The Haston Free Public Library considers patrons’ records to be confidential in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 78, Section 7, “Public Libraries:  Establishment by Cities and Towns, Records”, which states, “…that part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be a public record as defined by clause twenty-six of section seven of chapter four.”

Confidentiality extends to information sought or received, materials consulted or borrowed including database search records, reference consultations, circulation records, interlibrary loan transactions, registration records, and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.

Library staff may not use patron library accounts or information retrieval records for personal use and may not share this information with other individuals for personal use.

Patron information will be released only as follows:

  • To the cardholder (with card or other appropriate identification) regardless of age or relationship.
  • To library staff for purposes of administering interlibrary loans
  • To a third party on presentation of an authorizing note signed by the cardholder (such note would be photocopied and filed)
  • To representatives of any local, state, or federal government, pursuant to subpoena or search warrant authorized under the authority of federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or investigative power. Upon receipt of any such subpoena or search warrant, the Library Director will consult with legal counsel to determine if the subpoena or search warrant is in proper form and if there is a valid basis for its issuance before providing confidential information.

The library may use patron mailing address or email addresses to conduct promotional campaigns to inform the community regarding library services.

The Library does not sell, lease, or otherwise distribute or disclose patron name, email address, postal address, telephone number, or other personal information to outside parties.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees

October 1, 2008

Revised, March 2022