCWL’s Executive Director and including all written responses by the Public Records Officer denying the request.
- NCWL’s Executive Director shall affirm, modify or reverse the denial in writing within seven (7) business days following receipt of the written request for review, or within such other time to which NCWL and the requestor may mutually agree.
- A requester’s administrative remedies shall not be deemed exhausted until NCWL’s Executive Director has made a written decision or until the close of the seventh business day following receipt by NCWL’s Executive Director of the request for review of the public records request, whichever occurs first.
- NCWL shall be deemed to have made a final decision denying a request for public records only after a review conducted under this section has been completed, or a failure to timely review has occurred.
Section 13. Protection of Public Records.
- The Public Records Officer shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that records requested are not misplaced, mistreated, or misfiled by members of the public during inspections and not removed from NCWL. Original public records shall not be released to the public for any purpose.
- If a public record request is made at a time when a record exists, but the record is scheduled for destruction in the near future, the Public Records Officer shall direct that the record be retained until the request is resolved. NCWL shall not destroy any record scheduled for destruction that may be responsive to a pending request for public records. Any such record may only be destroyed upon completion of the request.
Section 14. Copies of Policy Available to Public.
Copies of this Policy and public records request forms shall be available to and provided to the public, without cost, at NCWL’s main office. Copies of this Policy may also be made available, without cost, on NCWL’s website.
PUBLIC RECORDS RETENTION & DESTRUCTION POLICY
Section 1. Purpose
This policy is established with the purpose of meeting NCWL’s legal requirements, reducing costs associated with office space, and increasing efficiency, while ensuring that public records of permanent or archival value are preserved and obsolete records destroyed. In compliance with Chapter 40.14 RCW and Title 434 WAC, as each exist now or are hereafter amended, this policy provides for the systematic review, retention and destruction or disposition of records created, received, owned and/or used by NCWL in connection with the transaction of organization business (“public records”). This policy covers all public records, regardless of physical form, and contains guidelines for how long public records should be kept and how public records should be destroyed.
Section 2. Record Retention
NCWL shall retain, store, and dispose of all public records as required by the Local Government Common Record Retention Schedules and any other Local Government Record Retention Schedules applicable to NCWL promulgated by the Washington State Secretary of State Archives Division, as each Schedule exists or is hereafter amended (“Retention Schedules”). NCWL shall also retain any record scheduled for destruction pursuant to the Retention Schedules that is the subject of a pending request for public records or litigation until the request or litigation has been completed.
Section 3. Electronic Records
- Electronic records will be retained using the same Retention Schedules as if they were paper documents. Therefore, any electronic files or records that fall into one of the record types set forth on the applicable Retention Schedule shall be maintained for the appropriate amount of time as set forth in the Retention Schedule.
- Electronic records shall be retained and stored in an electronic format in order to remain usable, searchable, retrievable and authentic for the length of the designated retentions period.
Section 4. Record Storage
NCWL’s public records, both paper and electronic, shall be stored in a safe, secure and accessible manner. To the extent possible, electronic records will be backed up daily.
Section 5. Record Disposition
- NCWL shall cause any public record that is authorized for destruction by the Retention Schedules and no longer needed by NCWL to be destroyed in compliance with Chapter 40.14 RCW and Chapter 434-640, as each currently exist or are hereafter amended. The NCWL shall have discretion to determine the method of disposal or destruction based upon the type of record and the sensitivity or confidentiality of such record.
- NCWL shall protect records exempt from disclosure pursuant to Chapter 42.56 RCW, as existing or hereafter amended, or which are otherwise considered confidential, from unauthorized access during any disposal process. NCWL shall reduce any such records to an illegible condition.
- NCWL may cause public records eligible for destruction to be recycled in compliance with WAC 434-640-030 as existing or hereafter amended.
- Public records with archival or other “permanent” or “lifetime” retention requirements shall not be destroyed, and will be transferred to the Public Records Officer for further disposition, including transfer to the state archives or other acceptable storage mechanism.
- Records that are relevant to a pending public record request, litigation, or potential litigation (i.e., a dispute that could result in litigation), must be preserved until the records are no longer needed. This exception supersedes any previously or subsequently established Retention Schedule for the applicable records.
- NCWL shall, to the extent reasonably possible, document the destruction of public records with a retention period greater than six years. Any such destruction log shall include the following information: disposition authority; title or name of record series; date range of records being destroyed; type and quantity of records or media (i.e. 1,200 emails, one 375 page report, etc); and the signature of the person creating the log.
