Confidentiality Policy

Confidentiality of Library Records Policy

Spaulding Memorial Library considers library records to be confidential information, regardless of the age of the customer. 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 and other materials at the library are confidential. Those records may only be released wit the express written permission of the patron involved or as the result of a court order.

Since juvenile patron records are not specifically exempted in this statute, the Board of Trustees has interpreted it to cover all patron records without exception.

Confidential library records include all transactions by an individual who is using library resources. This includes information sought or received; materials consulted, borrowed or acquired; database search records; reference interviews; circulation records; internet usage; interlibrary loan records; registration records; all other personally identifiable uses of library resources, facilities, or services; and any other documents or electronic records which link an individual with particular materials or services.

The Library takes seriously its obligation to protect the privacy of every customer, as required by law. This commitment to customers’ 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. For example, the Library will not divulge confidential information to anyone other than the borrower. Staff members will hold in strictest confidence information about questions library customers ask, items they consult or borrow, comments they express, or attitudes they reveal. In addition, 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.

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.