Confidentiality of Library Patron Records
State Law protects the contents of library patron records.
Under this law, library employees are prohibited from sharing information about what a patron has checked out with anyone else, even parents and spouses.
Under this law, no one outside library staff, can find out what you are reading or viewing without your consent or a court order.
Under this law, we are not permitted to do any of the following:
- Tell a parent what a child has checked out (even if a fine is owed on that material)
- Give an item on hold to a husband, wife or parent, even when they have the library card that was used to hold the book
- Provide access to library records to law enforcement without a search warrant.
As a library patron, you can permit other people to know what you have checked out or to pick up library holds for you, however, you must provide a signed note specifically allowing that person to have access to your library records.
The Library has the responsibility to protect each individual library user's right to confidentiality and privacy regardless of age. If a library cardholder is 16 years old or under, the parent or guardian who signed for the child’s card may be given specific information regarding that child's record.
- If the parent or guardian is in possession of the child's card, they may be given any information in the child’s record.
- If the child's card is not in the parent's or guardian's possession, the information provided will be limited to:
If you like, we can provide you with a copy of the statute (Government Code Title 1, Division 7, Chapter 3.5, Sec. 6267).
Thank you for helping us to conform to this law regarding the privacy of library records.
PUBLIC RECORDS ACT (Protection of Library Records)
(Government Code Title 1, Division 7, Chapter 3.5)
Sec. 6267. Registration and circulation records of libraries supported by public funds.
All registration and circulation records of any library which is in whole or in part supported by public funds shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person, local agency, or state agency except as follows:
(a) By a person acting within the scope of his or her duties within the administration of the library.
(b) By a person authorized, in writing, by the individual to whom the records pertain, to inspect the records.
(c) By order of the appropriate superior court.
As used in this section, the term “registration records” includes any information which a library requires a patron to provide in order to become eligible to borrow books and other materials, and the term “circulation records” includes any information which identifies the patrons borrowing particular books and other material. This section shall not apply to statistical reports of registration and circulation nor to records of fines collected by the library.