COUNTY FREE LIBRARIES
Policy & Procedures Memo 02-001
Subject: Confidentiality of Patron Records
Date Issued: January 16, 2002
Issued: January 16, 2002
Implementation Date: January 16, 2002
California State Law
exempts library patron records from disclosure under the Public Records Act.
Information provided on library card applications and other patron
records (which includes personal information
about the patron, materials borrowed, web sites visited, and reference questions
asked) are confidential and can not be released to any person other than the
patron or a person specifically designated in writing by the patron as having
permission to access to those records. The
only exceptions to these rules are:
Library staff or persons working
for the library (e.g. contractors, Information Technology staff, etc.)
Persons presenting a valid court
order or subpoena specifically ordering the release of a specific patronís
Federal investigative employees
(such as an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Department of
Justice who clearly identify themselves as Federal agents and who show their
official identification) upon presentation of a search warrant issued under the
USA Patriot Act.
Persons named and designated in
writing as having permission to access the records.
Any person requesting patron record information without a court order or subpoena shall be made aware of the policy of confidentiality and may be referred to the Public Records Act (Protection of Library Circulation and Registration Records, Government Code, Title 1, Division 7, Chapter 3.5, Section 6254, which exempts library records from disclosure requirements.
If a person presents a valid court order or subpoena requesting release of a specific patron record, Monterey County Free Libraries staff shall call the Administrative Office to notify the County Librarian (or, in his absence, a Managing Librarian), who is the legal custodian of County Library records. No access to records shall be allowed until the County Librarian, a Managing Librarian, and/or a representative of the Office of County Counsel is present and has authorized release of the records.
If a Federal investigative agent (who provides official identification) presents a valid search warrant issued under the USA Patriot Act, Monterey County Free Libraries staff may allow the search. Prior to allowing the search, staff should request a delay to allow the presence of the County Librarian, a Managing Librarian, or a representative of the Office of County Counsel. If the request is denied, staff should not block or hinder the search. If such a search warrant is presented, any notification by staff to the patron who is the subject of the search (before, during, or following the search) is a criminal violation of Federal law.
Any questions regarding
this policy and procedure shall be referred to the Assistant Director at (831)