Policy and Procedures in Response to the
Patriot Act of 2001
The Paulding County Carnegie
Library (PCCL) supports the President of the United States and
congressional leaders in our nation’s efforts to preserve and protect
the many hard-fought freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
Public libraries are facing a
dilemma of having the responsibility of protecting the privacy of our
patrons while responding to legitimate national security concerns.
The PCCL recognizes the confidentiality of information sought or
received and materials consulted, borrowed or acquired by a library user.
The PCCL strives to create a
library environment that is:
place for learning and pursuit of knowledge and information on any
place where patrons can ask any question and discuss any topic
The library will do its utmost to
uphold the privacy and confidentiality of patrons’ free access to
information. The library will rely on existing laws and library policies
to control behavior that involves public safety or criminal behavior.
the USA Patriot Act of 2001
HR-3162 became Public Law 107-56
in response to the events of 9/11/01.
The full title of the law is:
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate
Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.
The Act may provide law
enforcement broader boundaries when investigating information accessed and
transmitted by patrons with regards to national security concerns.
Access to patron information may
include but not be limited to:
The PCCL Policy & Procedures
Regarding Information Access and Confidentiality
Database Search Records: These records refer to the searches of the collection a
patron may conduct on the Online Public Access Terminals (OPAC).
These searches are conducted by utilizing the library’s automated
circulation system, Polaris. Polaris is a product of Gaylord Information Systems.
Once a search is conducted, the software does not retain a copy of
the search. Any records of
the search will not exist.
Patron material is circulated via the Polaris system.
The circulation software tracks materials currently checked out,
automatically erasing a reader’s borrowing record once a book is
returned and all fines are paid.
Computer Use Records: The library system is equipped with computers supplied via a
grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Patrons use their library card to check out computers while
using them. The library does
not assign a computer to a patron and no paper record with the patron’s
information printed is generated. When the patron logs off of a Gates
computer, the software erases all history of their research and activity.
Inter-Library Loan Records: Patrons may borrow items not owned by the PCCL from other
libraries worldwide via Inter-Library Loan (ILL). The PCCL tracks items
currently being borrowed and generates a paper record with patron
information. Once the
materials are returned and all appropriate fines and/or fees are paid, the
paper record is destroyed.
Reference Interviews: A reference interview occurs when a patron looking for information
approaches a library staff and staff questions or interviews the patron in
order to narrow down the specific information needed. No paper record is kept during the interview that has any
patron information on it. If
a patron name and number is taken by phone, and patron information is
written down, as soon as the requested information is delivered, the paper
record is destroyed.
The PCCL Policy & Procedures for
Complying with Law Enforcement
The PCCL staff will comply with
law enforcement when supplied with legal subpoena or warrant.
anyone approaches you alleging to be law enforcement official
requesting information, do not disclose to that individual any
contact a supervisor, department head, assistant director, or
supervisor, department head, assistant director, or director will ask
to see official identification and will photocopy the ID.
law enforcement present a subpoena, library staff should direct that
person to their supervisor, department head, assistant director, or
director; who will in turn direct the subpoena to legal council.
library staff is presented with a warrant, do not interfere with their
search and seizure. Contact
your supervisor, department head, assistant director or director as
soon as possible.
a record of all legal requests.
a record of all cost incurred by any search and/or seizures.
a “Gag Order” is not in effect, director will notify the American
If in the normal course of business, the library
staff observes what can be reasonably construed to be a threat of imminent
danger to life and limb they are to contact law enforcement immediately.
They should then contact their supervisor, department head, assistant
director or director and fill out an Incident Report form.
Content reviewed as “adequate to meet the needs
and responsibilities pursuant to the act and not impinging upon personal
liberties and/or constitutional rights” on January 7, 2003 by:
Burkard, Paulding County Prosecuting Attorney
Paulding County, Ohio
by the Paulding County Carnegie Library Board of Trustees on:
January 21, 2003