Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Board Policy 525: Confidentiality of Library Circulation Records

Board Policy 525: Confidentiality of Library Circulation Records


The Monterey Public Library strictly maintains a policy guarding the confidentiality of customer records in accordance with California State law and the American Library Association Code of Ethics (attached).

The California Public Records Act; Government Code Sections 6250 – requires in general the disclosure of records of a public agency “concerning the conduct of the people’s business”. However, Section 6254(j) states “nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require disclosure of records that are any of the following:

“Library circulation records kept for the purpose of identifying the borrower of items available in libraries, and library and museum materials made or acquired and presented solely for reference or exhibition purposes. The exception in this subdivision shall not apply to records of fines imposed on the borrowers.”


Section 6267 of the Government Code defines “patron use records” as:

  • Any written or electronic record, that is used to identify the patron, including, but not limited to, a patron's name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address, that a library patron provides in order to become eligible to borrow or use books and other materials.
  • Any written record or electronic transaction that identifies a patron's borrowing information or use of library information resources, including, but not limited to, database search records, borrowing records, class records, and any other personally identifiable uses of library resources information requests, or inquiries.


In accordance with Section 6267, the patron use records of the Monterey Public Library are confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person, local agency or state agency except for the following:

By a person acting within the scope of his or her duties within the administration of the library.
By a person authorized, in writing, by the individual to whom the records pertain, to inspect the records.
By order of the appropriate superior court.

Disclosure process

The disclosure process shall be as follows:

  • Upon receipt of a court order, the Library Director or designated manager shall consult with the City Attorney, who will determine and advise the Library of the appropriate response or action before any records are released.
  • Any threats or unauthorized demands shall be reported to the Library Director or designated manager.

Access to a borrower’s own records

Available circulation or other patron use records for a particular individual shall be made available to that specific individual upon request to authorized staff. Proper identification must be provided.

Any issues relating to the privacy of customer records which are not provided for above are to be referred to the Library Director or designated manager.

Adopted: July 28, 1993
Revised: December 7, 2011