Privacy & Confidentiality Policies Print

WCLS Confidentiality Policy

Resolution to Support Amendment of the USA PATRIOT ACT and Reafirm the Role of the Public Library as a Foundation of Democracy in Whatcom County

Confidentiality in the Library

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the library's policy on confidentiality?

Whatcom County Library System is committed to protecting the confidentiality of those who use the Library. Confidentiality extends to all personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities or services.

Authority for this comes from RCW Title 42, section 17 and from WCLS policies.

Who may access my records?

Only you are entitled to information about your own record, unless you authorize otherwise. When items are overdue for a minor's card, the titles will be released to parents or guardians.

Any library records will be released or made available in to a federal agent, law enforcement officer, or other person when a court order in proper form has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction after a showing of good cause.

The FBI may obtain any library records by following procedures established under the USA PATRIOT ACT.

What information about me is available from the library?

  • WCLS only keeps records of patron transactions involving payments, such as overdue fines and payments for lost materials. These records are kept for two years.
  • The library does not keep records of Internet signups.
  • The library does not keep lists of items that you have previously checked out or requested.

What else can I do to protect my privacy while using the library?

Return your items on time, since records are kept of transactions involving payments  

If I create a profile on the website, what information is kept about me?

Your name and email.

Will the information from my profile be shared with others?

Only if we are required to do so by law. We will do all that we can to protect your privacy.