Confidentiality of Library Records

CONFIDENTIALITY OF LIBRARY RECORDS

Florida Statute 257.261  Library registration and circulation records.

(1)  All registration and circulation records of every public library, except statistical reports of registration and circulation, are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and from s. 24(a) of Art. I of the State Constitution.

(2)  As used in this section, the term “registration records” includes any information that a library requires a patron to provide in order to become eligible to borrow books and other materials, and the term “circulation records” includes all information that identifies the patrons who borrow particular books and other materials.

(3)(a)  Except in accordance with a proper judicial order, a person may not make known in any manner any information contained in records made confidential and exempt by this section, except as otherwise provided in this section.

(b)  A library or any business operating jointly with the library may, only for the purpose of collecting fines or recovering overdue books, documents, films, or other items or materials owned or otherwise belonging to the library, disclose information made confidential and exempt by this section to the following:

1.  The library patron named in the records;

2.  In the case of a library patron less than 16 years of age, the parent or guardian of that patron named in the records;

3.  Any entity that collects fines on behalf of a library, unless the patron is less than 16 years of age, in which case only information identifying the patron’s parent or guardian may be released;

4.  Municipal or county law enforcement officials, unless the patron is 16 years of age, in which case only information identifying the patron’s parent or guardian may be released; or

5.  Judicial officials.

(4)    Any person who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

USA PATRIOT ACT (Public Law 107-56)

The libraries make every effort to protect your privacy by compliance with state law and by local practice, under the federal USA Patriot Act records of your library activities (including materials you borrow and your computer workstation usage) may be obtained by federal agents.  Federal law prohibits library staff from informing you or anyone else if federal agents have obtained your records.  See http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/ifissues/usapatriotactlibrary.htm
for more information about the USA Patriot Act and libraries.