IC Library Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records

IC Library Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records

It is the policy of the Ithaca College Library that the privacy of all users shall be respected in compliance with federal and state laws and professional standards. All library records relating to an individual patron's use of the library and its resources are confidential. These records may be consulted and used by library staff in the course of carrying out library operations and will not be disclosed to others unless pursuant to a subpoena or court order, or where otherwise permitted by law. This policy applies to all resources regardless of their format or means of delivery as well as to all services offered by the Library.

The library will forward any law-enforcement request for patron information to the college attorney's office. Under no circumstances will library staff release the name of a patron who has an item checked out, or other identifiable information of library users.

To protect the privacy of Library patrons, the Ithaca College Library has procedures in place that minimize the retention of library patron information.

Confidentiality of library records is governed by New York CPLR 4509

NY CLS CPLR § 4509 (2001)
§ 4509. Library records

Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.

Questions regarding CPLR 4509 and its relevance to the Ithaca College Library must be addressed to the IC Division of Legal Affairs, 319 Peggy Ryan Williams Center, Ithaca, NY 14850.

USA Patriot Act of 2001

Federal law enforcement officials are required to obtain a court order before educational records are released under the Patriot Act. In order to obtain a court order, a U.S. assistant attorney general or higher ranking official must certify that the records are relevant to a terrorism investigation.

If Ithaca College Library staff are contacted by a law enforcement official with a request for library records, the request is to be referred immediately to the College's Vice President and College Counsel at (607) 274-3836.