State Laws on the Confidentiality of Library Records

Alabama - Kentucky


State laws are accessible through a variety of sources, both commercial and free. Three free sites are:

American Law Sources On-line (LawSource, Inc.)
FindLaw (Thomson)
WashLaw Web (Washburn University School of Law)

NOTICE: This page is current through July 15, 2011.

Legislators in the following states introduced bills in 2011 that, if passed, will affect the privacy interests of library users. The text of proposed legislation is added below each state's current law.

2011
California - SB 445 - Signed by Governor (7/11/2011) - becomes effective January 1, 2012
Illinois - HB0177 - Governor approved (7/14/2011) - law became effective 7/14/2011


The Alabama Legislature
Code of Alabama
Section 41-8-9. "Registration records" defined.
As used in Section 41-8-10, the term "registration records" includes any information which a library requires a patron to provide in order to become eligible to borrow books and other materials, and the term "circulation records" includes all information which identifies the patrons utilizing particular books and any other library materials in any medium or format.
(Acts 1983, No. 83-565, p. 866, §1.)

Section 41-8-10. Confidentiality of registration records.
It is recognized that public library use by an individual should be of confidential nature. Any other provision of general, special or local law, rule or regulation to the contrary notwithstanding, the registration and circulation records and information concerning the use of the public, public school, college and university libraries of this state shall be confidential. Registration and circulation records shall not be open for inspection by, or otherwise available to, any agency or individual except for the following entities: (a) the library which manages the records; (b) the state education department for a library under its jurisdiction when it is necessary to assure the proper operation of such library; or (c) the state Public Library Service for a library under its jurisdiction when it is necessary to assure the proper operations of such library. Aggregate statistics shown from registration and circulation records, with all personal identification removed, may be released or used by a library for research and planning purposes. Provided however, any parent of a minor child shall have the right to inspect the registration and circulation records of any school or public library that pertain to his or her child.
(Acts 1983, No. 83-565, p. 866, §2.)

Section 36-12-40.Rights of citizens to inspect and copy public writings; exceptions.
Every citizen has a right to inspect and take a copy of any public writing of this state, except as otherwise expressly provided by statute. Provided however, registration and circulation records and information concerning the use of the public, public school or college and university libraries of this state shall be exempted from this section. Provided further, any parent of a minor child shall have the right to inspect the registration and circulation records of any school or public library that pertain to his or her child. Notwithstanding the foregoing, records concerning security plans, procedures, assessments, measures, or systems, and any other records relating to, or having an impact upon, the security or safety of persons, structures, facilities, or other infrastructures, including without limitation information concerning critical infrastructure (as defined at 42 U.S.C. §5195c(e) as amended) and critical energy infrastructure information (as defined at 18 C.F.R. §388.113(c)(1) as amended) the public disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be detrimental to the public safety or welfare, and records the disclosure of which would otherwise be detrimental to the best interests of the public shall be exempted from this section. Any public officer who receives a request for records that may appear to relate to critical infrastructure or critical energy infrastructure information, shall notify the owner of such infrastructure in writing of the request and provide the owner an opportunity to comment on the request and on the threats to public safety or welfare that could reasonably be expected from public disclosure on the records.
(Code 1923, §2695; Code 1940, T. 41, §145; Acts 1983, No. 83-565, p. 866, §3; Act 2004-487, p. 906, §1.)


Alaska Legislature
Alaska Statutes
Section 40.25.140. Confidentiality of library records.
(a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, the names, addresses, or other personal identifying information of people who have used materials made available to the public by a library shall be kept confidential, except upon court order, and are not subject to inspection under AS 40.25.110 or 40.25.120. This section applies to libraries operated by the state, a municipality, or a public school, including the University of Alaska.

(b) Records of a public elementary or secondary school library identifying a minor child shall be made available on request to a parent or guardian of that child.


Arizona State Legislature
Arizona Revised Statutes
Section 41-1354. Privacy of user records; exceptions; violation; classification.
A. Except as provided in subsection B, a library or library system supported by public monies shall not allow disclosure of any record or other information which identifies a user of library services as requesting or obtaining specific materials or services or as otherwise using the library.
B. Records may be disclosed:
  1. If necessary for the reasonable operation of the library.
  2. On written consent of the user.
  3. On receipt of a court order.
  4. If required by law.
C. Any person who knowingly discloses any record or other information in violation of this section is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.


