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Freedom of Information Act

A brief description of the Waukegan Public Library:

A. Waukegan Public Library puts quality in people’s lives, first and foremost, through reading and educational support, as well as by providing opportunities to gather and be entertained.  We accomplish this by listening to constituent’s needs, identifying community issues, and responding with relevant solutions while managing resources responsibly.

B. An organizational chart available as a printable document.

C. The operating budget for FY2014 is $4,314,000.

D. Funding sources are property taxes, state and federal grants, fines, charges, and donations. Tax levies are for corporate purposes (general operating expenditures).

E. The office is located at: Waukegan Public Library, 128 North County Street, Waukegan, Illinois 60085 (847) 623-2041 (p), (847) 623-2094 (f). There is one branch location: 800 North Baldwin Road, Waukegan, Illinois 60085 (847) 263-8077 (p). The School Bookmobile serves all Waukegan Public School District #60 in grades one through three.

F. The library has approximately persons employed:

  • Full-time: 34
  • Part-time: 27

The literacy program, which is funded by grants, includes one full-time and two part-time staff.

G.  Pursuant to Section 120/7.3 of the Open Meetings Act, a certified list of employees whose salary and benefit packages are $75,000 or greater is available for inspection at the Waukegan Public Library business office, located at 128 North County Street, Waukegan, IL.  The office is open from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday.  Please contact the business office at 847-623-2041 for more information.

H. The Waukegan Public Library is a component of the City of Waukegan. It is governed by a nine member board who are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Waukegan. The Waukegan Public Library Board of Trustees exercise control over the library as pursuant to Illinois Local Library Act.  The board meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm in the Board Room of the library, unless rescheduled and notice given in accordance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

I. The library is required to report and be answerable for its operations to: Illinois State Library, Springfield, Illinois. Its members are: State Librarian, Jesse White (Secretary of State); Director of State Library, Ann Craig, and various other staff. 

Information and records are available to the public in the following manner:

A. Submit a written request via either the U.S. Postal Service or email, directed to:
Linda Gfesser
FOIA Officer, Administrative Office
128 North County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085
lindagfesser [at] waukeganpl [dot] info

B. Indicate whether the information requested is for “commercial purpose”(1) in request (2).

C. Specify if the records requested are to be disclosed for inspection or to be copied. If you desire that any records be certified, you must specify which ones.

D. There will be no charge at this time for copying of requested records.

E. If the records are kept in electronic format, a specific format may be requested and if feasible, will be so provided. If not, records will be provided either in the electronic format in which they are maintained (which will require payment by the requestor of the actual cost of the medium only, i.e., disc, thumb drive, etc.) or on paper, if quantity is not in excess.

F. The office will respond to a written request within five (5) working days or sooner, if possible. An extension of an additional five (5) working days may be necessary to properly respond.

G. Records may be inspected or copied. If inspected, an employee must be present throughout the inspection. The records will be available for inspection during the library hours of 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday at Waukegan Public Library Business Office, 128 North County Street, Waukegan, Illinois 60085.

H. Certain types of information maintained by us are exempt from inspection and copying; however, the following types of records are maintained under our control and are available on the library website or through a FOIA request:

  • Monthly Financial Statements
  • Annual Receipts and Disbursements Reports
  • Budget and Appropriation Ordinances
  • Operating Budgets
  • Annual Audits
  • Minutes of the Board of Library Trustees
  • Library Policies
  • Adopted Ordinances and Resolutions of the Board
  • Annual Reports to the Illinois State Library

For more information on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, go to the website posted by the Illinois Attorney General.

(1)”Commercial purpose” is defined in the Act as “the use of any part of a public record or records, or information derived from public records, in any form for sale, resale, or solicitation or advertisement for sales or services.” However, there are exceptions for news media, non-profits, scientific and academic organizations or disseminate news, articles or opinions of public interest, or research or education.

(2)In the event a “commercial interest” is involved, additional questions can be asked of the requestor by the public body FOIA officer in order to determine the classification, then the public body has up to 21 days to respond and either deny the request based on exemptions or undue burden; or estimate the time and cost of the copying from prepayment; or provide the documents requested.