Upholding Student Privacy of Library Records 2
Upholding Student Privacy of Library RecordsOne of the issues facing Media Specialist is the issue of confidentiality of student libraryrecords. The ALA has issued a policy regarding confidentiality. ALA Policy 52.4 states ³Theethical responsibilities of librarians, as well as statues in most states and the District of Columbia, protect the privacy of library users. Confidentiality extends to "information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, acquired," and includes database search records,interlibrary loan records, and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services´(http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslissues/positionstatements/confidentiality.cfm
).ALA states that student patrons should be given the same rights to privacy as adults.What does this mean to our student patrons? Students should expect that the MediaSpecialist will keep their borrowing history and research topics confidential. They need to knowthat what they research and read will not be judged or shared with others. They should knowthat their research topics will be kept private and not disclosed to others. They are free toresearch and learn about topics of their choosing regardless of age.Administrators, teachers, students and parents need to understand the importance of confidentiality of library records. District policy should include confidentiality of library records just like it does of medical, behavior records and family records. When no policy onconfidentiality of library records exists it places the Media Specialist in a difficult situation. It isthe responsibility of the Media Specialist to protect the privacy of their student patrons butwithout the support of administration or policy they may be the only caretaker of that privacy.