The following is adopted as policy by the Ritter Public Library Board of Trustees in accordance with state and federal law.

All information contained in a customer record is confidential information and may only be released under the following limited circumstances by the Library Director:

  • A library record or customer information pertaining to a minor child when requested, in writing, by the parent, custodian or guardian of the minor child; or
  • In accordance with a properly issued subpoena, search warrant or other order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or
  • To a law enforcement officer who is acting in the scope of the officer’s law enforcement duties and who is investigating a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances which do not permit the officer to obtain a search warrant or other order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or
  • The customer, other than a minor child or an incompetent adult, requests such records; or the customer, other than a minor child or an incompetent adult, executes a written, signed release for such records to specifically name other individuals or corporations or government entities; or
  • The library needs to release the records for administrative purposes, including the establishment, maintenance or transfer of the library records management system; or records that document improper use of the Internet at the library, provided that patron identifying information is removed.

When library personnel are served with a subpoena, search warrant or other order from a court of competent jurisdiction, they should immediately notify the director. The director will notify the Erie County prosecutor’s office for legal assistance in these cases.
Customers may release their own library records and the records of minor children under their legal custody and control. A form is available should the need arise for a record’s release.

The library will comply with the U.S. Patriot’s Act of 2001 if a request is made under that act and after consultation with the Erie County prosecutor’s office.

For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  • Custodian – a person who has legal custody of a child, or a public children’s agency or private child-placing agency that has permanent, temporary or legal custody of a child. Custodian is not a foster parent.
  • Library Record – is a record in any form, written, verbal or electronic, that is maintained by the library and contains any of the following types of non-evaluative, identifying information:
  1. Information the library requires an individual to provide to determine eligibility for services; or
  2. Information that identifies an individual as having requested or obtained specific material or materials on a specific subject; or
  3. Information provided by an individual to assist a staff member to answer a specific question or provide information on a specific question.
  • Customer Information – is any personal, identifiable information about an individual who has used any library service or borrowed any library materials. Non-specific age or gender information is not considered customer information.
  • Exigent Circumstance – those circumstances which are so urgent that a law enforcement officer must choose public safety over the rights granted by Ohio statute to an individual.
  • Guardian – a person, association or corporation that is granted authority by a probate court pursuant to Chapter 2111 of the Ohio Revised Code to exercise parental rights over a child to the extent provided in the court’s order and subject to the residual parental rights of the child’s parents.
  • Internet – is the international computer network of both federal and non-federal, interoperable packet switched data networks, including the graphical sub network called the World Wide Web.
  • Minor Child – anyone under the age of eighteen (18) years.
  • Incompetent Adult – any person who is so mentally impaired as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability or metal retardation, or as a result of chronic substance abuse, that the person is incapable of taking proper care of the person’s self or property or fails to provide for the person’s family or other persons for whom the person is charged by law to provide, and for whom the state has appointed a guardian through a county probate court.

This policy will be strictly enforced. Any questions of staff concerning the implementation of the policy should be addressed to the director.

Adopted by:
The Ritter Public Library Board of Trustees
October 14, 2003