Arkansas Legislature
Arkansas Code of 1987
Section 13-2-701. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

(a) "Confidential library records" means documents or information in any format retained in a library that identify a patron as having requested, used, or obtained specific materials, including, but not limited to, circulation of library books, materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, patent searches, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audiovisual materials, films, or records; and

(b) "Patron" means any individual who requests, uses, or receives services, books or other materials from a library.
History: Acts 1989, No. 903, § 1.

Section 13-2-702. Penalty.
(a) Any person who knowingly violates any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars ($200) or thirty (30) days in jail, or both, or a sentence of appropriate public service or education, or both.

(b) No liability shall result from any lawful disclosure permitted by this subchapter.

(c) No action may be brought under this subchapter unless such action is begun within two (2) years from the date of the act complained of or the date of discovery.
History: Acts 1989, No. 903, § 2.

Section 13-2-703. Disclosure prohibited.
(a) Library records which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the patrons of public, school, academic, and special libraries and library systems supported in whole or in part by public funds shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except as permitted by this subchapter.

(b) Public libraries shall use an automated or Gaylord-type circulation system that does not identify a patron with circulated materials after materials are returned.
History: Acts 1989, No. 903, § 2.

Section 13-2-704. Disclosure permitted.
A library may disclose personally identifiable information concerning any patron to:
(1) The patron;
(2) Any person with the informed, written consent of the patron;
(3) A law enforcement agency or civil court, under a search warrant; or
(4) Any person, including, without limitation, the patron, who has received an automated telephone notification or other electronic communication for overdue materials or reserve materials if the person making the request can verify the telephone number or e-mail address to which the notice was sent.
History: Acts 1989, No. 903, § 2; 2003, No. 677, § 1; 2009, No. 757, § 1.

Section 13-2-705. Construction -- Statistics.
(a) No provision of this subchapter shall be construed to prohibit any library or any business operating jointly with a library from disclosing information for the purpose of:

(1) Collecting overdue books, documents, films, or other items or materials owned or otherwise belonging to such library;
(2) Collecting fines on such overdue books, documents, films, or other items or materials; and
(3) Contacting its patrons by telephone, mail service, or other medium for the purpose of notifying, informing, and educating such patrons or otherwise promoting the legitimate programs, policies, and other interests of the library.

(b) Aggregate statistics shown from registration and circulation records with all personal identification removed may be released or used by a library or library system for research or planning purposes.
History: Acts 1989, No. 903, § 2; 1995, No. 612, § 1.

Section 13-2-706. Use of information in evidence.
Personally identifiable information obtained in any manner other than as provided in this subchapter shall not be received in evidence in any trial, hearing, arbitration, or other proceeding before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the state or political subdivision of the state.
History: Acts 1989, No. 903, § 2.


California Legislature
California Government Code
Section 6267. Registration and circulation records of library supported by public funds.

All registration and circulation records of any library which is in whole or in part supported by public funds shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person, local agency, or state agency except as follows:

(a) By a person acting within the scope of his or her duties within the administration of the library.
(b) By a person authorized, in writing, by the individual to whom the records pertain, to inspect the records.
(c) By order of the appropriate superior court.

As used in this section, the term "registration records" includes any information which a library requires a patron to provide in order to become eligible to borrow books and other materials, and the term "circulation records" includes any information which identifies the patrons borrowing particular books and other material.

This section shall not apply to statistical reports of registration and circulation nor to records of fines collected by the library.

Section 6254. Records exempt from disclosure requirements.

Except as provided in Sections 6254.7 and 6254.13, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require disclosure of records that are any of the following:

.....

(j) Library circulation records kept for the purpose of identifying the borrower of items available in libraries, and library and museum materials made or acquired and presented solely for reference or exhibition purposes. The exemption in this subdivision shall not apply to records of fines imposed on the borrowers.


SB 445 (Introduced 2/16/2011; Amended 3/21/2011); signed by Governor (7/11/2011)
Senate Sponsors: Simitian

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 6267 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6267. All patron use records of any library which is in whole or in part supported by public funds shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed by a public agency, or private actor that maintains or stores patron use records on behalf of a public agency, to any person, local agency, or state agency except as follows:

(a) By a person acting within the scope of his or her duties within the administration of the library.

