Confidentiality of Patron Records Policy

Last Updated

The Ashtabula County District Library supports its patrons’ rights to privacy and protects the confidentiality of patron information and library records in accordance with Ohio law as specified in Ohio Revised Code Section 149.432. The library shall not release any library records that identify any individual patron or disclose any patron information except in situations specified in that statute.

Patron information is defined as personally identifiable information about an individual who has used any library service or borrowed any library materials. A library record is defined as a record in any format that is maintained by the library and that contains any of the following types of information:

  • Information that the Library requires that an individual provide in order to be eligible to use library services or borrow materials;
  • Information that identifies an individual as having requested or obtained specific materials or materials on a specific subject;
  • Information that is provided by an individual to assist the library staff member to answer a specific question or provide information on a specific subject.

Information that does not identify any individual and that is retained for the purpose of studying or evaluating the use of a library and its materials and services is not considered confidential and is not subject to this policy.

In accordance with Ohio law, the Ashtabula County District Library does not release any library record or disclose any patron information except as follows:

  • in the case of the records of a minor child when requested by that minor child’s parent, guardian or custodian;
    •  Parents must verify their role with regards to the minor with the production of personal identification such as a driver’s license or birth certificate.
    • Guardians and custodians must verify their role with regards to the minor with the production of personal identification such as a driver’s license and court order that verifies their role as a guardian or custodian.
  • pursuant to a subpoena, search warrant or other court order, or upon request by a law enforcement officer who is investigating a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances;
    • Should a subpoena, search warrant, or other court order be issued, the Library shall immediately refer the court order to the Library’s legal counsel for review.
    • Requests by a law enforcement officer for a release of records under Ohio Revised Code Section 149.432(B)(2)(b) may be referred to legal counsel for review so the Library may receive guidance regarding what constitutes a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances.
  • at the written request or with the written consent of the individual who is the subject of the record or information;
    • Patrons under the age of 18 may give permission to others to view their records only with the signature or consent of a parent, guardian or custodian.
  • for library administrative purposes as defined by Ohio Revised Code Section 149.432, including establishment or maintenance of a system to manage the library records or to assist in the transfer of library records from one records management system to another, compilation of statistical data on library use, and collection of fines and penalties.

Additionally, the library may release records that document improper use of the internet at the library so long as any patron information is removed from those records. As used in this context, patron information does not include information about the age or gender of an individual. All requests for such documents or information will be subjected to review by the Library’s legal counsel.

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