The Hunterdon County Library Commission, at its regular meeting on August 10, 1976, adopted the following amended version of the ALA Council’s POLICY ON CONFIDENTIALITY OF LIBRARY RECORDS.
In recognizing the library’s position of special trust with members of the public, the Library Commission of the Hunterdon County Library wishes to clarify its policy and responsibility with regard to confidential information about patrons (and patron use of library resources) that comes into the library’s possession.
As the choice of books and other library materials, along with the use of the informational resources of the library, is essentially a private endeavor on the part of each individual patron, the library shall make every reasonable and responsible effort to see that information about that patron and his choices remains confidential. For people to make full and effective use of library resources they must feel unconstrained by the possibility that others may become aware of the books they read, the materials they use, the questions they ask. The awareness of the existence of such a possibility inhibits free usage of the library, its resources and facilities, and is contrary to the ALA Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement.
Therefore, the Library Commission of the Hunterdon County Library has adopted the following guidelines concerning the disclosure of information about library patrons:
No information regarding or including:
All library employees (and those volunteers who work in its behalf) are hereby instructed to comply with these guidelines. The Library Commission recognizes that it is only through continued public confidence in the fact that these guidelines are indeed being upheld, can the public maintain its confidence in the public library. It is this confidence that is vital to the library’s role in the community and the community’s right to know.
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