(b) By a person authorized, in writing, by the individual to whom the records pertain, to inspect the records.

(c) By order of the appropriate superior court. As used in this section, the term "patron use records" includes the following:

(1) Any written or electronic record, that is used to identify the patron, including, but not limited to, a patron's name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address, that a library patron provides in order to become eligible to borrow or use books and other materials.

(2) Any written record or electronic transaction that identifies a patron's borrowing information or use of library information resources, including, but not limited to, database search records, borrowing records, class records, and any other personally identifiable uses of library resources information requests, or inquiries.

This section shall not apply to statistical reports of patron use nor to records of fines collected by the library.


Colorado General Assembly
Colorado Revised Statutes
Section 24-90-119. Privacy of user records.

(1) Except as set forth in subsection (2) of this section, a publicly-supported library shall not disclose any record or other information that identifies a person as having requested or obtained specific materials or service or as otherwise having used the library.

(2) Records may be disclosed in the following instances:

(a) When necessary for the reasonable operation of the library;
(b) Upon written consent of the user;
(c) Pursuant to subpoena, upon court order, or where otherwise required by law.
(d) To a custodial parent or legal guardian who has access to a minor's library card or its authorization number for the purpose of accessing by electronic means library records of the minor.

(3) Any library official, employee, or volunteer who discloses information in violation of this section commits a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars.
Source: L. 83: Entire section added, p. 1023, § 1, effective March 22. L. 2003: (1) and (3) amended and (2)(d) added, p. 2463, §§ 17, 18, effective August 15.

Section 24-72-204. Allowance or denial of inspection - grounds - procedure - appeal.

.....

(3) (a) The custodian shall deny the right of inspection of the following records, unless otherwise provided by law; except that any of the following records, other than letters of reference concerning employment, licensing, or issuance of permits, shall be available to the person in interest under this subsection (3):

.....

(VII) Library records disclosing the identity of a user as prohibited by section 24-90-119.


Connecticut General Assembly
Connecticut General Statutes
Section 11-25. Reports by libraries. Confidentiality of records.

(a) The libraries established under the provisions of this chapter, and any free public library receiving a state appropriation, shall annually make a report to the State Library Board.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding section 1-210, records maintained by libraries that can be used to identify any library user, or link any user to a library transaction, regardless of format, shall be kept confidential, except that the records may be disclosed to officers, employees and agents of the library, as necessary for operation of the library.

(2) Information contained in such records shall not be released to any third party, except (A) pursuant to a court order, or (B) with the written permission of the library user whose personal information is contained in the records.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, "library" includes any library regularly open to the public, whether public or private, maintained by any industrial, commercial or other group or association, or by any governmental agency, but does not include libraries maintained by schools or institutions of higher education.

(4) No provision of this subsection shall be construed to prevent a library from publishing or making available to the public statistical reports regarding library registration and use of library materials, if such reports do not contain personally identifying information.

(1949 Rev., S. 1663; February, 1965, P.A. 490, S. 8; P.A. 75-316, S. 15; P.A. 81-431, S. 4; P.A. 07-227, S. 20.)

History: 1965 act substituted state library committee for state board of education; P.A. 75-316 substituted state library board for state library committee; P.A. 81-431 added Subsec. (b) concerning confidentiality of library circulation records; P.A. 07-227 replaced former Subsec. (b) re confidentiality of personally identifying information with new Subsec. (b) re confidentiality of records that can be used to identify library user or link user with library transaction and release of records, effective July 1, 2007.


Delaware General Assembly
Delaware Code
Section 29-100-10002. Definitions.

.....
(c) "Public body" means, unless specifically excluded, any regulatory, administrative, advisory, executive, appointive or legislative body of the State, or of any political subdivision of the State, including, but not limited to, any board, bureau, commission, department, agency, committee, ad hoc committee, special committee, temporary committee, advisory board and committee, subcommittee, legislative committee, association, group, panel, council or any other entity or body established by an act of the General Assembly of the State, or established by any body established by the General Assembly of the State, or appointed by any body or public official of the State or otherwise empowered by any state governmental entity, which: (1) Is supported in whole or in part by any public funds; or (2) expends or disburses any public funds, including grants, gifts or other similar disbursals and distributions; or (3) is impliedly or specifically charged by any other public official, body, or agency to advise or to make reports, investigations or recommendations. Public body shall not include any caucus of the House of Representatives or Senate of the State.

