Fontana Regional Library is committed to user confidentiality. The confidentiality of library records is a core part of library ethics and Fontana Regional Library follows the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.
This policy establishes guidelines for the protection of personally identifiable information contained in library records or accessible in the library or through its computer systems.
Confidentiality of Library Records
In keeping with the American Library Association's Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records and Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information About Library Users, and State of North Carolina General Statute §125-19, Confidentiality of Library User Records, Fontana Regional Library staff will not respond to requests by third parties for personally identifiable information about any library user. Confidentiality extends to information sought or received, and materials consulted or borrowed, and includes database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, interlibrary loan transactions, registration records, and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.
Personally identifiable information may be released only to a law enforcement agency after presentation of an order by a court of competent jurisdiction issued in proper form (a court issued subpoena or search warrant) and/or under the provisions of applicable federal law.
Personal Information Collected for Access to Library Services
Fontana Regional Library will collect information needed for users to receive library services such as borrowing privileges, access to Internet stations, receiving personal responses to questions, receiving library promotional materials, or being added to specific mailing lists. Information that may be collected includes user name, email address, postal address, telephone number and age. Records will be retained for the shortest length of time necessary to facilitate library operations or comply with applicable law. The Library does not share this information with outside parties except for possible instances related to the lawful recovery of materials or debt.
Email reference questions submitted to the Library will be retained only for the purpose of statistics and to assist with follow up queries from clients. The questions themselves and any personal information such as names, email addresses, telephone and fax numbers submitted with the questions are confidential and are treated as other library user information under provisions the Confidentiality of Library Records policy above.
Online suggestions and other general email to the library which do not apply to borrowing or intellectual pursuits may be considered public records under North Carolina General Statute §132, Public Records Law.
The North Carolina Public Records Law states that public records “shall mean all documents papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina or its subdivisions.” The Library is compelled to disclose all public records upon request.
Safeguarding Use of Library Cards
To check out items or retrieve account information requires a current library card or another way to verify identity.
Hold items will check out only to the requestor’s card. A friend or family member may pick up the hold items, if they have the requestor’s card.
We give hold/reserve information only to the requestor. Specific details on hold items will not be left with voice mail or other persons.
If someone other than the borrower returns a lost or overdue item, the person may pay the fine, but the account history will not be disclosed to them.
Persons may request access to all their personally identifiable information the Library collects online and maintains in its database by emailing email@example.com. The information may be changed or updated through the library catalog or in person at a local branch of the library.
The Library will only disclose personal information to the Friends of the Library or other outside organizations with written permission from the owner of the information.
FRL Website Privacy
Visitors can access the Fontana Regional Library website without providing any personal information.
Cookies are small text files placed on user computers by a website to enable customization of individual visits. Some library electronic services set temporary cookies for current sessions. These cookies do not capture personal information. Visitors can refuse the cookie by using instructions provided in browsers. Refusing or disabling cookies may result in an inability to access some library services. Cookies may be deleted when sessions are ended based on user settings.
Information Collected and Stored Automatically
The Library’s website automatically collects and stores only the following information:
- Internet IP addresses.
- Date and time of access to our site.
- The browser, operating system, screen resolution and screen colors used by computers accessing our site.
- Referring websites.
- Phrases and words used to search our site.
This information is used to help make the site more useful to visitors, to learn about the number of visitors to the site, to ensure that this service remains available to all users, and to identify unauthorized attempts to change information or otherwise cause damage. No individually identifiable information is collected and tracked.
For website security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, Fontana Regional Library utilizes a computer system that employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. These attempts to cause damage or unauthorized access to confidential data could be subject to legal action.
Other Websites Linked to Our Website
FRL is not responsible for the practices employed by websites linked to or from its website nor the information or content contained therein. Often links to other websites are provided solely as pointers to information on topics that may be useful to the users of the Library’s services.
Some FRL libraries have security cameras installed to improve safety for patrons and staff and to help prevent theft and vandalism. These recordings are used only by library staff and law enforcement officials investigating incidents that occur in and around the libraries.
Law Enforcement Requests
Any Library records containing personally identifiable information are confidential and shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government without the individual’s authorization, except pursuant to such proper process, order or subpoena, as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative power. Library records that may be subject to discovery may include: card registration with personally identifying information, current materials circulation, outstanding fines, computer sign-up, Internet searches, and program registration.
The Regional Director and duly appointed designees shall be responsible for handling all law enforcement or similar requests to obtain the Library’s confidential information.
If there is a request for confidential information:
- the Library staff shall immediately refer all law enforcement inquiries to the Regional Director or duly appointed designees;
- the Library staff shall not release any Library confidential information until authorized by the Regional Director or duly appointed designees; and
- the Regional Director or duly appointed designees shall immediately consult with appropriate legal counsel to determine if such request is in proper form and to formulate an appropriate response.
If the law enforcement agent or officer does not have a subpoena or court order compelling the production of records, the Regional Director or duly appointed designees shall explain the Library’s privacy and confidentiality policy and the state’s confidentiality law and inform the agent or officer that the Library’s confidential information is not available without the production of a valid subpoena or court order. If the agent or officer produces a subpoena or court order, the Regional Director or duly appointed designees shall immediately refer it to legal counsel for review. Based upon advice of legal counsel, Regional Director or duly appointed designees shall determine whether to release the requested confidential information.
Subject to the provisions of applicable law, the Regional Director will report in writing to the Board of Directors at their regular meeting, describing each instance, if any, in which the Library has received a request for information from local, state, or federal law enforcement agents, whether informally or by subpoena or court order, including the Library’s response to such request and the current status of each request.
Supporting Policies and Codes
American Library Association's Code of Ethics
American Library Association's Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records
American Library Association's Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information about Library Users
North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 132 Public Records