Confidentiality

The Addison Public Library is subject to the provisions of The Library Records Confidentiality Act (75 ILCS 70/1, 70/2). All patron-identifiable information is confidential. This includes all records, files, computers and electronic media that might contain such information. Confidential library records (i.e. records pertaining to an individual patron’s use of library materials or resources) may not be released or made available in any format to a federal agent, state or local law enforcement officer, or other person unless a court order in proper form has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction, or when the information is requested by a sworn law enforcement officer who represents that it is impractical to secure a court order as a result of an emergency where the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger of physical harm. Library staff must cooperate with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies when they are acting within the scope of a lawfully issued court order or when a sworn law enforcement officer has presented a case of probable cause of imminent danger of physical harm. Staff may also disclose patron identifiable information to a law enforcement officer upon request, if:

  • The name and description, if personally known to the staff member, of any person who has committed, is committing, or threatens to commit a crime affecting Library staff or members of the Board of Trustees, Library patrons or users, or Library property;
  • and to the extent the staff member is a witness to such a crime, any other information relevant to the crime that is personally known by the staff member.

Patrons requesting confidential information must present their library card and may be asked to show additional identification. Signatory parents or their designee may access information contained in a minor child’s record upon provision of identification.

In all other cases the Library will generally refuse to disclose any patron-identifiable information and staff are prohibited from permitting anyone to access or view any non-public computers, files, or records which might contain patron-identifiable information.

When contacting a patron, patron-identifiable information (such as the title or subject of a an item checked out or requested by a patron) may not be left on an answering machine, voice mail unsealed post card, or e-mail to the patron, unless e-mail is specifically designated by the patron in writing as being the notification method of choice. The Library cannot be responsible for maintaining confidentiality in the notification process if e-mail is selected by the patron.

The Library Director or PIC should be contacted immediately if a staff member:

  • is approached with or learns of any subpoena, court order, warrant or other legal process directed to the Library or relating to Library property; or
  • is approached by a law enforcement officer requesting information from the Library, who believes there is imminent danger that someone will be physically harmed and it is impractical to get a court order; or
  • receives requests for patron-identifiable information other than from that patron; or
  • learns that certain patron-identifiable information may pertain to a crime (e.g., finding child pornography on a computer); or
  • believes any patron-identifiable information has been improperly disclosed or may be at risk of being improperly disclosed; or
  • has any questions about the Confidentiality Policy.