The David & Joyce Milne Public Library specifically recognizes that library records and patron information are confidential. Library records are defined as a record in any form that is maintained by the Library and that contains any of the following types of information:
- Information an individual is required to provide in order to be eligible to use Library services or borrow materials
- Information that identifies an individual as having requested or obtained specific materials or materials on a specific subject
- Information that is provided by an individual to assist a staff member to answer a specific question or provide information on a particular subject
Information that does not identify an individual and that is retained for the purpose of studying or evaluating the use of the Library is not considered confidential and is not subject to this policy.
Under Massachusetts law, Chapter 78,
§ 7. Cities and Towns May Establish Public Libraries.
A town may establish and maintain public libraries for its inhabitants under regulations prescribed by the city council or by the town, and may receive, hold and manage any gift, bequest or devise therefore. The city council of a city or the selectmen of a town may place in such library the books, reports and laws which may be received from the commonwealth. 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-sixth of section seven of chapter four. Library authorities may disclose or exchange information relating to library users for the purposes of inter-library cooperation and coordination, including but not limited to, the purposes of facilitating the sharing of resources among library jurisdictions as authorized by clause (1) of section nineteen E or enforcing the provisions of sections ninety-nine and one hundred of chapter two hundred and sixty-six.
Library records shall not be made available to any agency of federal, state, or local government, or to any spouse or other individual, except as pursuant to the following:
- For the records of minor children when requested by parents, guardians, or custodians
- In accordance with a subpoena, search warrant, or other court order, or to a law enforcement officer who is investigating a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances
- At the request or consent of the individual who is the subject of the record or information
- For library administrative purposes. Patron record information is available to the Board of Trustees members and employees of the library for use in the ordinary conduct of library business. Information may be shared with individuals and corporations outside the library, such as automation vendors in the normal course of database creation and management or agencies utilized in the collection of overdue materials and outstanding fees. The library does not provide patron information for commercial uses.