Confidentiality of Patron Records

Because the Library must maintain trust with members of the public, the Board of Trustees of the Paola Free Library shall make every reasonable and responsible effort to see that information about the patron and the individual information choices remain confidential. For people to make full and effective use of library resources, they must feel unconstrained by the possibility of others being aware of the books they read, the materials they use and the questions they ask.

Therefore, the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Paola Free Library have adopted the following guidelines concerning the disclosure of information about library patrons.

A library staff member or board member shall give out no information regarding or including:

  • A patron's name (or whether an individual is a registered borrower or has been a patron)
  • A patron's address
  • A patron's telephone number or email address
  • Any patron's circulation log
  • Any material's circulation log
  • The number or character of questions asked by patrons

The frequency or content of a patron's visits to the library or any other information supplied to the library (or gathered by it) shall not be given, made available or disclosed to any individual, corporation, institution or government agency without a valid process, order or subpoena. Upon presentation of such a 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.

If a City Library patron is a victim of a crime committed at a City Library or the City Library itself is a victim of a crime, and the suspect is a Library patron, the police will not be required to obtain a court order to obtain the name, address and telephone numbers of the suspect, because the exception of "if necessary for the reasonable operation of the library" to the privacy law shall apply. The release of this information is necessary under these circumstances to effectively investigate crimes against the Library or its patrons.

In case of medical emergencies, staff is authorized to provide basic identification information.

All library employees (and those volunteers who work on its behalf) are hereby instructed to comply with these guidelines. The Board of Trustees recognize that it is only through continued public confidence in knowing these guidelines are 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.

Approved by the Board of Trustees February 1, 1999

Revised May 4, 2021

Revised August 3, 2021