Confidentiality of Library Records
2.1 In accordance with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Statutes (Title 24, Chapter 16, Article IV, 24P. S. 4428), and as recommended by the American Library Association, the following records, related to the circulation of library materials, identifying the names of Library users and other personally identifiable information shall be considered confidential in nature and may be revealed only to record holders for library business use. This includes:
- Titles and number of items checked out
- Titles and number of items on reserve
- Overdue and fine account information
- Reference questions
- Interlibrary loan requests and transactions
These records are confidential and shall not be made available to anyone other than the patron named in the record, except by a court order in a criminal proceeding (24 P.S. §4427), or a federal investigative proceeding (USA PATRIOT Act of 2001). 2.2 The Library also considers the following record to be confidential and will release them only for compelling reasons determined by a Derry Township administrative staff person, including legal counsel or by a court order in a criminal proceeding (24 P.S. §4427), or a federal investigative proceeding (USA PATRIOT Act of 2001).
- Patron registration information
- Public Access Computer checkout and activity
- Program and story time registration and participation
- Copier and printer use
2.3. A patron’s library record may be viewed by that patron or by that patron’s parent or legal guardian if the patron is a minor. However, we urge that parents/guardians and children communicate openly and actively about library use. The rights of minors to privacy regarding their use of the library should be respected and the Library prefers to communicate information to the minor cardholder.
2.4. It is the policy of this Library to comply with all Constitutional judicial process while preserving patron confidentiality to the extent allowed by law. However, given the complexity of these matters, it is critical that any form of judicial process be provided immediately to the Library Director and Library Counsel for action. No other staff member, except as specifically authorized by the Director as Person-in-Charge, should release Library or patron information.
2.5. Release of Confidential or Non-confidential Information
2.5.1 In case of Oral Requests, Emergency Situations, or Written Demands by Mail or Delivery Service, library staff will respond according to the library’s Procedures for Protecting Library Information And Responding to Judicial Process.
2.5.2 Upon receipt of a court order delivered in person by law enforcement officers, the library staff will first, notify the Library Director or the Person-in-Charge, who will contact legal counsel, to verify the order’s proper form.
If it is not in proper form, the Library Director or Person-in-charge, should request that defects be cured before proceeding with compliance, according to Procedures for Protecting Library Information And Responding to Judicial Process.
2.5.3 The Township manager or his/her agent in charge will be notified immediately of requests for information as described in this policy.
2.6. Based on a verified court order and identification of the requesting officer, a Library employee will make every effort to comply in a cooperative and professional manner.