The staff and trustees of the Harrington Park Public Library recognize the need to protect library users’ privacy regarding resources utilized in the library setting. In accordance with the American Library Association Code of Ethics (1995) Section 3: “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.”
The records of patron use of library resources, materials or services are confidential per the laws of the State of New Jersey:
N.J.S.A. 18A:73-43.2 CONFIDENTIALITY OF LIBRARY USER’S RECORDS
Library records which contain the names or other personal identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:
a. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library.
b. Disclosure is requested by the user.
c. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpoena issued by a court or a court order.
All records concerning library users and information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted by users are confidential and will not be made available to any agency of the federal, state, county or local governments or to any other person unless a court order or search warrant requiring disclosure has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction or persons acting within the scope of their duties in the administration of the Harrington Park Public Library.
As Harrington Park is a member of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS), information pertaining to our library users and materials may only be located at the cooperative’s headquarters in Hackensack, New Jersey. In addition, as a member of a cooperative, requests for information regarding materials may affect all BCCLS’ libraries. Along with its member libraries, BCCLS considers user privacy to be of paramount importance. For information about how BCCLS maintains user privacy and legal notices please refer to the home page of the BCCLS website under "About BCCLS - Policies & Legal Notice" located at: http://www.bccls.org.
In providing information pursuant to a court order, the library shall follow the following procedures:
Any requests for information regarding a library user are to be referred to the library director, or designee, who will explain the library’s policy and New Jersey law.
If the library staff member is presented with a subpoena, he/she is to refer the presenter to the library director/designee, who is to contact the boro’s attorney to verify its validity and advise the library of what action to take.
If the library staff member is presented with a search warrant from a law enforcement officer, he/she is not to interfere with their search and seizure. The staff member is to contact the Library Director, or designee, as soon as possible, that a search warrant has been served so the Director can ask the officer to allow them to consult with legal counsel and to ask that the Borough’s attorney be present during the search. Whether or not the law enforcement official agrees to await the arrival of counsel, the Borough’s attorney shall be contacted. Library staff shall not interfere with a search conducted with a search warrant. A search warrant must be specific as to the information requested. Information outside of the scope of a search warrant should not be released.