The Hege Library of Guilford College recognizes and honors the right to privacy of all library patrons. The Library maintains the confidentiality of library user records in accordance with the laws of North Carolina as stated in the North Carolina General Statutes, Volume 17, Article 3, Sections 125-18 and 125-19, subject to changing United States statutes and regulations. This includes personal data in the Library database as well as information concerning materials and /or information which the user has requested, borrowed, obtained, copied, or used in print, audiovisual, electronic or other formats.
Disclosure of library records may be permitted in the exceptions allowed by Section 125-19, part (b), that permits disclosure (1) “When necessary for the reasonable operation of the library;” (2) “Upon written consent of the user:” or (3) “Pursuant to subpoena, court order, or where otherwise required by law.” The legal counsel to Guilford College must first review a subpoena or court order for library records before any records can be released or revealed. In the case of a warrant, Library staff can only request a delay while calling for legal counsel to be present during the execution of a warrant, but must comply at once as required.
The Library generally intends to impose a narrow interpretation of the scope of exceptions permitted for “reasonable operation of the library.” Monies owed to the library are monies owed to the College. In the case of lost or damaged materials, library fines or other fees, the Library will therefore notify the Business Office and/or the Registrar of unpaid debts so that the appropriate action may be taken to collect amounts owed.
The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) supercedes all state privacy legislation and amends such Federal legislation as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This and related legislation make it easier for Federal law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants in an investigation that they say relates to terrorism. The legislation also removes in some cases requirements for notifying individuals of the release of personal information. It also amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to include in warrants under that act a gag order that would prevent Library staff from notifying anyone, other than the College’s legal counsel, of the service of a warrant under this section of the Act.
Any person who believes that personal or “library use” information has been improperly released to another party may provide a full written report to the Library Director who will initiate an appropriate investigation. Should a violation be determined to have occurred, the Director’s report will include recommendations for appropriate disciplinary action to be taken for any violation of the library policy.