Home Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Policies Customer Record Privacy

Hillsborough County
Department of Library Services
Policies and Procedures Manual

Subject: Customer Record Privacy

Effective: April 9, 2013

Supercedes: August 1, 2011

Review: 2 Years

  1. Purpose:
    1. It is the intent of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library (THPL) to protect the privacy of those who use the Library. THPL maintains and administers registration and circulation records under the provisions of Florida Statutes, Chapter 257.261, in order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of customers.
  2. Policy:
    1. No permanent records of specific materials borrowed or requested by a customer are retained once the items have been returned.
    2. Titles and barcode numbers of items checked out are retained in the customer’s record if fines and/or charges have accrued on the items. The Library or any business operating jointly with the Library may, only for the purpose of collecting fines or recovering overdue books or other items, disclose this information.
    3. Only statistical data is gathered from library registration and circulation records.
    4. Library cardholders may allow another person to act as their agent in borrowing materials by loaning their library card or key tag for this explicit use. Staff shall not grant permission to customers who request an exception to Florida Statutes, Chapter 257.261 by placing notes in the customer’s record.
    5. Requests by law enforcement or other agencies for information from or access to library customer records must be accompanied by an appropriate judicial order.
  3. Procedure:
    1. Requests for access to information regarding a customer’s record from law enforcement authorities are to be referred immediately to Library Administration.
    2. Customer records will not be used to collect or document information about library customers that is not directly related to circulation services as outlined in LS 101 Circulation Services and LS 103 Library Card Registration and Renewals.
    3. Customers may request information about their own library record by presenting their library card. If the library card is not available, the customer must show a photo identification to confirm identity and birth date.
    4. Parents or guardians may be given information about overdue items checked out by their children under the age of 17 provided that they can:
      1. Supply a photo identification to verify their identity or other identity as listed in LS 103.3A (2) Library Card Registration and Renewals
      2. Present the child’s library card or other acceptable verification of the child’s identity as listed in LS 103.3A (2) Library Card Registration and Renewals.
    5. When library staff is presented with a judicial order and/or request for information from or access to library customer records by law enforcement or other agencies, they will immediately contact Library Administration and/or their chief librarian for instructions.
  4. Authority:

    Pursuant to Section 5(1) of Chapter 84-443, Laws of Florida, the Public Library Board has the duty and the responsibility, among others, to serve in a recommending capacity to the Director of Library Services and to the County Administrator in respect to all matters pertaining to the public library.