Appendix C - Confidentiality of Library Records

From the Official Code of Georgia:

24-9-46. Confidential Nature of Certain Library Records

(a) Circulation and similar records of a library which identify the user of library materials shall not be public records but shall be confidential and may not be disclosed except:

  1. To members of the library staff in the ordinary course of business;
  2. Upon written consent of the user of the library materials or the users parents or guardian if the user is a minor or ward; or
  3. Upon appropriate court order or subpoena.

(b) Any disclosure authorized by subsection (a) of this Code section or any unauthorized disclosure of materials made confidential by that subsection (a) shall not in any way destroy the confidential nature of that material, except for the purpose for which an authorized disclosure is made. A person disclosing material as authorized by subsection (a) of this Code section shall not be liable therefore.

B. 9. Confidential Information

Athens Regional Library System endeavors to comply with all laws governing protection of information as well as lawful disclosure of information.

Library patrons are legally entitled to privacy with respect to information requested on their applications for borrowers’ cards, to the information they seek, and to the materials they use or borrow. These matters must not be discussed with other library patrons and should not become the subject of casual conversation among staff members. Library employees must adhere to the Athens Regional Library System’s Confidentiality Policy.

Personal information about staff members, such as home addresses, telephone numbers, children’s names, etc., should never be given out. Refer inquirers to Administration staff.

B. 9. a. Public/Open Records Requests

Georgia law provides for public records to be available for inspection by any person, subject to certain exceptions and regulations. Employees routinely create public records, such as incident reports, emails, and voicemails, that may be subject to inspection (O.C.G.A §§ 50-18-70 to 50-18-77) according to established library procedures. The library will conform to current Georgia laws covering public/open records.

Pursuant to Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 24-12-30), library circulation and registration records for individuals are not public records and should be maintained as confidential information. Any information and all portions of patron accounts and records are confidential and may not be divulged in whole or in part. Any inquiries about a patron’s library account should be denied and/or be referred to the Executive Director or the supervisor in charge at the time. Confidential patron information may only be disclosed as follows:

  • To library staff members or the library’s legally contracted billing agency in the ordinary course of business;
  • To attorneys representing ARLS;
  • Upon written consent of the account holder or the parents or legal guardians of minors;
  • Upon appropriate court order or subpoena as determined by the Executive Director.


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