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May 16, 2022

Orland Park Library Director fails in Reading Comprehension –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On April 18, 2014

ORLAND PARK (ECWd) –
Over the past couple of months, we have marveled at the lack of reading comprehension shown by the Orland Park Public Library Director and its FOIA Officer. I would think comprehension of materials read would be a requirement for the $187,214 per year job.
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The only other excuse would be that they are intentionally violating the law.
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“No Responsive Records”

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Library Director (Mary Weimar) and their spokesman (Bridget Bittman) were the featured speakers at a “Crisis Communications Workshop” that was held on December 17th, 2013. We found the website posting about this after the fact, after it already happened. The Illinois Library Association and the American Library Association also took part.
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The goal was to get the word out to other libraries about the public relations “crisis” the OPPL has been experiencing, because the ALA apparently believes it is part of some bigger effort to bring down all libraries, which is completely untrue. This has been a common theme among a variety of public bodies when they start to field questions from the public – “You are just trying to destroy the County, City, Library, Water District, (insert any other name here)”. The real point is that they must follow the law, the same as everyone else, and they must realize that they work for the public – not the other way around.
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So, the ILA, the ALA, Weimar, and Bittman have a big event that’s a video conference on 12/17/13 to talk about Kevin and Megan (FOIA Requestors) and to teach other libraries how to destroy their critics and thwart document production and all the other things that the Orland Park Public Library has been doing, with Weimar and Bittman being used as examples of how people should be treated when they dare question the library. That is like sending Rod Blagojevich out on a speaking tour and having him talk to government agencies about how to act ethically in office.
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The Library has been lying and hiding all documents related to that December 17th event. They claim they have no emails, letters, faxes, NOTHING involving planning, confirming, setting up, participating in, or orchestrating that event. That’s just not believable. There is a ton of paperwork that goes into every single event that happens involving any public body. These people love forms.
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You mean to tell me for this one event that they suddenly decided to not do their usual habits of confirming and reconfirming and sending everything out in triplicate?  Also, these people are big on patting themselves on the back for everything. You mean to tell me that after this event the people who participated didn’t network and send thank you emails or even cards in the mail praising and thanking Weimar and Bittman?
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Back in March, Kevin asked them in a FOIA for all these documents and on 3/18/14 the Library claimed it had no documents responsive to the FOIA. Now the AG is investigating it.
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ECWd Suggestions
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Mary Weimar and Bridget Bittman, please read these short paragraphs that explain the legislative intent of the law, and keep reading them until you can figure out their true meaning:
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Pursuant to the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of government, it is declared to be the public policy of the State of Illinois that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them as public officials and public employees consistent with the terms of this Act. Such access is necessary to enable the people to fulfill their duties of discussing public issues fully and freely, making informed political judgments and monitoring government to ensure that it is being conducted in the public interest.

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Presumption. All records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying. Any public body that asserts that a record is exempt from disclosure has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that it is exempt.

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The Illinois Freedom Of Information Act is located HERE, and remember this: You do not get to make up your own rules.
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Just in case you decide to take advice from Arcola Township and get rid of records you don’t want people to see, the Illinois Local Records Act has that one covered too, and you must receive permission from them prior to eliminating the offending public records. See?, you can’t make up your own rules for that either.
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1 Comment
  • beelady
    Posted at 21:15h, 18 April

    I can’t stop laughing. I go from being angry to laughing my head off. What is wrong with these people???

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