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May 20, 2024

What is Glenview Public Library hiding?

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 21, 2015

Glenview, IL. (ECWd) –
After receiving a tip of an unusual FOIA response from the Glenview Public Library, I submitted my own to see if the same response came back to me.
It did.
The Glenview Library responded to my Freedom of Information Act request for public records by claiming two things:

  1. – That I did not “prove” I would not use the document for commercial purposes, and,
  2. – That I did not provide any information concerning the principal purpose of the request.

Based on that, they placed my in a commercial requester category and claim they have 21 days to provide the records. Wrong.
The Freedom of Information Act does not require a requester to “prove” anything. It does require a requester to state whether the request is commercial or non-commercial “if asked”, but there is nothing that mandates proof of non-commercial status. After all, how would a normal person “prove” what he would or would not do with a public record after he received it? Other than simply stating it is not for commercial purposes, there really is no proof that can be provided. I did state it was noncommercial when I requested the information. I complied with Section 3.1(c).
Oh, the other things they can do with a commercial request? Charge extra fees, like $10 per hour to search for and retrieve records (after the first 8 hours), charge for retrieving off-site stored documents. Now you know why they attempt to place everyone under a commercial request.
Next, nothing in the Act requires anyone to provide any information concerning the principal purpose of the request (unless using the “News Media” exception to commercial requests).  However, with my specifically stating “this is not a commercial request”, the news media exception did not apply – even though it was also included in the request.
Their own suggested FOIA request form doesn’t even ask for proof of anything, so am I to believe that if I had used their own form, nothing would be required to be proven?
One thing we have noticed in the years we have been looking at public bodies and public officials, is that when their first reaction is to fight against disclosing public records, there must be something that needs looked at. So, congrats Glenview Public Library, you have piqued our interest!
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  • Dan Smith
    Posted at 10:35h, 21 August

    They can’t ask for the purpose of the request, can they?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 12:24h, 21 August

      The law doesn’t specifically allow a public body to ask what the purpose of the request is, however, when claiming a request is for media purpose, the statute says media is exempt from being labeled as a commercial request if the information is being used to “access and disseminate to the public” or to write “articles of opinion”. It does not matter if the articles are sold or distributed for free.
      So the question is, is the presumption that media will use the records for those intended purposes? I believe it to be just that, if a request states it is from media, they may be able to ask that you prove you are media (which we have no problems with that), but I believe beyond proof you are media, the burden us on the public body.

      • SafeLibraries
        Posted at 02:29h, 24 August

        The “blount” and “mitch” trolls, and they are trolls as they always attack people and never address issues expect as a means to attack people, have been writing on Illinois Leaks for, what, years now? In my opinion, there is zero chance they are not directly connected to OPPL. Once the OPPL/Megan Fox/Kevin DuJan news stops, those trolls will evaporate. They are either OPPL people themselves or their family members, or their family friends. Whomever they may be, the goal of the troll is to perpetuate the child pornography that to this day remains available and set for coverup in OPPL. That’s the purpose of the library and the trolls, give in on the little stuff but keep the child porn flowing.

  • blount
    Posted at 21:42h, 21 August

    It certainly would be interesting to see what you FOIA’ed. Sounds like you are saying “if you don’t provide what we want, wheninvoice when the prewe want it, you’re ready to tear a public library apart looking for what?
    I would imagine the Glenview Library is going over the FOIA request carefully, because they don’t want to deal with all this nuttiness.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 21:56h, 21 August

      When a public body’s first response is to try and keep from providing public records, they are hiding something, and I intend to find out what it is.
      There is nothing to “go over”, their only response should be to provide the records, not to “go over them” to keep from giving out info that might bite them on their backsides. Provide it. Period.

      • blount
        Posted at 08:20h, 22 August

        ****Comment deleted by moderator: If you want to talk about what someone else does on their facebook pages or otherwise, talk to them. If you want to discuss what we post on this site, feel free to discuss.******

        • blount
          Posted at 13:01h, 22 August

          Sorry you feel that way. You stance that you are being treated unfairly by the Glenview Public Library because they are not treating you as a news media outlet, but a noncommercial requestor may be due in part to the association you have built with other internet posters who have clearly not acted with integrity with some of the information produced by their FOIAs. Nothing I said was untrue, but it may have made you rather uncomfortable. Hence the need to delete.

          • jmkraft
            Posted at 16:19h, 22 August

            I am not upset they are not treating me as media, as I can prove that anytime the situation or law requires me to prove it. What I am upset about is that they think they can require someone to prove it won’t be for commercial purposes. All the Act requires is that a person states yes or no – it does not require proof by the requester, only an answer.