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WPL Policy 2.4, Adopted 5/27/03, Amended 6-23-08 , Reaffirmed 8/24/12, Amended 9/24/12

Circulation and registration records are confidential pursuant to the Library Record Confidentiality Act (75 ILCS 70/1-2). No such records shall be made available to the public or to any agency of federal, state or local government except pursuant to a court order. The exception is when a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe there is imminent danger of physical harm. In this case the officer may request information regarding identification of a suspect, witness or victim of a crime without a court order, but the information may not include records reflecting materials borrowed, resources reviewed or services used at the library. In this case the library will request that the officer sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the information.

The Library Records Confidentiality Act does not prohibit disclosure to law enforcement officials of information about a patron based on personal knowledge (such as a person’s name), or information based on personal observation of a person on library property (such as staff observing the person using library computers). No information relative to the purpose of the person’s use of the library will be given without a court order.

Confidential Relationship/Library Staff and Patrons

The relationship between library staff and patrons is confidential, including information about patron use of library materials or services, such as reference assistance and computer use. Parents or legal guardians of children under 18 may be provided with information about current materials, overdue materials and outstanding charges on their child’s library card.

Patron Access to Records

A library card barcode number or proper identification must be provided by a patron before any information about their record can be provided. Information is available by telephone only if a library card barcode number is provided. Westchester cardholders may view their records online through the Internet.

Search Warrant Policy

Library staff will cooperate with law enforcement officials as required by federal laws such as the USA Patriot Act, to allow access to items within the scope of the search warrant while at the same time seeking to protect the rights of patrons in accordance with the Illinois Library Records Confidentiality Act (75 ILSC 70/1-2). A copy of this policy will be provided promptly to officials upon arrival at the Library.

  • Designated Library Contact

The library director will handle all requests to search library records pursuant to a search warrant. In the absence of the director, the assistant director, followed by the librarian-in-charge, will deal with a search warrant issue.

  • Identify serving officer (see Exhibit AA: Law Enforcement Officer’s Request for Confidential Library Information)

The library director will request identification from the Law Enforcement Officials and record their names, badge numbers, and agencies.

  • Review Warrant for Content

The library director will review the search warrant when served and will contact the library attorney for consultation concerning the scope of the warrant and compliance procedures.

The library’s attorney is:

William G. Raysa

Request the Presence of Library Attorney

The library director will ask the law enforcement officials to wait until the library’s attorney is present before beginning the search. However, the search warrant may be executed immediately.

  • Cooperate with Officials

The library director will cooperate with law enforcement officials to help identify the records/evidence falling within the scope of the search warrant.

  • No Access to Other Records

The library director will not permit access to records beyond the scope of the search warrant, i.e. records not specifically identified in the search warrant.

  • Record Evidence Viewed or Taken

The library director will record all records or evidence viewed, copied, or removed from the library pursuant to the search.

  • No Disclosure of Search

No employee will disclose the receipt of the search warrant or the search to anyone except the library director, the library board trustees and the library attorney.

(See Exhibit Z: WPL Guidelines for Responding to Law Enforcement Requests for Library Records and User Information for detailed procedures for staff.)

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