Confidentiality of Library Records
The confidentiality and privacy of library users are protected by New York state law, campus-wide information policies and by library practices based on the principles of the American Library Association's Code of Ethics.
§ 4509. Library records. Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.
Article 45 Section 4509 of New York State's Consolidated Laws for Civil Practice Law and Rules, explicitly protects the privacy of individuals by prohibiting libraries from revealing borrower identity to third parties lacking proper jurisdictional authority. This law applies to all library services including Circulation, Interlibrary Loan and Class Reserve records.
In compliance with New York State law the Rensselaer Libraries will not reveal user specific information to any third party lacking jurisdictional authority without the prior approval of the library user to release that information.
With respect to Class Reserves, this means that faculty may only examine Class Reserves' detailed usage records if the following two conditions are met:
- Library staff are advised of this need when the Class Reserve List form is submitted; and
- All students are notified at the start of classes that faculty review of usage records is a condition of use of these materials.
This page is maintained by the Public Services Department