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Section title

Tacoma Public Library Policy #10.23: Confidentiality of Records

Revised March 18, 1992, April 21, 1999, February 16, 2011 - How does this policy affect you?

It is the policy of the Tacoma Public Library that its circulation records and other records identifying the names of Library users are confidential in nature.

1. Patrons have access to their records:
  • Online using their library card number and their Personal Identification number (PIN) number
  • Over the telephone with library card number and PIN number and birth date
  • In person with library card or picture identification
2. Parents/Legal Guardians have access to their minor child’s records:
  • Online using their child’s library card number and PIN number
  • Over the telephone with the child’s library card number and PIN number and birth date
  • In person with child’s library card
  • In person with picture identification matching the identification on the child’s record
  • In person with picture identification and identifying information in minor child’s record to include address, telephone number and birthdate.
3. The card owner is responsible for all activity on his/ her card. A person presenting someone else’s card will be allowed the same circulation transactions as the card owner. The card owner must be present to make changes of personal information including contact information and the scheduled update of the library card.

4. The library issues “group” cards to businesses and agencies. These cards are designed to be used by more than one person. The library assumes that the person presenting the card is authorized full circulation use of the card. The card owner must be present to make changes in personal information including contact information and the scheduled update of the library card.

5. A person, who wants to pay a fine for someone else and does not have the card available and is not the parent/legal guardian, will be required to pay in cash or by check to safeguard the privacy of the patron circulation record.

6. The library provides safeguards to protect the privacy of hold items on self-pickup shelves, but privacy is not guaranteed. Hold items may be picked up only under the following conditions:
  • Card owner presents library card or picture ID
  • Third party presents library card of patron who has hold item on shelf
  • Third party presents the hold pickup notice for the item on the shelf and their personal card for checkout (possession of the hold notice implies consent of the person who has placed the hold that someone else can pick up the item).
It is the policy of the Tacoma Public Library that it shall hold as confidential any patron registration information, and shall not generate or supply any lists of patron names for any purpose other than legitimate in-library use.

Such circulation records shall not be made available to any agency of State, Federal or local government, except pursuant to such process, order or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, Federal, State or local, civil, criminal or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigatory power. It is the policy of the Tacoma Public Library to resist the issuance or enforcement of any such process, order, or subpoena until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Nothing in this policy shall prevent the Board and the Library Administration from turning over records of delinquent borrowers to the Library’s authorized collection agency, or to a court of competent jurisdiction in which court the Library is prosecuting delinquent borrowers, nor impede nor prevent the timely mailing of overdue notices to delinquent Library borrowers.

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Last Updated 27.04.2011
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Tacoma Public Library · 1102 Tacoma Ave. South · Tacoma, Washington 98402 · 253.292.2001
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