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Library Policy: Confidentiality

Confidentiality Policy

Library Confidentiality Policy

Protecting the rights of library patrons to view and read materials without fear of intrusion, intimidation or reprisal is a core value for all librarians. To safeguard the privacy of individuals in their use of the library, the Georgia Highlands College Library maintains the confidentiality of library records. Federal privacy laws additionally protect student records, including library circulation records. In the State of Georgia, library records are confidential (Georgia Code 24-9-46, see below).

The registration and borrowing records of the Georgia Highlands College Library Voyager Automation System are confidential.

Registration records include any information the library requires patrons (faculty or staff members, students, or community borrowers) to provide in order to become eligible to access or borrow materials. Such information includes addresses, telephone numbers, and Social Security numbers.

Circulation records include all information that identifies a faculty or staff member, student, or community borrower as borrowing or accessing particular materials or information. Included in these records are reserve materials.

Public computer login/usage records and web browsing histories on the open-use computers in the library also are considered confidential.


O.C.G.A. § 24-9-46 (2007) § 24-9-46.

Confidential nature of certain library records (a) Circulation and similar records of a library which identify the user of library materials shall not be public records but shall be confidential and may not be disclosed except: (1) To members of the library staff in the ordinary course of business; (2) Upon written consent of the user of the library materials or the user's parents or guardian if the user is a minor or ward; or (3) Upon appropriate court order or subpoena. (b) Any disclosure authorized by subsection (a) of this Code section or any unauthorized disclosure of materials made confidential by that subsection (a) shall not in any way destroy the confidential nature of that material, except for the purpose for which an authorized disclosure is made. A person disclosing material as authorized by subsection (a) of this Code section shall not be liable therefor.


College Library has adopted the following guidelines:

  • Without an adult patron’s permission, library records will only be released upon appropriate court order or subpoena.
  • Patron information is accessible to library staff in the course of their daily business.
  • Parents/guardians are permitted access to their minor children’s records with proper identification.
  • Anyone presenting a valid library card will be considered a legitimate user, entitled to access the information associated with that card.
  • Except in accordance with proper judicial order and with permission of the designated administrative officer(s) of Georgia Highlands College, no person shall make known in any manner any information contained in such records listed above, Library staff  are to refer all requests for the above confidential information to the Library Director. 
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