|Should a circulation desk refuse to give any patron information to
anyone, even law enforcement personnel, without a subpoena?
||Lisa Buckley & Lorilie Roundtree
Back to List of Legal
To: Laura Norvig
From: Lisa Buckley and Lorilie Roundtree
Re: Privacy of patron records
Question: Should a circulation desk refuse to give any patron
information to anyone, even law enforcement personnel, without a subpoena?
This question has to do with the privacy or confidentiality of patron
records. A good place to begin research is with West's Encyclopedia of
American Law, 1998. Other legal encyclopedias and Black's Law Dictionary
are also good sources. The subjects to review include:
Information may be gleaned from several resources including the Constitution,
the US Code, and the California Code.
Privacy pp.161-166, vol. 8 (West's)
Freedom of Information Act pp. 101-103, vol. 7 (West's)
Records and Recording Laws (66 AmJur 2nd 36,41, 46.7)
Invasion of Privacy, Disclosure of Private Facts (28 AmJur 395)
Witnesses (98 C. J. S. 448)
Witnesses (2 Witkin Cal. Evid. @ 1255)
Numerous cases were found through citations in articles and from using
4th, 5th, and 9th Amendments to the Constitution
5 USCA 552(b)
California Public Records Act (Cal. Gov. Code @ 6250 et seq.)
Articles or Books:
The following items were found using LEXIS, Findlaw, and other databases.
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) 381 US 479
National Security Archive v. Federal Bureau of Investigations (1991) 759
F. Supp 872.
Steve Brown, On Behalf of Himself and All Others Similarly Situated, and
Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Des Moines, IA, Appellants,
v. Dan L. Johnston, Polk City Attorney, and Gerald Shanahan, Chief, Division
of Criminal Investigation of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, State
of Iowa, Appellees 328 N.W. 2d 510; 1983 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 1375.
Guard Publishing Co., Petitioner on Review v. Lane County School District
No. 4, Respondent on Review 310 Ore. 32; 791 P.2d 854; 1990 Ore. LEXIS
City of Hemet v. Superior Court 37 Cal. App. 4th 1411; 1995 Cal. App. LEXIS
Quad/Graphics, Inc. v. Southern Adirondack Library System 174 Misc. 2d
291; 664 N. Y. S. 2d 225; 1997 N. Y. Misc. LEXIS 493.
"Privacy and Librarians:
An Overview" Robert G. Weiner, .
"Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records" ALA 1970.
Lee, Janis. "Confidentiality from the stacks to the witness stand" American
Libraries, 19(6), 444.
Library Patrons & the Law by Arlene Bielefield and Lawrence Cheeseman,
Neal- Schuman: New York, 1993.
"Brown v. Johnston: The Unexamined Issue of Privacy in Public Library Circulation
Records in Iowa." Iowa L. Rev. 535 Jan. 1984.
"NYU Supreme Court Project: Appendix: Constitutional Law Appendix." 59
NYUL Rev. 1560 Dec. 1984.
"Out of the Sunshine and into the Shadows: Six Years of Misinterpretation
of the Personal Privacy Exemption of the Kentucky Open Records Act." 71
Ky. L. J. 853 1983.