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Confidentiality

Library Records

Policy:

BCCLS libraries operate in compliance with the New Jersey Confidentiality of Library Records Law (N.J.S.A 18A:73-43.1). 

Recommendation:

Recommendations for ensuring compliance with New Jersey Confidentiality of Library Records Law include:

  • Inform BCCLS of any requests by subpoena or court orders for patron information.
  • A library has the choice of using its own attorney or consulting with BCCLS attorney for which it will be billed accordingly.
  • Libraries should keep a minimum of patron information in the database.
  • Clear or close window after each transaction in the circulation program.
  • Request for information should be honored only for persons entitled to patron information (access to "Items Out" list) as signators on file.
  • The American Library Association (ALA) recommends that the same intellectual freedom be extended to minors.
  • Patron names only are to be used on library cards; no addresses.
  • For the library's and one's own protection, it is recommended that a parent or guardian's signature be on library card registration forms for minors (under 18).
  • It is recommended that the use of postcards for reserves be discontinued. These communications should be placed in envelopes.
  • Notification to patrons by telephone should not include information identifying the item by title, author, or subject. Example: "The item you requested has been received by the library and is awaiting your pickup; we will hold it for you for three days."
  • No patron information should be left in library material. This includes all checkout receipts, as well as any and all transit slips or slips used for the shelving of requests.

Maintain Reading List Feature

Recommendation:

The Maintain Reading List is something that should always be handled by the individual patron, through the PAC view of their account. Staff can make patrons aware of it and help them to sign on to their account via the PAC, but the patron needs to be responsible for the act of “opting in” to a persistent reading list due to the legal and privacy issues of such a list.

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