....

(e) "Public business" means any matter over which the public body has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power.

(f) "Public funds" are those funds derived from the State or any political subdivision of the State.

(g) "Public record" is information of any kind, owned, made, used, retained, received, produced, composed, drafted or otherwise compiled or collected, by any public body, relating in any way to public business, or in any way of public interest, or in any way related to public purposes, regardless of the physical form or characteristic by which such information is stored, recorded or reproduced. For purposes of this chapter, the following records shall not be deemed public:

.....

(12) Any records of a public library which contain the identity of a user and the books, documents, films, recordings or other property of the library which a patron has used;

History: 60 Del. Laws, c. 641, § 1; 61 Del. Laws, c. 55, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 424, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 191, §§ 2-6; 66 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 281, § 194; 69 Del. Laws, c. 67, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 250, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 260, §§ 1, 2, 3; 73 Del. Laws, c. 354, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 235, §§ 3-5; 77 Del. Laws, c. 38, §§ 1-5, 8; 77 Del. Laws, c. 211, §§ 1, 2.;


District of Columbia Code
Section 39-108. Confidentiality of circulation records [Formerly Section 37-106.2].

(a) Circulation records maintained by the public library in the District of Columbia which can be used to identify a library patron who has requested, used, or borrowed identified library materials from the public library and the specific material that patron has requested used, or borrowed from the public library, shall be kept confidential, except that the records may be disclosed to officers, employees, and agents of the public library to the extent necessary for the proper operation of the public library.

(b)(1) Circulation records shall not be disclosed by any officer, employee, or agent of the public library to a third party or parties, except with the written permission of the affected library patron or as the result of a court order.

(2) A person whose records are requested pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection may file a motion in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia requesting that the records be kept confidential. The motion shall be accompanied by the reasons for the request.

(3) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not operate to prohibit the officers of the public library from disclosing relevant information on a library patron to the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia or legal counsel retained to represent the public library in a civil action.

(4) Within 2 working days after receiving a subpoena issued by the court for public library records, the public library shall send a copy of the subpoena and the following notice, by certified mail, to all affected library patrons:

"Records or information concerning your borrowing records in the public library in the District of Columbia are being sought pursuant to the enclosed subpoena.

"In accordance with the District of Columbia Confidentiality of Library Records Act of 1984, these records will not be released until 10 days from the date this notice was mailed.

"If you desire that these records or information not be released, you must file a motion in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia requesting that the records be kept confidential, and state your reasons for the request. A sample motion is enclosed.
"You may wish to contact a lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you may call the District of Columbia Bar Lawyer Referral Service."

(5) The public library shall not make available any subpoenaed materials until 10 days after the above notice has been mailed.

(6) Upon application of a government authority, the notice required by paragraph (4) of this subsection may be waived by order of an appropriate court if the presiding judge finds that:

(A) The investigation being conducted is within the lawful jurisdiction of the government authority seeking the records;
(B) There is reason to believe that the records being sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry; or
(C) There is reason to believe that the notice will result in:

(i) Endangering the life or physical safety of any person;
(ii) Flight from prosecution;
(iii) Destruction of or tampering with evidence;
(iv) Intimidation of potential witnesses; or
(v) Otherwise seriously jeopardizing an investigation or official proceeding.

(7) The term "government authority", as used in paragraph (6) of this subsection, means any federal, state, or local government agency or department.

(c) The Board of Library Trustees may issue rules necessary to implement this section.

(d) Unless otherwise authorized or required by law, any officer, employee, or agent of the public library who shall violate any provision of this section or any rules issued pursuant to it commits a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than $ 300. The aggrieved public library patron may also bring a civil action against the individual violator for actual damages or $ 250, whichever is greater, reasonable attorneys' fees, and court costs.

