The Poestenkill Library

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Confidentiality of Library Records

Poestenkill Library trustees and staff do not discriminate and they offer the same quality of service to all regardless of age, race, sex, nationality, educational background, physical limitations or any other criteria.


All interactions and transactions between a library patron or group of patrons and the staff or volunteers of the Library will be considered confidential and will be discussed only in a professional context. (Such matters include, but are not limited to, registration information, materials selection, loan transaction records, reference questions, patron card status, etc.). Any discussion of confidential patron issues should be limited to non-public areas.

The New York State Confidentiality Law protects the privacy rights of library users. This law prohibits the release of any information relating the name of a person and his/her library use without a properly executed subpoena from a court of law. Under this law, we cannot:

  • Tell a third party whether a person has a library card
  • Tell a parent what his/her child has borrowed, even if it is overdue
  • Send a reserve notice or reminder on a postcard
  • Reveal the nature of someone’s reference question to another person
  • Tell someone over the phone what they may have charged out or overdue, since no personal identification is presented

The above prohibitions are not all-inclusive. The law in its entirety reads as follows: “Library records. Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records pertaining to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audiovisual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order, or where otherwise required by statute.”

Complaints or concerns regarding confidentiality issues should be addressed, in writing, to the Library Director.

Approved by Poestenkill Library Board of Trustees on February 23, 2009
Reviewed by Poestenkill Library Board of Trustees on December 28, 2015
Reviewed by Poestenkill Library Board of Trustees on January 25, 2021