Cattaraugus Free Library Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records


In keeping with the Consolidated Laws of New York State (Civil Practice Laws and Rules, Section 4509) and the core values of librarianship, Cattaraugus Free Library will hold all library records and inquiries confidential.

For people to make full and effective use of library resources, they must feel unconstrained by the possibility that others may become aware of the books they read, the materials they use or the questions they ask. Therefore, the Trustees of the Cattaraugus Free Library have adopted the following guidelines concerning disclosure.

No information regarding or including:

  1. A patron’s name (or whether an individual is a registered borrower or has been),
  2. A patron’s address,
  3. A patron’s phone number,
  4. A patron’s borrowing records,
  5. A patron’s computer database searches,
  6. The number or character of questions asked by a patron,
  7. The frequency of content of a patron’s lawful visits to the library,

Or any other information supplied to the library or gathered by it shall not be given, made available or disclosed to any individual, corporation, institution, government agency or other agency without a valid process order or subpoena. Upon presentation of such, the library shall resist its enforcement until such a time as proper showing of good cause had been made in a court of competent jurisdiction. If the process or subpoena is not in proper form or good cause has not been shown, insistence shall be made that such defects be cured before any records are released.

[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, inter-library 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.]

Adopted by the Cattaraugus Free Library Board of Trustees on February 13, 2019