Privacy and Confidentiality of User Records

Ohio Revised Code Sec. 149.432 provides that library records containing user information are confidential and are not open to the public. Library records are defined as a record in any form that is maintained by the library, that contains any of the following types of information:

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

In accordance with Ohio Statute, library records or user information will only be released in the following situations:

Parents, guardians, and custodians will have access to their minor children’s records.

  • The statute does not limit this right to parents who actually live with the child. Parents who do not have custody, who are separated, or who are divorced have the right to access their minor children’s records.
  • A guardian is defined by the Ohio Revised Code Sec. 2151.011 (B) (16) as a person, association, or corporation that is granted authority by a probate court to exercise parental rights over a child to the extent provided in the court’s order.
  • Custodian is defined by Ohio Revised Code Sec. 2151.011 (B) (11) as a person who has legal custody of a child, or a public children’s agency or private child placing agency that has permanent, temporary, or legal custody of a child.
  • Parents, guardians, and custodians are required to sign a statement on the application/Permission Letter for Canal Fulton Public Library’s Borrower’s Card certifying their status as the parent or legally appointed guardian/custodian of the minor child.
  • The library reserves the right to request copies of court documents of legal appointments in its attempt to comply with state statute.

In accordance with a subpoena, search warrant, or other court order, or to a law enforcement officer who is investigating a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances: emergency circumstances.

  • Proper identification of any law enforcement officer will be made before any information is released.
  • If you hear the words: “Patriot Act” “Terrorism Investigation” “Ongoing Investigation” or “Exigent Circumstance,” you are required by law to turn over the library records in print, online, or if requested, a computer drive.
  • The Library Director should be contacted after you have verified the identification of the officer and turned over the library circulation record. (If the Library Director is in the building—have him/her come downstairs.)
  • If served a warrant or subpoena and the Library Director is available—get him/her, otherwise call the Director at home.
  • Be aware there is a gag order on Patriot Act requests. This means you are not allowed to share information about the name of the patron, or the record seized etc. with the community or other staff members.
  • If a release of records by use of the Patriot Act occurs, and the Library Director is out of the Building, call the Director at home to inform him/her that a request for library records via the Patriot Act has occurred. Be sure to mention the media of the record: paper, computer drive, etc.

With the consent of the individual who is the subject of the record or information.

The library recognizes and honors opt-in confidentiality waiver agreements. Each person registering for a borrower’s card can designate 1-4 persons to whom they grant access to their library records. Parents, guardians, and custodians may make designation on the Application/Permission section on the Canal Fulton Public Library Borrower’s Card form. (If the patron desires to have more than 4 designated persons on the account, they may the additional names.)

For library administrative purposes.

Patron record information is available to board of trustees’ members and employees of the library for the use in the ordinary conduct of library business. Information may be shared with individuals and corporations outside the library, such as automation vendors in the normal course of database creation. This includes management or agencies utilized in the collection of overdue materials and outstanding fees.

To document improper use of the Internet.

In such instances, patron information is redacted (removed) from the document. Ohio Statute permits the release of patron gender and age information regarding the improper use of the Internet.

A person requesting access to their own or their minor children’s patron information must possess the borrower’s card of the fourteen (14) digit patron barcode number, and must verify the date of birth of the card holder.

A designated person/s requesting access to patron information:

must show identification or possess the borrower’s card of the fourteen (14) digit patron barcode number. In addition, access to patron information is permitted only upon verification that the card holder has granted access permission to the individual. A record of the card holder granting specific permission to the designated person/s will be maintained in the Comments Field of the Horizon circulation system.