The Seattle Public Library

Your Account | Print-Friendly

December 9, 2016


Confidentiality and the USA PATRIOT Act

Header Image

Library Locator

Map of Library Locations


Delayed opening at Library branches

Due to the weather, all Library branches will open at noon today. Central Library will open today at regular time - 10 a.m.

OverDrive ebook issues

Some patrons report seeing incorrect ebook holds and checkouts. Please log out and back in to clear. If you are consistently seeing incorrect ebook entries please report to Ask a Librarian. We are working with OverDrive to resolve this issue.

The Library's Website may experience brief outages

On Sunday, Dec. 11, from 4 a.m. to noon, the Library's website may experience brief intermittent outages due to scheduled server maintenance.

Confidentiality and the USA PATRIOT Act

The Seattle Public Library Confidentiality Policy

The purpose of the Confidentiality Policy is to ensure the confidentiality of borrower records at The Seattle Public Library. Staff members and volunteers may not convey information about borrower records, including loan transactions, requests for information or materials and online sites accessed, to individuals or to any private or public agency without an order from a court of competent jurisdiction, or as otherwise required by law.



The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT Act) became law on Oct. 26, 2001. Under provisions of the act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and law enforcement officials may seek court orders for Library records for investigations relevant to national security or terrorism. Libraries or librarians served with these search warrants may not disclose, under penalty of law, the existence of the warrants or the fact that records were produced as a result of the warrants. Patrons cannot be told their records were given to law enforcement agencies or that they were the subjects of FBI investigations.


Minimum records kept

The Seattle Public Library keeps the minimum number of records necessary for maintaining operations. When a customer logs off a Library computer, information about that user session is automatically deleted. Also, when a customer returns materials to the Library, information about what was checked out is automatically deleted at day-end, unless the customer has fines or has been referred to a materials recovery agency.


For more information

More information on the USA PATRIOT Act is available from the American Library Association Web site. (Opens a new window)