Approved by Library Board of Directors December 4, 2002
It is the policy of the Lyme Public Library to preserve the privacy of circulation records to its patrons to the fullest extent permitted by law. To that end, the circulation 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 (i.e. the library card holder.) Section 11-25(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes prohibits disclosure to all third parties, excluding the parents or guardians of minors.
The library staff member receiving a request to examine or obtain information relating to circulation or other records identifying the names of library users, will immediately refer the person making the request to the library director, who shall explain the confidentiality policy. If the library director is on vacation or unavailable for an extended length of time, the person making the request shall be referred to the Library Board President.
The director, upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, shall consult with the appropriate legal officer assigned to the institution to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in good form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance.
If the process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, insistence shall be made that such defects be cured before any records are released. (The legal process requiring the production of circulation or other library records shall ordinarily be in the form of subpoena duces tecum [bring your records] requiring the responsible officer to attend court or the taking of his/her disposition and may require him/her to bring along certain designated circulation or other specified records.)
Any threats or unauthorized demands (i.e., those not supported by a process, order, or subpoena) concerning circulation and other records identifying the names of library users shall be reported to the appropriate legal officer of the institution.
Any problems relating to the privacy of circulation and other records identifying the names of library users which are not provided for above shall be referred to the responsible officer.
In light of the passage of the USA PATRIOT ACT, it is strongly recommended by ALA, the Connecticut State Library, CLA, and the ACLU that libraries have a specific policy in place. It is also strongly suggested that libraries designate an attorney to contact if the need arises and to have all policies evaluated by an attorney.