RECORDS-001: Confidentiality of Library Records
The Kansas Open Records Act, Kansas Statutes Annotated (KSA) 45-215, et seq., declares that it is the public policy of the state of Kansas that public records shall be open for inspection by any person. However, the Open Records Act places certain restrictions on this open access. At KSA 45-221, the Act defines what records are not required to be disclosed at the request of citizens or public officials. (Attorney General opinion 95-64 outlines open records access through electronic means.)
Records which libraries are not required to disclose include:
- A patron’s name (or whether an individual is a registered borrower or has been a patron.)
- A patron’s address and email address.
- A patron’s telephone number.
- The Library’s circulation records and their contents.
- The Library’s borrower’s records and their contents.
- The number or character of questions asked by patrons.
- The content of a patron’s computer use at the Library.
- The frequency or content of a patron’s lawful visits to the Library or any other information supplied to the Library (or gathered by it) should not be made available.
To protect patrons from unwanted activity on their accounts the following policies are in place.
- To access or make changes to a patron account in person, patrons must present either their library card, card number or a photo ID. Patrons may also answer a security question to confirm their identity (birthday, address, phone number, etc.).
- Minors, or the guardians listed on the minor’s account, must either present their library card, photo ID, or they may answer a security question to confirm their identity (birthday, address, phone number, etc.).
- To access or make changes to a patron account over the phone, patrons must provide the card number and full name associated with the account as well as answer a security question to confirm their identity (birthday, address, phone number, etc.).
- To access another person’s account, a person must have the library card or card number for that account, the full name associated with the account as well as be listed on the account as a person who can be provided information. A current photo ID is required to access another person’s account for verification.
Library records information is kept solely for the purpose of collection control, is to be utilized for internal library purposes only, and is not to be released to any person or organization, except that individual to whom a particular registration relates. Law enforcement requests for patron information will be honored upon presentation of relevant documentation. The request must be presented to the Director, Assistant Director or the Security Manager. Library staff or volunteers should not provide information for requests of user information.
If a request for patron information is made, the request must be presented to the Director or Assistant Director. Library staff or volunteers should not provide information for requests of user information.
The Library endorses the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, which 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.”
Revision Date(s): 03/15/2022, 10/15/2019
Latest Reviewed & Approved Date: 03/15/2022
The request for records should be made in writing to the Director or Assistant Director. The request will be kept on file.
The request will be filled as soon as possible. If the process takes more than 10 minutes of time, there will be a $2.00 plus $.25 per minute charge. Copies/prints cost $.10 per page. All fees must be paid upon receipt of the open records.
If the fee is estimated to exceed $10.00 prepayment will be required.
Revision Date(s): 10/15/2019
Latest Reviewed & Approved Date: 10/15/2019