Documents, Policies, Procedures

Documents, Policies,
Procedures

Contents

General Documents

Privacy of User Records Policy

Library borrowers are entitled to privacy in their use of the library and the collection. Library staff are responsible to ensure that information about library users, their library activities and use of the collection remains confidential.

Colorado Privacy of User Records statute
The District is governed in this policy by Colorado Revised Statute 24-90-119, Library Law – Privacy of
User Records:
(1) Except as set forth in subsection (2) of this section, a publicly supported library shall not disclose any record or other information that identifies a person as having requested or obtained specific materials or service or as otherwise having used the library.
(2) Records may be disclosed in the following instances:
(a) When necessary for the reasonable operation of the library;
(b) Upon written consent of the user;
(c) Pursuant to subpoena, upon court order, or where otherwise required by law;
(d) To a custodial parent or legal guardian who has access to a minor’s library card or its authorization number for the purpose of accessing by electronic means library records of the minor.
(3) Any library official, employee, or volunteer who discloses information in violation of this section commits a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars.

Scope of the statute

District interpretation of the statute is:
• the scope of privacy extends not only to user records, but also to (1) use of the collection (2) library activity and (3) information about the borrower.
• the use of the word shall in paragraph 1 is an indication that this privacy is mandatory, with the exceptions in paragraph 2.
• the word records in paragraph 2 applies only to user records, defined as information that is on a borrower’s library account.
• the word may in paragraph 2 is an indication that the District has some latitude in what is disclosed, dependent on reasonable operation of the library, consent of user, legal requirements, and access to the borrower’s library card.
• the word minor, for the purposes of this policy, is defined by the District as anyone under the age of 18.
• the statute extends to anyone using the library who is not a registered borrower.

Assignment of permission
District interpretation of the statute is that a patron may grant permission to others to access the user’s account. This permission (1) may be written by the patron at the time of registration for a library card, or (2) verbal consent given by the patron to staff at the time of registration or subsequently.

Parental presence
The parent or legal guardian of a minor must be physically present except when working with an institution, such as a school (1) at the time of registration or (2) when a minor wishes to obtain a replacement library card. For purposes of the library, the District defines a minor as anyone who is under the age of 18.

Access
According to the statute, a parent or legal guardian of a minor has access if they have the barcode number (or the library card). District interpretation is that this access is equal to that of the minor.
When the patron has granted access permission to others in the manner described above, District interpretation is that (1) it is not a requirement to have the library card or barcode number and that (2) granting of access extends only to information in the user record, and not to use of the collection, library activity, or information about the borrower. That information remains private, even to the parent or legal
guardian of a minor, with the exceptions noted below.
District interpretation is that the amount of access to the user record can vary according to whether one is
(1) a parent or legal guardian or (2) a peer, such as a spouse, sibling, or friend.

Parent or legal guardian access
Access granted to the user record for a designated parent or legal guardian of a minor includes the following:
• checking out new items on the patron’s account
• renewing items on the account
• picking up a hold
• cancelling a hold
• adding a hold
• finding out what the patron currently has on hold
• finding out the patron’s place in a holds queue
• getting a list of items checked out and due dates
• paying fines, including titles
• obtaining the minor cardholder’s barcode number
• obtaining a replacement card
• changing information on the patron account
• resetting the PIN number
• deleting the patron record
• claiming an item has been returned
• claiming an item has been lost

Peer access (spouse, sibling, friend)
Access granted to the user record for a peer includes the following:
• checking out new items on the patron’s account
• renewing items on the account
• picking up a hold
• cancelling a hold
• adding a hold
• finding out what the patron currently has on hold
• finding out the patron’s place in a holds queue
• getting a list of items checked out and due dates
• paying fines, including titles
• claiming an item has been returned
• claiming an item has been lost

Access to the user record for a peer does not include the following. These must be done by the cardholder:
• obtaining the patron’s barcode number
• obtaining a replacement card
• changing information on the patron account
• resetting the PIN number
• deleting the patron record

Minimum age
There is no minimum age required to receive a library card.
Exceptions
The District policy on privacy does not apply in the following instances:
• In the instances noted above, specifically (1) when a parent or legal guardian has access to a minor’s library card or barcode number or (2) when the patron has granted permission to others to access their account within the limits described above.
• The statute permits disclosure when necessary for the reasonable operation of the library. District interpretation is that this is a case-by-case judgment of the Person in Charge.
• The library is not a place of refuge from law enforcement after being accused of committing an illegal act. See Patron Rights and Responsibilities Statement.
• When the library is presented with a subpoena or court order.
• When the policy conflicts with other laws, such as the first amendment right to photograph or videotape in a public space.
• Extreme instances where public safety or life and death issues are at stake.

District public information
During library promotional activities, efforts will be made to warn patrons of the activities and to gain permission of patrons before publishing names or pictures.

Open Records

High Plains Library District is committed to the principle of openness and accessibility. As such, we
commit to fulfill every request for public records as efficiently and expeditiously as possible and within
the requirements established by the Colorado Open Records Act, [C.R.S. §24-72-201 et seq. (“CORA”) ]
and the minimum requirements set forth by the Colorado State Archives Special Districts Record Retention
Manual.

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