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Records Retention Schedule for Wisconsin Public Libraries

On June 12, 2017, the Wisconsin Public Records Board approved this updated and revised General Records Schedule for Wisconsin's Public Libraries and Public Library Systems. Libraries are encouraged to adopt and use this schedule by filling out this Notification of Adoption. Libraries can begin using the schedule once the Notification of Adoption form is submitted and accepted by the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Public Records Board. Please be advised that the Wisconsin Public Records Board only meets quarterly, so the notification of approval might not be received for up to a few months after it is submitted.

The revision history in the back of the recently updated General Records Schedule for Wisconsin's Public Libraries and Public Library Systems documents the changes made to the schedule. Changes include discontinuing the use of some retention schedules for records no longer being created or expected to be in the future, and superseding many retention schedules with other general records schedules available on the Wisconsin Public Records Board’s website. Other changes to the schedule include more clearly defining the retention and disposition requirements for records and providing additional examples and notes that better describe records for each records series.

Libraries are advised to adopt the schedule even though they may not have all the records listed in it. The general schedule establishes the timeframe for the disposal of records that are no longer required for administrative, financial, or legal purposes. Adopting the schedule will also enable the library to dispose of designated records without prior approval of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Previously, only those public libraries that had filed individual retention schedules with the Public Records Board and obtained a waiver from the Wisconsin Historical Society were permitted to dispose of records without prior notification and approval.

For questions about the records management, please email

Frequently Asked Questions About Libraries and Wisconsin's Public Records Law.

For questions about this information, contact Shannon Schultz (608) 266-7270