Library Policies Patron Privacy & Confidentiality Policy

Patron Privacy & Confidentiality Policy

Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought and free association. Protecting user privacy and confidentiality is an integral part of the mission of the Library, Library Advisory Committee, librarians, and all other library staff. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states: "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." In addition, the Library Bill of Rights states: "A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views."

Florida Statute 257.261 Library registration and circulation records.

Reads in part:

All registration and circulation records of every public library, except statistical reports of registration and circulation, are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s.119.07(1) and from s.24(a) of Article I of the State Constitution.
Except in accordance with proper judicial order, a person may not make known in any manner any information contained in such records, except as provided in this section. As used in the section, the term "registration records" includes any information that the library requires a patron to provide in order to become eligible to borrow books and other materials, and the term "circulation records" includes all information that identifies the patrons who borrow particular books, and other materials...In the case of a public library patron under the age of 16, a public library may only release confidential information relating to the parent or guardian of the person under 16. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

All patron records of the library, except statistical reports of registration and circulation, are confidential by law. Physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards are maintained to protect patron information. However, the Library cannot guarantee patron privacy when using Internet resources. Patrons must exercise caution to avoid unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information. Parents must caution their minor children which personal facts are not to be shared on the Internet.

Requests for information about patron records from any law enforcement officials or any other outside agency must be referred to the Library Services Manager.

Disclaimer

The availability of information via the Internet does not constitute endorsement of the content of that information by the Hernando County Public Library System or the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners. The Library System shall have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed on the Internet from Library equipment.

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