Public Library Circulation, Anonymized Patron Access Records, and Budget Information

Bree Norlander filed this request with the Enoch Pratt Free Library of Maryland.
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Completed

Communications

From: Bree Norlander


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

1. Total circulation of library materials (broken down by material type) for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. Please provide these as aggregated monthly totals for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. If possible please include the following details:

-Total physical item circulation (delineated by first time check-outs versus renewals)
-Total number of circulations of electronic materials
-Total circulation
-Electronic Content Use
-Total Collection Use

2. Lost library items aggregated monthly for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

3. Patron circulation records including material due dates and material return dates for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. If possible, please provide these as hashed (de-identified but with unique key per patron).

4. Annual itemized library budget 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 including any donations made to the library. Please provide a record of donations collected aggregated monthly for these years. Please also provide a description of how donations are solicited.

5. The total revenue of fines and total revenue of fees collected 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

6. The current library policy on fines and fees and the date this policy took effect as well as dates of changes to the policy between 2016 and today.

7. The definition (if any) your library uses for "active borrower".

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This request is part of a research project by the Information School at the University of Washington to better understand how removal of library fines affects library circulation, patron visits, and library budgets. We are committed to open access and plan to make our findings broadly available to the public. If fees cannot be waived please inform us in advance.

We ask that, if possible, you please respond via email with data files in machine-readable format (examples include .csv, .txt., .xls/x) or if applicable text documents or clear, high-quality scanned PDFs. If you cannot reply electronically, please mail us the best quality copies you reasonably can. Your efforts help us ensure broad accessibility and equity.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Bree Norlander

From: Enoch Pratt Free Library

Correction: the Library generally regards anyone who has had activity on his or her account within the last THREE years as active.

Sorry for any confusion.

[cid:image001.png@01D5EE4B.74F52B40]<http://www.baltimorecity.gov/>
Department of Law
Hilary Ruley
Chief Solicitor, General Counsel Division
Baltimore City Department of Law
100 N. Holliday Street, Suite 101
Baltimore, MD 21202
Hilary Ruley@baltimorecity.gov<mailto:Hilary%20Ruley@baltimorecity.gov>
Office: (410) 396-3271

From: Enoch Pratt Free Library

M. Bree Norlander-

The Enoch Pratt Free Library is in receipt of your request, below. Your request is governed by the Maryland Public Information Act ("PIA"), codified in Sections 4-101, et. seq. of the General Provisions Article of the Maryland Code. A request for public information under the PIA must be submitted to the custodian of public records. Md. Code, Gen. Prov., § 4-202(a). The responsive records in the custody of the Library are 5 megabytes and may not attach well to this email. Thus, they can be found at the following link: https://jumpshare.com/b/FYYRecvxY8lfMd0ANKq3

The Library does not maintain records that group data by the breakdowns you have requested. However, the first five pages provide the circulation data by year. Pages 6 through 9 provide financial data from the Library's audited financial statements since 2016. There is not a written solicitation policy. Pages 10 and forward provide the current policy on fines and fees and in 2018 the Library went fine-free. There is no document that defines active borrower but the Library generally regards anyone who has had activity on his or her account within the last year as active.
The PIA does not require a custodian of public records to create a record to answer questions such but rather only requires it disclose existing records in its custody. See, e.g., N.L.R.B. v. Sears & Roebuck Co., 421 U.S. 132, 161-62 (1975) (FOIA "only requires disclosure of certain documents which the law requires [an] agency to prepare or which the agency has decided for its own reasons to create"); Yeager v. DEA, 678 F.2d 315, 321 (D.C. Cir. 1982) ("It is well settled that an agency is not required by FOIA to create a document that does not exist in order to satisfy a request."); see also MacPhail v. Comptroller of Maryland, 178 Md. App. 115, 119 (2008) (explaining that pertinent FOIA cases are persuasive authority in Maryland because the PIA and FOIA share "virtually identical" purposes).

Nothing in this response is intended to indicate that any records sought from City agencies exist or to waive any privileges held by the Mayor and City Council. You may contest this response by filing a complaint in Circuit Court pursuant to PIA Section § 4-362.

Sincerely,

Hilary Ruley

[cid:image001.png@01D5EE28.960FAD50]<http://www.baltimorecity.gov/>
Department of Law
Hilary Ruley
Chief Solicitor, General Counsel Division
Baltimore City Department of Law
100 N. Holliday Street, Suite 101
Baltimore, MD 21202
Hilary Ruley@baltimorecity.gov<mailto:Hilary%20Ruley@baltimorecity.gov>
Office: (410) 396-3271

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From: Bree Norlander

Dear Hilary,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! Your response will greatly assist us with our research into the elimination of fines in public libraries.

Sincerely,
Bree Norlander
norlab@uw.edu

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