NEWBURY TOWN LIBRARY CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY
The Newbury Town Library maintains the confidentiality of all patron records and transactions as required by law. According to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 78, Section 7 “that part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be a public record as defined by clause twenty-six of section seven of chapter four.”
Confidentiality extends to all patrons, regardless of age. It covers information sought or received, and materials consulted or borrowed. The policy includes database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, interlibrary loan transactions, registration records, and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials.
The Newbury Town Library recognizes the need for parents or legal guardians to have information on library material borrowed by young patrons in order to locate misplaced items or pay for replacement of material that cannot be found. In these circumstances, library staff may release this information if the parent or guardian is in possession of the minor’s library card. All patrons are encouraged to use their library card and PIN to access their own borrowing records and those of their children.
The library requires a subpoena or search warrant authorized under the authority of federal, state, or local law to release a patron’s library record as part of a civil or criminal investigation. Upon receipt of any such subpoena or search warrant, the Library Director will consult with legal counsel to determine if the subpoena or search warrant is in proper form and if there is a valid basis for its issuance before providing a patron’s confidential information.
Library staff will not release information to any members of the public pertaining to the presence, or lack of presence, of any person at the Library except in certain emergency cases at the discretion of the Director.
Approved by Board of Library Trustees June 20, 2023