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Records Retention

Records retention schedules are central to proper records management. Retention schedules are inventories, or lists, of all types of records that agencies create, use or maintain, together with information indicating how long a record should be kept to meet legal requirements and business needs and what should happen to it when the record is no longer required to be kept on file. Maintaining documentation of essential transactions and information of an agency over time requires that certain records be retained permanently, while efficient, effective business operations dictate that selected records be destroyed when there is no further use for them.

KDLA creates records retention schedules to help organizations decide which records to keep and which ones to destroy in accordance with the requirements of Kentucky’s State Archives and Records Act KRS 171.410KRS 171.740.

For a library to have an effective records management program, retention schedules should be used on regular basis. Using the retention schedules below will allow the library to maintain its records in compliance with legal requirements and best business practices.

A schedule for dealing with the retention of library-specific records is the Public Library & Library Board Records Retention Schedule and is available online at:

In addition, libraries will use the Local Governments General Records Retention Schedule for general records created and used by government agencies and district. It is available online at:

Further help on maintenance of electronic records, including e-mail and digital imaging is available on the KDLA website at: There is a link on that page to the General Schedule for Electronic and Related Records. This document is available at:

Documenting the removal of materials is an important part of records management. Use the Records Destruction Certificate to document destruction of records at the Library. A printed copy of the completed and signed form should be sent to the KDLA Public Records Division. Any questions about disposal of documents should be directed to the Local Records Branch Manager of the Public Records Division at KDLA.

All records that the library produces are considered public records. The majority of these records are to be made available to anyone requesting to see them. The Open Records Act [KRS 61.870KRS 61.884], charges each library, as a public agency, to appoint an Official Custodian of the library’s records. In most cases, the library director is the official custodian of the records. As such, s/he is responsible for the maintenance, care and keeping of public records, regardless of whether such records are within actual personal custody and control. The custodian also oversees requests for documents by the public in accordance with the Open Records Act.

The highlights of the Open Records Act have been outlined in two documents created by the Attorney General’s Office and these can provide additional information making the library’s records available upon request. These documents are: The Kentucky Open Records & Open Meetings Acts: A guide for the public and public agencies and Managing Government Records. These two documents are to be provided to board trustees within 60 days of their appointment.


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