Patron Confidentiality and Privacy Policy

(Adopted 4/17/17, reviewed 4/16/18, 4/15/19)

All Delphi Public Library patrons are entitled to privacy regarding their use of library materials and services as follows:

Library Records

In accordance with IC 5-14-3-4 and the Delphi Public Library’s Access to Library Public Records Policy, all DPL library records, the primary purpose of which is to maintain control of library materials or to gain access to information that discloses or could be used to disclose the identity of a library patron, are confidential in nature. Staff may not access any information about any library use for any purpose except that related to the transaction of library business.

Library records include all circulation records, computer booking records, and other records linking the names of library patrons, their addresses, and other personal information with specific library materials. Such records will not be made available to any individual, organization, or federal, state, or local government agency, with limited exceptions.

DPL is legally obligated to honor requests for library records made by an agency of federal, state, or local government, including but not limited to law enforcement agencies, when a subpoena, warrant, court order, or other investigatory document is properly issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that shows good cause. When a request for library records is received, library staff will follow the Policy for Responding to Third Party and Law Enforcement Requests for Library Records and User Information.

Although library records are confidential in nature, the following allowances are made:

• Any patron is entitled to his or her own library account information.
• A parent or guardian may have access to a library account for minor children up to age 18 unless the minor is emancipated. This information will not be released without verification of card ownership/parental relationship.
• Staff may use library accounts and the computer booking system to provide patron information to the police for the purpose of implementing a DPL-initiated trespass or to pursue legal action.
• Staff may use library accounts to notify a patron regarding recovery of stolen library materials or lost and found items.
• Staff may provide access to a patron’s records to another individual who has been given the physical library card by the patron. (If an individual has possession of another person’s library card, permission is assumed. If a library card is misplaced or stolen, the library should be notified immediately.)
DPL does not sell, lease, or otherwise distribute or disclose patron name, email address, postal address, telephone number, or other personal information to outside parties.

 

Use of Facilities

There is no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding a person's presence in a public building. For that reason, library staff may respond to questions from law enforcement officers about a person's presence in the library. Please note that there is a distinction between privacy of a patron's use of library materials and services and their physical presence in a public building. For example:

If a law enforcement officer asks staff for information from a patron’s library account or asks if a patron has used the computers, staff should follow the Policy for Responding to Third Party and Law Enforcement Requests for Library Records and User Information.

If a law enforcement officer, who has provided identification, shows staff a picture of a patron and asks if the patron has been in the library during a designated time period, library staff should answer the officer's inquiry to the best of their ability as the patron has no expectation of privacy in this instance.

 

Staff may not proactively monitor the library for an individual, regardless of age, and report to law enforcement when that person comes into the library.


Staff may not verify one patron’s presence in the library to another patron via telephone or in person, regardless of age (e.g. a parent looking for a child), unless an emergency exists.

Patron privacy is automatically waived if staff believes that a crime is being committed in the library. Patron privacy is also automatically waived in cases of suspected child abuse or neglect, which must be reported to the proper authorities.

Patron Holds

When leaving phone messages for patrons about holds that are available for them, staff should use the generic message, “We have a book available that you requested.” Staff should not state the name of the item that is on hold unless they are talking directly to the person who placed the hold.

Remote Access

DPL takes many measures to safeguard patron information but cannot and does not guarantee that every task completed via its website, catalogs, databases, or public computers is private.

Staff Training

The library director is to ensure that every library employee is provided with a copy of this policy and participates in training on its implementation, such training to be done at least annually.

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