Records Retention

Public records associated with the running of the library are retained by the city or county in accordance with state guidelines.  This quick guide will help you determine how long certain records are kept by local governments to meet administrative, fiscal, and legal requirements.  Ideally, records are kept at the library as long as they are current (needed) and then transferred to the city/county records management officer.  Before records can be destroyed — even records that meet the required retention period — the city/county needs approval from the Local Government Records Committee.

Another important consideration for library records is the historic value.  Records that document the history of the library should be considered for permanent retention.  This could include not only minutes, but selected correspondence, reports, information about programs and services, etc.

Library Districts are responsible for retention of all organization records and should follow the schedules as outlined by the State of Montana Records and Information Management Services:

General Financial Records

Invoices, order forms, purchase contracts, contracts in general, annual budgets, budget amendments, ledgers 5 years
Library Districts See Montana General Records Retention Schedule

Administrative and Legal Records

Written complaints, correspondence/policy correspondence 3 years
Interlibrary loan paperwork 3 years
Monthly reports, library policies, library standards 4 years
Grants and supporting documentation, Federation documents 5 years
Inventory reports Retain until superseded
Meeting minutes, statistics information Permanent retention
Library Districts – insurance policies/paperwork, MT DOA paperwork establishing district, IRS paperwork, legal opinions, memos from attorneys See Montana General Records Retention schedule

If you don't see it here, please visit the State of Montana  Records and Information Management Services website: