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July 13, 2024

Decatur Library violates Freedom of Information Act – redacts entire page –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On November 16, 2019

Decatur, IL. (ECWd) –

The Decatur Library has apparently decided that only certain people can have access to its unredacted public records.

Here is what happened:

A library critic sent a request for records concerning communications with the Decatur Police Department.

The Library’s attorney returned a document with nearly the entire page redacted (see it here).

He requested the exact same record from the Decatur Police Department, who provided it with only minimal redactions (here).

After hearing about the unlawful redactions by the Library, I requested the same document and it was provided to me, unredacted (here).

This begs the question of why the Library redacted the public record for one person, and provided it unredacted to another person. Would the American Library Association consider this a violation of their “Freedom to Read” policy?

We know this violates FOIA, but wonder how much public funds the Library will expend to keep from providing the unredacted letter to the original requester – it’s not like he doesn’t already know what’s in it.



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  • jannie
    Posted at 13:36h, 16 November Reply

    Does anyone else see the irony in all this?

  • Dave
    Posted at 13:45h, 16 November Reply

    I smell coverup

  • Dave
    Posted at 13:52h, 16 November Reply

    Decatur Library Board, we haven’t forgotten about what amounts to a taxpayer funded vacation in Scotland. At a time when tax payers dollars are as scarce as hens teeth

  • Paul K.
    Posted at 23:36h, 14 January Reply

    Aside of the original FOIA return, an excrutiating read for anyone claiming to be friendly to the Decatur Public Library.

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