Patron Privacy Policy

The Forbes Library strives to protect the privacy of library patrons to the fullest extent of the law. In accordance with the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics: “We protect each library user’s rights to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.”

The Forbes Library will only retain as much information as required to provide services whether these are provided in person, over the phone or electronically. Personal information on patrons will be discarded as soon as it is no longer needed. The library keeps no permanent record of internet sites visited, electronic databases used, or searches performed by patrons.

When visiting Forbes Library or the library’s website, or when using our electronic services, patrons can choose to provide their name, e-mail address, library card barcode, phone number or home address. This information will only be used to fulfill patrons’ service needs and to help the library improve and target its services effectively. Our patrons should be aware that they are subject to the privacy policies of any other Web sites and organizations that they visit and use. The library is a member of the C/WMARS network ( which provides our library catalog, circulation system, and some electronic resources. Our circulation, borrower registration, and usage records are managed by C/WMARS and we observe their privacy policy (see for details). The only exception to this policy is in the case of library patrons in fifth grade or below or the equivalent age. In this instance, a parent or legal guardian, upon supplying proper identification, will be provided with information about titles that are checked out on the child’s library card. If library staff are unable to confirm the identity of the parent or guardian or at the cardholder’s request, no confidential information will be supplied.*

No confidential information on library patrons will be revealed to the authorities without presentation of a subpoena or search warrant. Some search warrants or subpoenas issued under the USA Patriot Act come with a “gag order” automatically attached, preventing staff from telling the patron or the public that information has been provided to the FBI.

*Patrons in sixth grade or below are not issued physical cards. Starting in seventh grade the library issues Young Adult cards.

Approved by Board of Trustees 06/23/2011. Updated 04/23/2014.