History: (June 3, 1896, ch. 315, § 8, as added Mar. 13, 1985, D.C. Law 5-128, § 2, 31 DCR 5187; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-264, § 40, 46 DCR 2118.)


Florida Legislative Branch
Florida Statutes
Section 257-261. Library registration and circulation records.

(1) All registration and circulation records of every public library, except statistical reports of registration and circulation, are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and from s. 24(a) of Art. I of the State Constitution.

(2) As used in this section, the term “registration records” includes any information that a library requires a patron to provide in order to become eligible to borrow books and other materials, and the term “circulation records” includes all information that identifies the patrons who borrow particular books and other materials.

(3)(a) Except in accordance with a proper judicial order, a person may not make known in any manner any information contained in records made confidential and exempt by this section, except as otherwise provided in this section.

(b) A library, or any business operating jointly with the library may, only for the purpose of collecting fines or recovering overdue books, documents, films, or other items or materials owned or otherwise belonging to the library, disclose, information made confidential and exempt by this section to the following:

1. The library patron named in the records;
2. In the case of a library patron less than 16 years of age, the parent or guardian of that patron named in the records;
3. Any entity that collects fines on behalf of a library, unless the patron is less than 16 years of age, in which case only information identifying the patron’s parent or guardian may be released;
4. Municipal or county law enforcement officials, unless the patron is 16 years of age, in which case only information identifying the patron’s parent or guardian may be released; or
5. Judicial officials.

(4) Any person who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History: s. 1, ch. 78-81; s. 1, ch. 89-18; s. 1, ch. 96-220; s. 112, ch. 96-406; s. 1, ch. 2003-13; s. 6, ch. 2003-126.

For further clarification, see Florida Attorney General Opinion AGO 94-86.


Georgia General Assembly
Official Code of Georgia
Section 24-9-46. Confidential nature of certain library records.

(a) Circulation and similar records of a library which identify the user of library materials shall not be public records but shall be confidential and may not be disclosed except:

(1) To members of the library staff in the ordinary course of business;
(2) Upon written consent of the user of the library materials or the user's parents or guardian if the user is a minor or ward; or
(3) Upon appropriate court order or subpoena.

(b) Any disclosure authorized by subsection (a) of this Code section or any unauthorized disclosure of materials made confidential by that subsection (a) shall not in any way destroy the confidential nature of that material, except for the purpose for which an authorized disclosure is made. A person disclosing material as authorized by subsection (a) of this Code section shall not be liable therefor.

Code 1981, § 24-9-46, enacted by Ga. L. 1987, p. 595, § 1.


Hawaii State Legislature
Hawaii does not have a specific statute regarding the confidentiality of library records. However, an October 23, 1990 Office of Information Practices advisory opinion addressed to the State Librarian stated that "individuals have a significant privacy interest in information that reveals the materials that they have requested, used, or obtained from a public library" and that disclosure of such information would result in a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The opinion noted an exception for patrons owing fines on overdue books. (*)

OIP Opinion Letter No. 90-30

(*)Arlene Bielefield and Lawrence Cheeseman, Maintaining the Privacy of Library Records: A Handbook and Guide (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 1994), 87.



Idaho Legislature
Idaho Statutes
9-340E. Exemptions from Disclosure -- Archaeological, endangered species, libraries, licensing exams.
The following records are exempt from disclosure:

(1) Records, maps or other records identifying the location of archaeological or geophysical sites or endangered species, if not already known to the general public.

(2) Archaeological and geologic records concerning exploratory drilling, logging, mining and other excavation, when such records are required to be filed by statute for the time provided by statute.

(3) The records of a library which, when examined alone, or when examined with other public records, would reveal the identity of the library patron checking out, requesting, or using an item from a library.

(4) The material of a library, museum or archive which has been contributed by a private person, to the extent of any limitation that is a condition of the contribution.

(5) Test questions, scoring keys, and other data used to administer a licensing examination, employment, academic or other examination or testing procedure before the examination is given if the examination is to be used again. Records establishing procedures for and instructing persons administering, grading or evaluating an examination or testing procedure are included in this exemption, to the extent that disclosure would create a risk that the result might be affected.



Illinois General Assembly
Illinois Compiled Statutes

(75 ILCS 70/) Library Records Confidentiality Act.

