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  • Public Access to Records

    The Pasadena Public Library is committed to patron confidentiality and privacy as guaranteed by the California Public Records Act (California Government Code Title 1, Division 7, Chapter 3.5, Section 6267.) Library records collected for the purpose of conducting business, such as circulation and Internet use records, and other records that identify borrowers and users of Library materials and resources, are confidential and therefore exempt from disclosure, except as required by law. Disclosure of these records under any other circumstances may destroy their confidential nature.

    State law governing public access to records

    Sec. 6267. Registration and circulation records of libraries supported by public funds. All registration and circulation records of any library which is in whole or in part supported by public funds shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person, local agency, or state agency except as follows:

    Public Access to Records Policy
    1. By a person acting within the scope of his or her duties within the administration of the library.
    2. By a person authorized, in writing, by the individual to whom the records pertain, to inspect the records.
    3. By order of the appropriate superior court. As used in this section, the term “registration records” includes any information which a library requires a patron to provide in order to become eligible to borrow books and other materials, and the term “circulation records” includes any information which identifies the patrons borrowing particular books and other material.

    Record Retention Policy

    The Library can only release if required by law those records it has retained. The retention policy is as follows:

    1. Circulation records: When an item is checked in the link between the patron and the item is broken immediately. Circulation records are kept denoting broad statistical information, such as patron type (adult/juvenile) or ethnic group, but there is no link between item and personal information. Exceptions: While the book is checked out, or if there are fines on the book, the link remains.
    2. Fines owed: Records of fines imposed by the Library on a particular borrower may be released; these are considered “public records” under Section 6254.
    3. Lab computer signups: These handwritten signups for the lab computers are destroyed as soon as staff has been able to count the number of signups. This is done within a week.
    4. Personal Computer (PC) Reservation System: When a patron makes a reservation, the system records the patron barcode. The record of that reservation, including the patron barcode, is retained in the system until the end of the day, at which time the actual patron barcode is purged from the record. From then on, the system only knows generic information about reservation history, not the specific barcodes related to individual patrons. As a further measure, every week the previous week’s reservations are purged entirely from the system.
    5. Exhibit Materials: The Library is not required to give members of the public access to special materials made or acquired for display or exhibit purposes. Public access to such materials will be at the discretion of the Library Director and under the conditions imposed by him or her. Such materials may also be released pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum.
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