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Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library Policies: Privacy & Confidentiality Policies

All of the library's policies are posted here. Find information about our policies relating to collection development, public access, filming, services and more.

Privacy & Confidentiality Policies

Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library's Privacy & Confidentiality Policies

In a library setting, a user’s right to privacy includes the freedom to inquire about any information without having others question or examine them.  The library’s responsibility with regard to confidently is to possess the least amount of personally identifiable information on a user while keeping it private.  This includes but is not limited to circulation records, reserve records, interlibrary loan requests, reference interactions, database searches, and web sit visits. These records are subject to the USA PATRIOT Act.

  • Circulation information that is maintained includes:
    • Registration record: patron’s name address, phone and email address
    • Materials currently checked out and/or items a patron has requested
    • Unpaid fines and or fees

Unless fines or other exceptions occur, each circulation transaction is deleted when the material is returned.  Patron records are deleted when the patron permanently leaves Fitchburg State.

Exception:  If a faculty member requests usage information for reserves, items will be placed on physical reserve and manual records will be maintained, HOWEVER, the faculty member will need to notify the students in advance and the staff requests this be done by including a statement on the course syllabus.

  • Information for Interlibrary loan and document delivery transactions/requests are handled in the same manner as circulation.  All personal information is destroyed when the transaction is completed.

  • Reference interactions
    • In person and telephone interactions do not require keeping patron information
    • Email requests are destroyed when the request is completed
    • Online database registration requires a username and password, personal information is not kept.

The library staff will only use the patron information for the enforcement of library rules or for resolving research inquiries (except for fines, lost items, interlibrary loan requests, reference questions).

The library staff of the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library protects the privacy of library users.  The library staff endorses the American Library Association's Code of Ethics that states, “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.” Law prohibits the staff from giving out any information regarding a patron’s library account to ANY other person regardless of their status or identity, without a subpoena, search warrant, or court order. The library staff also adhere to the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association.

Copies of the American Library Association documents available:

USA PATRIOT Act

Summary of USA PATRIOT Act:

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1861, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56).  “The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (“USA Patriot Act”) became law on October 26, 2001…expand[ing] the authority of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement to gain access to business records, medical records, educational records and library records, including stored electronic data and communications.”

Section 215 of this law:

  • Allows the FBI to obtain search warrants for library circulation records and Internet use records
  • Does not require the FBI to show probable cause that the information being sought is evidence of a crime
  • Prohibits librarians from disclosing to the library patron that the FBI has requested or been given information about him/her.

This information was adapted from “The USA Patriot Act in the Library,” American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/federallegislation/theusapatriotact.

For more information go to: http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/advleg/federallegislation/theusapatriotact/advocate/index.cfm.