In recognizing the library’s position of special trust with members of the public, the Liberal Memorial Library wishes to clarify their policy and responsibility with regard to confidential information about patrons (and patron use of library resources) that comes into the library’s possession.
As the choice of books and other library materials, along with the use of the informational resources of the library, is essentially a private endeavor on the part of each individual patron, the library will make every reasonable effort to see that information choices remain confidential. For people to make full and effective use of library resources they must feel unconstrained by the possibility that others may become aware of the books they read, the materials they use, and the questions they ask. The awareness of the existence of such a possibility inhibits free usage of the library, its resources and facilities, and is contrary to the ALA Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement.
Therefore the Liberal Memorial Library has adopted the following guidelines concerning the disclosure of information about library patrons:
No information regarding or including the following will be disclosed:
- A patron’s name (or whether an individual is a registered borrower of has been a patron).
- A patron’s address.
- A patron’s telephone number.
- The library’s circulation records and their contents
- The library borrower’s records and their contents.
- The number or character of questions asked by patrons.
- The frequency or content of a patron’s lawful visits to the library to any individual, corporation, institution or government agency without a valid process, order or subpoena. Upon presentation of such process, order or subpoena, the library shall resist its enforcement until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction.
All library employees (and those volunteers who work in its behalf) are hereby instructed to comply with these guidelines. The Library Board recognizes that it is only through continued public confidence in the fact that these guidelines are indeed being upheld that the public can maintain its confidence in the library. It is this confidence that is vital to the library’s role in the community and the community’s right to know.