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Library Student Employee Guide: Patron Privacy

Training & easy reference guide for Library Student Assistants
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Patron Privacy


In libraries, patron privacy is absolute.  This means that you never share any information about a library patron, including

  • name
  • where they live
  • contact information
  • what they’ve checked out
  • what they’ve looked at in person or online
  • what databases they’ve used
  • what questions they’ve asked

You can discuss these topics privately with a librarian or other library staff member only for purposes of better helping that patron.  There are no other exceptions. Violating this rule is grounds for termination.

Legal Investigations

If a law enforcement officer asks you for any patron information, do not provide it. Instead, refer them to the library director.

The library cooperates with legal investigations, but there are procedures that must be followed. This usually means that a court order must be presented to our director and/or our legal counsel. They will work with law enforcement directly. 

You will never be the person releasing this information. Simply tell the officer that you are not authorized to release any information and provide contact information for our library director via their business card.

Park University Library
8700 NW River Park Drive, Box 61 - Parkville, MO - 64152
Phone: (816) 584-6285
Toll-free: (800) 270-4347