Confidentiality of Records Policy
Revised December 6, 2011
It is the policy of the Wethersfield Library to preserve the confidentiality of all records identifying by name any user of the library to the fullest extent permitted by law.
The various records which are required to control the use of library materials either on or off the library premises are for the sole purpose of protecting library property and implementing the orderly development of the library collection.
Names, addresses, telephone numbers of customers and information on materials borrowed or money owed by customers are confidential. Library staff shall not provide information of a personal nature about any borrowers except to the borrower himself or to the parent/guardian of a borrower who is a minor.
In all cases, whether it be a request from a family member, a law enforcement agent, or a reporter, the library staff is ethically and legally bound to make every effort to protect the confidentiality of an individual’s date and personal information no matter how convincing the argument to release information. By protecting the confidentiality of each borrower’s record, staff upholds the law and assures borrowers that they may borrow materials based on their individual needs.
To this end, the records of the library shall be released or disclosed only as provided herein. Library staff shall not release library records to any person other than the patron named in the record, as Section 11-15(b) of the Connecticut General Statues prohibits disclosure to all third parties, excluding the parents or guardians of minors. Library staff shall not make library records available to any person, or to any agency of federal, state or local government except within the guidelines that follow.
Notification of Library Director
Any employee of the Wethersfield Library who receives a request, or who is served with a subpoena, court order, or other legal process, to release or disclose any library records, shall immediately notify the Library Director or the most senior staff member “in charge” at that time.
Action by the Library Director
The Library Director, or his/her designee, shall review in a timely manner, all requests and orders, consult with the town attorney as necessary, and respond in an appropriate manner to each such request and order in accordance with this policy.
Requests for Library Records
Information contained in library records will be provided to the proper authorities when a proper show of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction. Upon receipt of such process, order or subpoena, the Library Director shall consult with legal counsel to determine if such order is in proper form and if there is showing of good cause for its issuance. If the order is not in proper form, or if good cause has not been shown, he/she will insist that such defects be corrected.
Authority for Policy
The authority for this policy is Section 11-25(b) of the Connecticut General Statues; “notwithstanding the provisions of Section 1-19, personally identifiable information contained in circulation records of all public libraries shall be confidential.”
The Wethersfield Library may resist the issuance or enforcement of any such process, order, or subpoena until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction. (This means that upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the Library Director will consult with legal counsel to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance; or if the process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, they will insist that such defects be cured.)
Confidentiality of Staff Records:
The confidentiality provisions also apply to the personal borrowing records of staff members. However, if an employee has a "staff" card with special borrowing privileges, the Collection Services Manager may monitor this card for appropriate use.
Connecticut State Statue, Title 11, Section 11-25 (b)
Reports by libraries, Confidentiality of records.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1-19, personally identifiable information contained in the circulation records of all public libraries shall be confidential.
Approved by the Library Board
September 24, 2002
Revised April 27, 2004
Revised December 6, 2011