New Jersey law, N.J.S.A. 18A:73-43.2 requires that library records and documents containing the names or other personal information about library users be confidential and not disclosed except in the following three (3) circumstances:
The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library,
The disclosure is requested by the user,
Disclosure is mandated by a subpoena issued by a court or by a court order.
"Library records" include any document or record, however maintained, the primary purpose of which is to provide for control of the circulation or other public use of library materials. (N.J.S.A. 18A:73-4.1(b))
Library employees are responsible for adhering to this policy. Any library employee who discloses confidential information as defined below, other than in accordance with the terms of this policy, will be disciplined, up to and including termination, as outlined in the disciplinary policy.
Procedures - General
No confidential information contained in any library document or record concerning an individual user may be disclosed to either an outside individual, business or governmental entity, except as provided below.
Confidential information includes, but is not limited to the following:
Name (including both currently registered borrowers and past borrowers)
Any other information from an individual's registration record
Current or previous materials borrowed
Questions asked by an individual
Individual's image or voice
The frequency, nature or duration of a user's use of library computers, including Internet access.
Resources consulted by an individual, whether print, audio or electronic
Database or Internet searches conducted for or by an individual
The frequency or nature of a user's visits to the library or any other information supplied to the library by the user.
Any other personally identifying details regarding any user of the library.
Procedures - Requests for Information from Individuals
Only the cardholder has access to confidential information about him or her contained in a library record. When a customer asks for confidential information about another person contained in a library record, the staff will not provide the information and will explain that the records are confidential.
Children under the age of 18 are entitled to confidentiality, however, because a parent's/guardian's signature is required on a library card application for a minor child, when a parent/guardian asks for confidential information about his/her minor child contained in a library record, the information will be provided.
When users telephone for information about items being held, titles may be given only after the caller supplies the library card barcode number, and the employee verifies that the barcode number matches the name given by the caller.
Anyone may pick up reserved items for a user if that person presents the user's library card. If questions or problems arise because of the nature or content of the reserved material or the person picking up the items, the employee shall place the item(s) back on the reserve shelf for the intended user. Employees shall not cancel reserves unless the user who placed the reserve requests cancellation, or the requesting user does not pick up the item(s) within the time allowed under the library policy on reserved items.