(75 ILCS 70/1)(from Ch. 81, par. 1201)
Sec. 1. (a) The registration and circulation records of a library are confidential information. No person shall publish or make any information contained in such records available to the public unless:
(1) required to do so under a court order; or

(2) the information is requested by a sworn law enforcement officer who represents that it is impractical to secure a court order as a result of an emergency where the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger of physical harm. The information requested must be limited to identifying a suspect, witness, or victim of a crime. The information requested without a court order may not include the disclosure of registration or circulation records that would indicate materials borrowed, resources reviewed, or services used at the library. If requested to so so by the library, the requesting law enforcement officer must sign a form acknowledging the receipt of the information. A library providing the information may seek subsequent judicial review to assess compliance with this Section. This subsection shall not alter any right to challenge the use or dissemination of patron information that is otherwise permitted by law.

(b) This Section does not prevent a library from publishing or making available to the public reasonable statistical reports regarding library registration and book circulation where those reports are presented so that no individual is identified therein.

(b-5) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as a privacy violation or a breach of confidentiality if a library provides information to a law enforcement officer under item (2) of subsection (a).

(c) For the purpose of this Section, (i) "library" means any public library or library of an educational, historical or eleemosynary institution, organization or society; (ii) "registration records" includes any information a library requires a person to provide in order for that person to become eligible to borrow books and other materials and (iii) "circulation records" includes all information identifying the individual borrowing particular books or materials. (Source: P.A. 95-40, eff. 1-1-08.)

(75 ILCS 70/2) (from Ch. 81, par. 1202)

Sec. 2. This Act may be cited as the Library Records Confidentiality Act (Source: P.A. 86-1475.)


(5 ILCS 140/) Freedom of Information Act.
(5 ILCS 140/7.5) (from Ch. 116, par. 207)
Sec. 7. Exemptions.

.....

(b) Library circulation and order records identifying library users with specific materials under the Library Records Confidentiality Act.


HB0177 (Introduced 1/13/2011)
House Sponsors: Lyons, Riliey, Pritchard, Fortner, Moffitt, Burke;Senate Sponsors: Koehler
Status: Governor approved (7/14/2011) - law became effective 7/14/2011

(50 ILCS 205/3) (from Ch. 116, par. 43.103)

Sec. 3. Except where the context indicates otherwise, the terms used in this Act are defined as follows:

"Agency" means any court, and all parts, boards, departments, bureaus, and commissions of any county, municipal corporation or political subdivision.

"Archivist" means the Secretary of State.

"Commission" means a Local Records Commission.

"Court" means a court, other than the Supreme Court.

"Officer" means any elected or appointed official of a court, county, municipal corporation or political subdivision.

"Public record" means any book, paper, map, photograph, digitized electronic material, or other official documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made, produced, executed or received by any agency or officer pursuant to law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by such agency or officer, or any successor thereof, as evidence of the organization, function, policies, decisions, procedures, or other activities thereof, or because of the information data contained therein. Library and museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference, and stocks of publications and of processed documents are not included within the definition of public record. Paper copies of registration records, as defined in Section 1 of the Library Records Confidentiality Act (75 ILCS 70/1), shall not be considered public records once the information contained in the paper registration records is transferred into a secure electronic format and checked for accuracy.

Effective Date: 7/14/2011



Indiana General Assembly
Burns Indiana Code
Section 5-14-3-4. Exceptions to right to inspect public records -- Time limitation on confidentiality of records -- Destruction of public records.

(a) The following public records are excepted from section 3 of this chapter and may not be disclosed by a public agency, unless access to the records is specifically required by a state or federal statute or is ordered by a court under the rules of discovery:

(1) Those declared confidential by state statute.
(2) Those declared confidential by rule adopted by a public agency under specific authority to classify public records as confidential granted to the public agency by statute.

.....

(b) Except as otherwise provided by subsection (a), the following public records shall be excepted from section 3 of this chapter at the discretion of a public agency:

…..

(16) Library or archival records:

(A) which can be used to identify any library patron; or
(B) deposited with or acquired by a library upon a condition that the records be disclosed only:

(i) to qualified researchers;
(ii) after the passing of a period of years that is specified in the documents under which the deposit or acquisition is made; or
(iii) after the death of persons specified at the time of the acquisition or deposit.

