Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



Many activities that take place in the library, including circulation and inter!ibrary loan and reserve requests, result in the creation of records linking clients to specific kinds of information. Several groups, including law enforcement officials, have attempted on various occasions to gain access to these records. This research paper provides a broad overview of the legal and ethical issues regarding the confidentiality of library user's records, including federal, state, and court protection for the confidentiality of library records, the status of library records that are part of a public institution, and a minor's right to privacy. The paper also discusses several prominent cases related to the privacy issue.


This work was originally published in ERIC document, ED358846.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.