Confidentiality of Library Records
Confidentiality of Library Records and Security Footage
Patron records generated by Missouri River Regional Library, including security footage, are confidential. Such records may be released to assist law enforcement agencies in accordance with applicable state and federal laws upon receipt of a subpoena. The requirement of a subpoena may be waived by the director or authorized employee when appropriate.
Approved September 18, 2018
Confidentiality of Library Records Procedure
Consistent with Sections 182.815 and 182.817 RSMo regarding disclosure of library loan records, library staff will require patrons consent to these procedures, using the library application form to obtain a library card, and library staff may release library records under the following conditions:
A. Access to an individual's own account record:
- An individual may provide his/her valid library card (card), card number or photo ID.
B. Access to another person's account record with permission:
- A cardholder may grant permission to another person to access their account. Such permission will be recorded in the cardholder’s record. The person so listed may access the account using their own valid card or card number or their photo ID.
- An individual who has been given permission to access the cardholder’s account as shown in the cardholder’s record may provide the cardholder’s valid card or card number. Their possession of the card or card number is assumed to be approved by the cardholder if it has not been reported stolen or missing.
C. Access to a minor's account record: MRRL only issues a card to a minor (under the age of 18) with the agreement of the minor's parent or guardian, as a minor is not legally "competent" to contract under Section 431.055 RSMo. MRRL recognizes the right of the parent or guardian of a minor child to have access to that minor’s library record. When issuing or updating a minor’s library record, MRRL staff will record the name(s) of the minor’s parent(s) or guardian(s) in the account record.
- A parent or guardian whose name is listed on the minor’s account may provide their own photo ID, whether or not the minor is present, or the parent or guardian may call with the minor’s card number.
- In cases of joint custody when parents or guardians have established two or more separate accounts for the minor, the parent or guardian will have access to only the record(s) on the account(s) on which their name is recorded.
- Non-custodial parents may access a minor’s record by providing the corresponding card or card number or, in the case that they are listed as an approved user of the account, by providing the approved identification as set out in section B, above.
D. Access by a third party:
- MRRL will release account records to a collection agency operating on behalf of MRRL
All third-party requests for library records, including but not limited to an order, subpoena or other legal process, should be directed to the Circulation Manager, or the Library Director. Deliberate and unauthorized breach of confidentiality by staff is considered a serious violation of policy and professional standards and can result in disciplinary action. Any individual requesting patron information who is not satisfied with an explanation of the Library's Confidentiality Policy should be referred to the Library Director.
Security camera and security footage procedures:
Missouri River Regional Library strives to maintain a safe and secure environment for its staff and patrons. Security cameras are used to enhance the safety and security of library users and staff by discouraging violations of the Library’s Code of Conduct, to assist library staff in preventing the occurrence of any violations, and when necessary, to provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity.
The video security cameras are positioned to record only those areas specified by the Library Director, and will complement other measures to maintain a safe and secure environment in compliance with library policies. Signage will be posted at library entrances disclosing this activity. Camera locations shall not be changed or added without the permission of the Library Director. Reasonable efforts shall be made to safeguard the privacy of patrons and employees. Video cameras shall not be positioned in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of personal privacy, such as restrooms and employee break rooms.
It is MRRL’s intent to retain all recorded images for approximately thirty (30) days. Images will not be routinely monitored in real-time, nor reviewed by library staff, except when specifically authorized by the Library Director or other designated employees. Any records produced by the video security system shall be kept in a secure, locked facility or manner, and managed appropriately by library staff to protect legal obligations.
Use/Disclosure of Video Records:
- Access to the archived footage in pursuit of documented incidents of injury, criminal activity or violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct is restricted to designated staff: The Library Director, Managers, Weekend Supervisors, and the IT Department.
- Those designated individuals may also have access to real-time images, viewable from desktop computers with a login and password provided by the IT Department. The frequency of viewing and the amount of video viewed will be limited to the minimum needed to give assurance that the system is working or to ascertain if footage is available relative to a specific incident.
- Access is also allowed by law enforcement when pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or when otherwise required by law.
- Video images will not be maintained, providing no criminal activity or policy violation has occurred or is being investigated.
- Video records and still photographs may be used by authorized individuals to identify those responsible for library policy violations, criminal activity on library property or actions considered disruptive to normal library operations as delineated in the Library Code of Conduct.
- In situations involving banned patrons, stored still images may be shared with staff system-wide. Shared images may remain posted on the staff website for the duration of the banning period. After the banning period ends, these images will be archived in the Administrative Offices for 5 years.
- A digital log is maintained by the software.
Unauthorized Access and/or Disclosure
- Confidentiality and privacy issues prohibit the general public from viewing security camera footage that contains personally identifying information about library users. If the Library receives a request from the general public to inspect security camera footage, they will be advised to file a police complaint.
- A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Any library employee who becomes aware of any unauthorized disclosure of a video recording and/or a potential privacy breach has a responsibility to immediately inform the Director.
Disclaimer of Responsibility
A copy of this policy may be shared with any patron or staff member upon request. The policy is also posted on the Missouri River Regional Library website.
Questions from the public may be directed to the Library Director or Assistant Director.
The Library disclaims any liability for use of the video data in accordance with the terms of this policy, given that the library is a public facility and the security cameras shall be limited to those areas where patrons and/or staff have no reasonable expectation of privacy.