VIII. Records Protection and Retention Policy
Adopted November, 2003
Statement of Principles Regarding Privacy and Confidentiality of Records
1. The Pillsbury Free Library endorses the principles of confidentiality and privacy of the library usage records of individuals as described in NH RSA 201-D:11. Library User Records: Confidentiality, and in the ALA’s Library Code of Ethics, and the Library Bill of Rights.
2. Library staff and Trustees shall take all reasonable measures to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patron’s Library usage records, without regard to the patron’s age, race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, politics, or philosophy.
Access to Records
1. Personal library usage records shall be protected from unauthorized, accidental, and non-essential access, whether by library or non-library personnel.
2. Access to records may be restricted or denied on the basis of relevant library policies or local, State, or Federal laws.
3. Access may be limited by use of electronic firewalls or passwords, by physical location, or by adherence to job descriptions, established procedures, law enforcement, or other methods.
4. Library staff and volunteers shall refer requests for access by outside persons or agencies to the appropriate person according to procedures approved by the Trustees.
5. Available information about library usage by an individual may be released to that same individual upon their request, in the manner designed to protect their privacy as far as possible. Such information may also be released to another person with the individual’s consent.
6. Legal counsel and/or local law enforcement personnel shall be consulted before releasing any records, or giving access to equipment containing records, to any person or agency not covered under item #5 above who requests such records for other than regular library purposes by library employees and consultants to ensure the request is legal.
7. The Library Director shall keep a record of any requests for personal usage records, including the date and the name of the requesting person and/or agency, and information about the resulting activities. The record shall be kept confidential if required by law.
8. Records describing materials held by the library (catalog records) shall be made available to patrons locally and via the NH State Library’s online NHU-PAC in a standardized, easily accessible form.
9. Local catalog records shall be protected from mischievous or malicious tampering as much as possible, and OCLC catalog records shall not be copied for unauthorized use at other locations.
Retention of Records
1. Records of individual patron usage of library resources shall be limited to the minimum level necessary for the normal functioning of the Library and for general statistical reports. Such records shall be removed and destroyed as soon as they are no longer needed.
2. General statistics about usage not linked to an identified individual may be retained indefinitely.
3. Financial records shall be retained for as long as legally necessary to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal guidelines for accountability.
4. The catalog records of individual items held by the library shall be removed from the library’s public catalog and the holdings information removed from the statewide NHU-PAC when the materials are removed from the collection.
5. In-library use of materials and resources may be counted for statistics but a record of who uses the materials will be retained only if necessary to obtain payment for damage or loss.