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Board of Trustees Policy Manual

The purpose of this manual is to provide to the members of the Fairfax County Library (FCPL) Board of Trustees, the Library Administration and staff, all of the basic statutes, regulations and policies pertinent to the overall direction of FCPL

Policy Regarding Privacy of Patrons' Research and Reading Materials

Policy Regarding Privacy of Patrons' Research and Reading Materials

  1. Library service records are maintained for the sole purpose of conserving public property and are not to be used to identify the titles or kinds of material viewed by individual Library patrons, except as required by this Policy J. For patrons aged zero to twelve, it is assumed that parents may need access to the child’s records.
  2. Library service records, whether in paper or electronic form, that reveal the details, nature, or purpose of information requested or obtained by an identifiable patron shall not be revealed to any person or entity unless required by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, subpoena, or court order.
    1. The Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3700 through -3714 ("VFOIA"). The VFOIA governs the handling of requests for records in the possession of a public body in the transaction of public business, which includes records of the Library. Under VFOIA, such records are generally open to inspection and copying by Virginia citizens and representatives of the news media.
    2. There are library-specific exemptions to VFOIA that include library records that can be used to identify patrons based on their borrowing records, the materials that patrons have borrowed, and the records of youth.
    3. Subpoenas, search warrants, and other court orders. Any library staff person who is served with a subpoena, search warrant or other court order for library records shall immediately send the document to the Library Director. The Library Director, in consultation with the County Attorney, shall be responsible for directing any response. The Library Director shall advise the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees of the document and inform it of any action taken in response.

April 11, 2018

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