Sutton Free Library
PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY
GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
It is the policy of SFL to protect the privacy of all patrons with respect to information sought or received, and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted. Accordingly, the library will treat as confidential all records in its possession that contain users’ personal identifying information. Our list of patrons will not be available to any outside organization, commercial enterprise, or entity not directly affiliated with the SFL as an employee or library trustee.
Reference: New Hampshire RSA 201-D:11 Library User Records; Confidentiality
“Library records which contain the names or other personal identifying information regarding the users of public...libraries shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except as provided in paragraph II…”
WHEN RELEASE OF INFORMATION IS REQUIRED BY LAW
RSA 201-D:11 identifies the circumstances under which a New Hampshire public library must disclose information about a user to a third party. Those circumstances are (1) when requested or authorized by the user, (2) pursuant to a subpoena, (3) pursuant to a court order (including a search warrant), or (4) when otherwise required by statute. Sutton Free Library will limit disclosures of such information to these four circumstances and to the extent necessary for the proper operation of the library.
THE USA PATRIOT ACT
One of the situations in which SFL may be "otherwise required by statute" to disclose user information arises under the federal statute entitled the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USAPATRIOT) Act of 2001. Under the USA PATRIOT Act, federal authorities may obtain an order from a special federal court (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court) to access the records of a public library. If SFL were served with such an order, the library could be required to give the federal authorities user information and would be prohibited from disclosing that fact to the user.
WHAT ACTION THE LIBRARY WILL TAKE
When a member of the library staff is served with a subpoena or court order purporting to require the disclosure of user information, or if the staff member is otherwise approached by law enforcement authorities in connection with his or her work at the library, the staff member shall immediately refer the matter to the SFL BOT. It is the responsibility of the SFL BOT to handle all such inquiries from law enforcement authorities. When possible, trustees shall seek the advice of counsel before complying with any court order or subpoena requiring the release of user information.
WHAT USER INFORMATION THE LIBRARY WILL KEEP
SFL respects the privacy of its users, because of this, it is the policy of the library to maintain user-specific information including:
The name, address, telephone number, and email address of each person or family with circulation privileges.
A record (if any) of the current and preceding borrower of each of SFL materials.
Records of interlibrary loan transactions.
The SFL patron list will not be available to any commercial enterprise.
Sutton Free Library keeps ongoing statistical information about library use. Such statistical information does not identify specific users.
COLLECTION AND USE OF EMAIL ADDRESSES
Patron email addresses gathered by SFL shall be used only by the library for library-related activities. They shall not be used for any other purposes nor shared with any other organization or individual. Patrons can unsubscribe to library emails at any time. They may highlight the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of each email.
Adopted by the Sutton Free Library Board of Trustees on October 18, 2012.
Reviewed by the Sutton Free Library Board of Trustees on February 5, 2019.