ALA\'s \"Q&A on the confidentiality and privacy of library records\" is available:
What guidance does the American Library Association give libraries regarding privacy and confidentiality?
The American Library Association encourages all librarians, particularly those in public libraries, to work with their local legal counsel to ensure they understand state confidentiality laws so they may respond quickly to any requests from law enforcement. Forty-eight of 50 states have such laws on the books, but the language varies from state to state. The ALA recommends that each library adopt a policy that specifically recognizes the confidentiality of information sought or received, and materials consulted borrowed or acquired by a library user. These materials may include database search records, circulation records, interlibrary loan records and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, programs or services, such as reference interviews. Libraries are advised to rely on existing laws to control behavior that involves public safety or criminal behavior.
Libraries should have in place procedures for working with law enforcement officers when a subpoena or other legal order for records is made. Libraries will cooperate expeditiously with law enforcement within the framework of state law.
Links to other relevant ALA documents, including the \"Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information about Library Users\" are included.