Confidentiality of Library Records
It is the policy of the Board of Directors of the Grand County Public Library to: uphold the privacy of patron records; the confidentiality of patron inquiries; and, to provide a free and open forum for the exchange of information. This policy is based on the U.S. Constitution, the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), and the American Library Association's (ALA) Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. Staff members and volunteers shall make every effort to protect information about library borrowers, their requests for information and materials, the online sites and resources they access, and their lending transactions. This policy does not guarantee absolute right to privacy.
U.S. Constitution - The courts have upheld the right to privacy in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.
GRAMA - Utah Code Annotated: §63G-2-201 defines public and private information. Specially included in this list is U.C.A. §63G-2-302(1)(c) which defines private records in a public library as records "that when taken and examined alone or with other records identify a patron." The following types of records are examples of what would be considered private:
- Library card application information
- Circulation information
- Overdue notices
- Registration records (i.e., programs, computer use)
- Any retained circulation history or patron records
- Database search records
- Interlibrary loan records
Professional Ethics - Since 1939, the ALA has affirmed a right to privacy. The ALA Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, adopted June 19, 2002 by the ALA Council, states, "Protecting user privacy and confidentiality has long been an integral part of the mission of libraries."
The lawful custodian of library records is the Director of the Grand County Public Library.
No library employee or volunteer shall utilize records deemed private for any purposes except those directly related to the discharge of their duty.
Records shall not be made available to anyone except the individual(s) properly identified on the library account and/or parent or legal guardian.
Records will not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except by the Library Director or their designee in response to a court order, warrant, or subpoena as may be authorized.
The release of private records may be required when:
1. A valid court order requiring the library to release registration, circulation or other protected records. Such as:
- A subpoena
- A warrant for information issued under the USA Patriot Act (Public Law 107-56)
- A National Security Letter seeking information pursuant to the USA Patriot Act (Public Law 107-56)
2. Upon receipt of such a warrant, court order or subpoena, the Library Director will consult with the Grand County Attorney's Office to determine if the request is valid.
3. Person(s) authorized by law by the individual in accordance with GRAMA to inspect the user's records.
Adopted by the Grand County Public Library Board of Directors on September 19, 2023.
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