XVII. Social Media Policy
North Central Washington Libraries selects and uses social media tools as a way to encourage communication, collaboration and engagement among NCW Libraries staff, library patrons and the general public. Social media refers to but is not limited to application software and content sharing sites like blogs, forums, Flickr, YouTube, wikis, social networks, Pinterest, and Twitter. This policy refers to any application software, online content, or sites created, hosted or maintained by library staff including the NCW Libraries website.
NCW Libraries has no affiliation with any advertisements or other material posted by third party sites or software. NCW Libraries is not responsible for the content on the pages of friends, fans, or followers of the library. Posts made by the public do not constitute NCW Libraries endorsement of those images, ideas, issues, hyperlinks or comments. Comments are moderated by library staff and NCW Libraries reserves the right to deny or remove any comments, tags and/or images that violate the law, the rights of any third party, or library policies.
Interacting with NCW Libraries Online
By choosing to comment on NCW Libraries social media sites or the NCW Libraries website, public users agree to these terms:
Users have a responsibility to protect the privacy of individuals and should not post personally identifying information. All content on NCW Libraries social media sites are subject to public records retention laws. Users may not post comments, tags and images that include, but not limited to:
- Threatening language and personal attacks
- Copyright infringement/plagiarized material
- Political advocacy
- Sexual content or links to sexual content
- Private, personal information published without consent
- Posts that violate laws or library policies
XVIII. Asset Management Policy
- PURPOSE The purpose of this policy is to establish criteria for the identification, inventory, and protection of NCW Libraries’ Capital Assets and Small and Attractive Assets and disposition of all assets.
Any items purchased by NCW Libraries that have an actual cost of $5,000 or more (including sales tax, accessories, and shipping) and an estimated life of (1) year or more shall be considered a Capital Asset. Any item that is donated and has a current market value of $5,000 and a useful life of one (1) year or more shall be considered a Capital Asset. This threshold is applied to individual assets rather than to an aggregation of assets.Small and Attractive Assets
Small and Attractive Assets are items costing less than $5,000 but more than $300 that are particularly vulnerable to loss such as electronic devices (e.g. laptops, iPads, cell phones) and equipment.
Print materials, DVDs, CDs, and other library collection material intended for customers’ use are not considered Capital Assets or Small and Attractive Assets for the purposes of this policy.
- IMPLEMENTATIONRisk Assessment
An annual risk assessment shall be established by the Executive Director to determine which assets or asset categories are small and attractive assets. A list of Small and Attractive Assets will be maintained.
All Capital Assets and all Small and Attractive Assets shall have a numbered identifying tag attached when purchased. A record of these assets and related tag number shall be maintained. A physical inventory of all Capital Assets and all Small and Attractive Assets will be conducted a minimum of once a year. Certain Capital Assets, such as land, infrastructure, buildings, and improvements other than buildings, do not require a physical inventory due to their stationary nature.
NCW Libraries shall adequately maintain its Capital Assets and Small and Attractive Assets to protect its investment and to minimize future maintenance and replacement costs. The Executive Director shall establish an internal control structure for Capital Assets and Small and Attractive Assets that provides reasonable assurance of effective and efficient operations, reliable tracking and reporting, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
When it is determined that NCW Libraries no longer needs an asset, it will declare those assets to be surplus. Items with a value of less than $1,000 may be removed from the inventory list and surplus upon the direction of the department head where the item resides. Items with a value between $1,000 and $4,999 may be removed from the inventory list and surplus upon the direction of the Execgive Director. Items with a value between $5,000 and $49,999 may be removed from the inventory list and surplus upon authorization of a Resolution of the Board of Trustees. Items with a value exceeding $50,000 may only be declared surplus by Resolution of the Board of Trustees, following a public hearing as set forth in RCW 39.33.020. Prior to disposal, items listed on the District assets inventory shall be removed from the inventory and property tags shall be removed.Only property having more than a nominal monetary value need be formally declared surplus. Property that is obsolete, broken, has no useful purpose, and is of nominal or no value will be disposed of by the most appropriate and cost effective method, recycling if possible and economically feasible, with the approval of the responsible department head.The responsable department head is authorized to accept trade-in allowances on any item of equipment being replaced or upgraded for which a trade-in allowance is offered. Items declared surplus, that are in good working order and are not traded-in are sold through public auction or publicly advertised sale with any proceeds from such sale being deposited to the General Fund of the Library. The Library may conduct such auctions or sales, or participate in sales or auctions conducted by other government agencies, and in sales or auctions conducted by public electronic auction sites, as authorized by the Executive Director.
In an instance where an item of surplus inventory is determined by the Executive Director to have unusual, historic or artistic value, such items may be referred to the Board for determination of value. Determining value may require the services of a professional appraiser or outside expert opinion
The Executive Director is responsible for establishing administrative procedures necessary to carry out this policy.