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Confidentiality of Library Records

In order to encourage the free and open use of the Library and its services, and in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws, all patron registration records and patron transaction records as defined under 22 VSA § 171[Full chapter] and including any information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted, are strictly confidential.

In accordance with 22 VSA §172[Full chapter], employees, Trustees, volunteers and agents of the Library will not disclose any patron records EXCEPT:

  • Certain records may be shared at the library's initiative in matters relating to the safety and security of library facilities, collections, personnel, and patrons, under exemptions as defined in 22 V.S.A §172[Full chapter]; or
  • With the written permission of that patron; or
  • To the custodial parents or guardians of patrons under age 16; or
  • To Library employees and authorized agents to the extent necessary for Library operations; or
  • In response to an authorized judicial order or warrant directing their disclosure.

Only the Library Director, or the designated Acting Director in the Library Director’s absence, is authorized to comply with requests for library patron records from a law enforcement officer. The Director (or Acting Director) will confer with the Library’s legal counsel before determining the proper response. Only when a subpoena, warrant, court order or other investigatory document is determined to be in proper form and issued by a court of competent jurisdiction after a showing of good cause will those specific records be released. Library Trustees reserve the right to contest such an order. All cases involving confidentiality shall be reported to the Town Attorney and the Board of Trustees, unless prohibited by existing federal legislation.

The Library collects a variety of information provided by its patrons to provide them with library services. Any personally identifiable information collected by the Library remains confidential and will not be sold, licensed or disclosed to any third party except with written consent; to comply with the law or a valid court order; or for authorized administrative purposes. The Library’s contracts, licenses and computer service arrangements comply with these policies and legal obligations. For the protection of our patrons, parents seeking records of their minor child, under age 16, may be asked to provide proof of their child’s age as well as evidence they are the custodial parent. Statistical records may be maintained in aggregate, summary data where all personally identifiable information is deleted.

Library patrons who have questions, concerns or complaints about the Library’s handling of their privacy and confidentiality rights should submit written comments to the Library Director who will respond in a timely manner and may conduct an investigation or review of the policy and procedures. 22 VSA §173[Full chapter] provides a right of civil action if their confidentiality has been violated.

 

Revised & Adopted 4/21/2014