However, nothing in this subdivision shall limit or affect contracts entered into by the Indiana state library pursant to IC 4-1-6-8.

.....

(c) Nothing contained in subsection (b) shall limit or affect the right of a person to inspect and copy a public record required or directed to be made by any statute or by any rule of a public agency.

(d) Notwithstanding any other law, a public record that is classified as confidential, other than a record concerning an adoption or patient medical records, shall be made available for inspection and copying seventy-five (75) years after the creation of that record.

.....

(h) Notwithstanding subsection (d) and section 7 of this chapter:

(1) public records subject to IC 5-15 may be destroyed only in accordance with record retention schedules under IC 5-15; or
(2) public records not subject to IC 5-15 may be destroyed in the ordinary course of business.




Iowa General Assembly
Code of Iowa
Section 22-7. Confidential records.

The following public records shall be kept confidential, unless otherwise ordered by a court, by the lawful custodian of the records, or by another person duly authorized to release such information:

.....

13. The records of a library which, by themselves or when examined with other public records, would reveal the identity of the library patron checking out or requesting an item or information from the library. The records shall be released to a criminal or juvenile justice agency only pursuant to an investigation of a particular person or organization suspected of committing a known crime. The records shall be released only upon a judicial determination that a rational connection exists between the requested release of information and a legitimate end and that the need for the information is cogent and compelling.

14. The material of a library, museum or archive which has been contributed by a private person to the extent of any limitation that is a condition of the contribution.



Kansas Legislature
Kansas Statutes
Section 45-221. Certain records not required to be open; separation of open and closed information required; statistics and records over 70 years old open.

(a) Except to the extent disclosure is otherwise required by law, a public agency shall not be required to disclose:

.....

(7) Library, archive and museum materials contributed by private persons, to the extent of any limitations imposed as conditions of the contribution.

(23) Library patron and circulation records which pertain to identifiable individuals.

.....

(b) Except to the extent disclosure is otherwise required by law or as appropriate during the course of an administrative proceeding or on appeal from agency action, a public agency or officer shall not disclose financial information of a taxpayer which may be required or requested by a county appraiser or the director of property valuation to assist in the determination of the value of the taxpayer's property for ad valorem taxation purposes; or any financial information of a personal nature required or requested by a public agency or officer, including a name, job description or title revealing the salary or other compensation of officers, employees or applicants for employment with a firm, corporation or agency, except a public agency. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit the publication of statistics, so classified as to prevent identification of particular reports or returns and the items thereof.

(c) As used in this section, the term "cited or identified" shall not include a request to an employee of a public agency that a document be prepared.

(d) If a public record contains material which is not subject to disclosure pursuant to this act, the public agency shall separate or delete such material and make available to the requester that material in the public record which is subject to disclosure pursuant to this act. If a public record is not subject to disclosure because it pertains to an identifiable individual, the public agency shall delete the identifying portions of the record and make available to the requester any remaining portions which are subject to disclosure pursuant to this act, unless the request is for a record pertaining to a specific individual or to such a limited group of individuals that the individuals' identities are reasonably ascertainable, the public agency shall not be required to disclose those portions of the record which pertain to such individual or individuals.

(e) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to exempt from public disclosure statistical information not descriptive of any identifiable person.

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), any public record which has been in existence more than 70 years shall be open for inspection by any person unless disclosure of the record is specifically prohibited or restricted by federal law, state statute or rule of the Kansas supreme court or by a policy adopted pursuant to K.S.A. 72-6214, and amendments thereto.



Kentucky Legislature (near bottom of page)
Kentucky law does not exempt library records from public scrutiny. However, Attorney General opinions exclude public and university library records from disclosure. Under Kentucky's open records statutes, Attorney General opinions carry the force of law. (*)

OAG 82-149 (March 12, 1982) and OAG 81-159 (April 21, 1981)

(***)Arlene Bielefield and Lawrence Cheeseman, Maintaining the Privacy of Library Records: A Handbook and Guide (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 1994), 95-6.



For questions or comments regarding this page, please contact Paul Neuhaus, Santa Clara University, at pneuhaus@scu.edu.
Page created December, 2002.
Last updated March 23, 2011.