Confidentiality of Patron Records Policy

The Patten Free Library recognizes the rights of library users to privacy and confidentiality.
We adhere to the American Library Association Code of Ethics that states in Article III:

“We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.”

Library Records

We follow Maine law (27 M.R.S. Section 121).

§121. Confidentiality of library records

1. Confidentiality. A record maintained by any public library, as defined in section 110, subsection 10, the Maine State Library, the Law and Legislative Reference Library or a library of the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System or the Maine Maritime Academy is confidential if the record contains:

     A.  A library patron’s personally identifying information, including but not limited to the library patron’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address; or

     B. Information that identifies a library patron as having requested, obtained or used books or other materials in any medium at the library or provided by the library

2. Permitted release. A record designated confidential by subsection 1 may be released only with the express written permission of the library patron involved; to officers, employees, volunteers and agents of the library to the extent necessary for library administrative purposes; or as the result of a court order.

3. Public record. A library may publish and release as a public record aggregated and statistical information pertaining to library patronage, circulation activities and use of any service or consultation the library provides as long as the release of the information does not jeopardize the confidentiality of a library patron’s personally identifying information.

Patron information may be released only to a law enforcement agency after presentation of a court issued subpoena or search warrant and/or under the provisions of the USA Patriot Act.


The Library does not share, rent, or sell email addresses to anyone.


Supporting Policies and Codes:
American Library Association Code of Ethics
American Library Association Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records

American Library Association Policy concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information about Library Users

Maine Revised Statutes Annotated (27 M.R.S. Section 121). Confidentiality of library records



Approved by the Patten Free Library Board of Trustees 10/13/2015
Last reviewed 12/4/2023; no substantive changes