Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. In this library the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf.
The courts have upheld the right to privacy based on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. Many states provide guarantees of privacy in their constitutions and statute law. Numerous decisions in case law have defined and extended rights to privacy. This library’s privacy and confidentiality policies are in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.
Our commitment to your privacy and confidentiality has deep roots not only in law but also in the ethics and practices of librarianship. In accordance with the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics: "We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted."
This means that all library records identifying the names of library users with specific materials or requests for information are confidential. This includes records of information sought or received; materials consulted, borrowed or acquired; reference interviews; circulation; Internet usage; interlibrary loan; registration; and any other documents or electronic records which link an individual with particular materials or services.
The sole purpose of patron identification in the circulation transaction is to ensure the return of the item. Records that link individual borrowers to specific library materials shall be retained only as long as necessary for the Library to perform necessary circulation functions.
The Library takes seriously its obligation to protect the privacy of every patron, as required by law. This commitment to patrons' privacy may appear to cause inconvenience on occasion. This policy assures that an individual's reading preferences and use of the library will remain exclusively his or her own business. This policy extends to those records involving patrons under the age of majority. Parents should be aware that if they want information about the items their child has checked out, the child must be present with the parent requesting the information. Without the child present, only the number of items checked out or the date due may be released. Title information may only be given to the person who actually borrowed the items.
All formal requests for circulation or registration records will be referred to the Library Director.
No records will be made available to any agency of local, county, state or federal government, except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, local, county, state or federal law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.
This policy is in accordance with Maine State Law, Maine Revised Statutes, Title 27, Chapter 4-A, section 121:
Section 121. Confidentiality of library records
Records maintained by any public municipal library, the Maine State Library, the Law and Legislative Reference Library and libraries of the University of Maine System and the Maine Maritime Academy that contain information relating to the identity of a library patron relative to the patron’s use of books or other materials at the library are confidential. Those records may only be released with the express written permission of the patron involved or as the result of a court order.
Confidentiality and Privacy of Other Patron Information
The Raymond Village Library collects and maintains other data related to patrons, for instance information related to the library’s Annual Appeal. The Library is committed to protecting the integrity of that data and to keeping it accurate and secure. We take reasonable steps to ensure that only authorized staff has access to this information. Moreover, such information is used only for its designated purposed.
Approved February 28, 2003
Revised March 1, 2009