Confidentiality of Library Records Policy
The policy of the William Jeanes Memorial Library is to preserve the confidentiality of patron circulation, registration, and usage records. Library staff will release patron circulation and registration information only to the registered cardholder to whom that information pertains and only upon presentation of a proper valid library card or other sufficient identification (see Library Use Policy) in compliance with the Pennsylvania library records confidentiality statute, which provides as follows:
“Records related to the circulation*of library materials which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the State Library or any local library which is established and maintained under any law of the Commonwealth or the library of any university, college or educational institution chartered by the Commonwealth or the library of any public school or branch reading room, deposit station or agency operated in connection therewith, shall be confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by court order in a criminal proceeding.” 24 P.S. § 4428.
No cardholder records will be made available to federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies except by valid warrant, subpoena, court order, or other appropriate official direction as required by law. To ensure the privacy and confidentiality of individual library use records, patrons are advised to not share their library cards or library account information with others. The William Jeanes Memorial Library deems patrons who allow third persons to use their library cards or library account information to have consented to the access of their private and confidential library use records by the users of their library cards or account information.
With regard to minors (0-17 years), the cardholder and only the parent/guardian who signed the minor’s library card application, thereby assuming responsibility for the items checked out on it, will be given information pertaining to the minor’s account.
Records will be expunged (circulation, program attendance, etc.) when the information is no longer needed or upon expiration of any records retention requirements. The Library has no control over any data that a Library computer user sends to another computer server during an Internet session. Transactions are erased regularly; however, data can remain on the hard drive and confidentiality of this data cannot be assured.
Nothing in this policy shall prevent authorized Library staff from using Library records in the administration of their regular duties.
Under Pennsylvania law, 18 Pa.C.S.A § 6709, it is a summary offense to retain library property after being notified to return it. In the event of theft or retention of library materials after notice to return, the Library will release to the appropriate law enforcement officers, court officers or collection agencies the relevant patron records, including the name and address of the person committing the offense and a list of materials stolen or retained with the replacement costs.
*These records include, but are not limited to, patron registration data, circulation records, overdue and reserve records, participation in library-sponsored programs, records of library visits, Internet or other computer use or access, and/or data that contain information that links a specific patron to specific materials or services used.
Approved by the William Jeanes Memorial Library Board of Directors July 22, 2015