The Seattle Public Library

Your Account | Print-Friendly

February 9, 2016

About the Library

Library Use Policies : Confidentiality of Borrower Records

Header Image
Support your Library

Library Locator

Map of Library Locations


Library Closed Monday, Feb. 15

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 15.

Confidentiality of Borrower Records


It is the policy of The Seattle Public Library to protect the confidentiality of borrower records as part of its commitment to intellectual freedom. Privacy is essential to free speech, free thought and free association. Confidentiality extends to all records with identifying information about patrons, including their requests for information and materials and their loan transactions. It also includes their use of Library computers and the online sites and resources they access. The Library will keep patron records confidential and will not disclose this information except as necessary for the proper operation of the Library, upon consent of the user, pursuant to subpoena or court order, or as otherwise required by law. 


The only exception to this policy is for borrowers under the age of 13. Parents or legal guardians of children under age 13 may have access to information on their child's Library card.



Patrons may designate another person to pick up their holds if they give the individual their Library card, or holds notice, or by completing a holds pickup authorization form. Parents and legal guardians of children under the age of 13 can pick up their children's holds by completing a holds pickup authorization form.



The Library has teamed up with reputable third party partners in order to provide certain services to its users. Information a patron submits to the Library may be provided to those third parties so they can assist the Library in providing certain services. Users are encouraged to read and become familiar with the privacy policies of these third party partners.



The Library website also contains links to external websites not maintained by The Seattle Public Library. The Library cannot be responsible for user privacy when visiting other websites. Once patrons link to another website, they are no longer subject to the Library's Confidentiality Policy, but the privacy policy or statement of the website they have linked to.


Oct. 31, 2012.


Confidentiality Policy adopted January 22, 2002; revised October 2002

Confidentiality of Library User Records Policy adopted July 21, 1980; revised August 24, 1999