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University Libraries Policies: Privacy & Confidentiality Policies

Public Records Requests

In order to facilitate prompt compliance with the Ohio Public Records Act (Ohio Revised code 149.43), all persons seeking to inspect or obtain copies of University records are expected to comply with this policy. This policy does not apply to the use of records for official University business by authorized individuals or to persons who desire to inspect or obtain copies of their own records.

Requests to inspect or copy public records may be made to either the Office of General Counsel (in person at 215 Roudebush Hall, by telephone - 529-6734; or via email to generalcounsel@muohio.edu); or to the News and Public Information Office (in person at 102 Glos, by telephone - 529-7592, or via email to newsinfo@muohio.edu.

If a request is made directly to any other University Office, staff are expected to immediately contact the Office of General Counsel to begin the process. The person making the request need not reveal their identity and are not required to put their request in writing.

It is the responsibility of the requestor of public records to identify with clarity the records that are sought. The University is under no duty to seek out and retrieve records that contain specific information. For example, a request for any and all records containing any reference to a particular person or subject is overly broad and inappropriate. Miami is under no obligation to create a record that contains the information requested if it does not already exist.

Inspection is permitted during regular University business hours (8:00 a.m. p- 5:00 p.m.). However, not all records are available for copying upon demand. Records must often be reviewed and non-public information redacted before copying will be permitted. Copies will be provided within a reasonable period of time following the request. The amount of time will depend upon the number of records requested, the need for legal review, and the need to redact non-public information. Costs must be paid in advance before copies will be provided.

When a public records request is made to examine a personnel file, the employee, to the extent practicable, will be notified that his or her records have been requested, and, if known, the name of the individual making the request.

If a request is denied, in whole or in part, an explanation will be provided. If you are dissatisfied with the response to a public records request, please contact the Office of General Counsel for assistance.

Video Surveillance Policy

The Miami University Libraries employ a video surveillance network system to assist in protecting our resources and providing security for our patrons.

The purpose of video monitoring of the Miami University Libraries is to assist in deterring theft or destruction of the Miami University Libraries' materials, as well as the personal property of library clients, and to assist the staff in monitoring unauthorized entry into the Miami University Libraries or unacceptable activity within.

  • Information obtained through video monitoring will be used exclusively for security, disciplinary, Library, and University policy enforcement and/or law enforcement purposes.
  • Security camera screen shots and/or printouts of security camera screen shots may be stored for a period not to exceed thirty days, with the exception of video surveillance system located in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections, which may be kept for 6 months. They will then be erased or destroyed by a Miami University Libraries' staff member, unless the materials are retained as part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings (criminal or civil), or other bona fide use as approved by the Dean and University Librarian or her designee.
  • Access to video monitoring footage is limited only to Miami University Libraries' staff as authorized by the Dean and University Librarian or her designee or public safety officers. Video monitoring will be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner. System operators will receive a copy of this policy and must provide acknowledgment that they have read and understand its contents.
  • Video monitoring of the Miami University Libraries will be conducted in a manner consistent with all existing university policies including but not limited to those articulated in MUPIM, the University's non-discrimination policy, its sexual harrassment policy, and other relevant policies.

Valuing the tenets articulated in the ALA Library Bill of Rights, this policy should in no way be used to violate the standards of freedom of access t our libraries or library materials as defined in the Bill of Rights.

Adapted in part from the Princeton University "Video Surveillance Policy"
Last Updated: May 2006