State Laws on the Confidentiality of Library Records

Exceptions to State Laws


Table 3: Exceptions to State Laws

State
User Consent
Parent or Guardian
Court Order (C.O.), Subpoena (S), Required by Law (L), or Other
Individual has Access to Her/His Records
Internal Use of the Library
Statistical Reports Permitted
Overdue Materials, Fines, or Notices
Alabama

Yes


Yes
Yes

Alaska

Yes
C.O.




Arizona
Yes

C.O. / L

Yes


Arkansas
Yes

C.O.


Yes
Yes
California
Yes

C.O.

Yes
Yes
Yes
Colorado
Yes
Yes
C.O. / S / L
Yes
Yes


Connecticut
Yes

C.O.

Yes
Yes

Delaware







District of Columbia
Yes

C.O. / S

Yes


Florida

Yes
C.O. / S
Yes

Yes
Yes
Georgia
Yes
Yes
C.O. / S

Yes


Hawaii






Yes
Idaho







Illinois


C.O. / O (limited access)


Yes

Indiana


C.O. / L




Iowa


C.O.




Kansas





Yes

Kentucky


C.O.




Louisiana
Yes
Yes
C.O.

Yes

Yes
Maine
Yes

C.O.




Maryland




Yes


Massachusetts







Michigan
Yes

C.O.


Yes

Minnesota


C.O.

Yes


Mississippi
Yes

C.O.

Yes
Yes
Yes
Missouri
Yes

C.O.

Yes
Yes

Montana
Yes

C.O.


Yes
Yes
Nebraska







Nevada


C.O.




New Hampshire
Yes

C.O. / S / L

Yes
Yes

New Jersey
Yes

C.O. / S

Yes


New Mexico
Yes
Yes
C.O.

Yes

Yes
New York
Yes

C.O. / S / L

Yes


North Carolina
Yes

C.O. / S / L

Yes


North Dakota


C.O. / S




Ohio
Yes
Yes
C.O. / S

Yes
Yes
Yes
Okhahoma
Yes

C.O.

Yes


Oregon







Pennsylvania


C.O.




Rhode Island




Yes
Yes

South Carolina
Yes

C.O. / S (Probably)

Yes
Yes

South Dakota

Yes
C.O.




Tennessee
Yes

C.O.

Yes

Yes
Texas


C.O. / S
Yes
Yes


Utah

Yes
C.O. / S
Yes



Vermont







Virginia

Yes





Washington





Yes

West Virginia
Yes

C.O. / S

Yes


Wisconsin
Yes
Yes
C.O. / O

Yes


Wyoming

Yes


Yes


State
User Consent
Parent or Guardian
Court Order (C.O.), Subpoena (S), Required by Law (L), or Other (O)
Individual has Access to Her/His Records
Internal Use of the Library
Statistical Reports Permitted
Overdue Materials, Fines, or Notices

User Consent = patron gives permission for another individual to view her/his records

Parent or Guardian = law allow parents or guardians to access records of their minor children

Court Order (C.O.), Subpoena (S), or Required by Law (L) = authorizes the use of protected library records as evidence or for law enforcement purposes There are different types of court orders. Some states may limit court orders to a particular type (e.g., Arkansas mentions only search warrants).

Individual has Access to Her/His Records = to determine what information is held on the individual and to correct inaccuracies

Internal Use of the Library = allows data to be used by library personnel to ensure proper functioning of the library

Statistical Reports Permitted = library can release aggregated data with all identifying information removed

Overdue Materials, Fines, or Notices = library can release data to individuals, law enforcement personnel, or to businesses working with the library to accomplish these purposes


For questions or comments regarding this page, please contact Paul Neuhaus, Santa Clara University, at pneuhaus@scu.edu.
Page created June, 2005.
Last updated May 5, 2008.