Privacy of Library User Records

Colorado State law requires that library patron records and any other information that identifies a person as having used the library are confidential.

Concerning privacy of library user records, Colorado law (C.R.S. 24-90-119) states:

Privacy User Records:
1. Except as set forth in subsection (2) of this section, a publicly-supported library or library system shall not disclose any record or other information which identified a person as having requested or obtained specific materials or service or as otherwise having used the library.

2. Records may be disclosed in the following instances:

a. When necessary for the reasonable operation of the library;

b. Upon written consent of the user;

c. Pursuant to subpoena, upon court order, or where otherwise required by law.

3. Any library or library system official, employee or volunteer who discloses information in violation of this section commits a class 2 petty offense and , upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars.

In all cases, whether it be a request from a family member, a law enforcement agent, or a reporter, the library staff is ethically and legally bound to make every effort to protect the individual’s right to privacy no matter how convincing the argument to release information. By protecting the confidentiality of each borrower’s record, staff upholds the law and assures borrowers that they may borrow materials based on their individual needs.

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