Confidentiality of Library Records
The Kansas Open Records Act, Kansas Statutes Annotated (K.S.A.) 45-215, et seq., declares that it is the public policy of the state of Kansas that public records shall be open for inspection by any person. However, the Open Records Act places certain restrictions on this open access. At K.S.A. 45-221, the Act defines what records are not required to be disclosed at the request of citizens or public officials.
Records which libraries are NOT required to disclose include:
- Customer registration records and circulation or loan records which pertain to identifiable individuals.
- Library, archive and museum materials, if restrictions have been imposed as conditions of a contribution.
- Personnel records and performance ratings; however employee names, positions, salaries, and length of service are designated as public information.
- Building security information.
- Correspondence between the Library and a private individual, including print and electronic formats.
- Software programs for electronic data processes; however, each public agency must maintain a register that describes the information that is maintained on computer faculties, and the form in
which the information can be made available using existing computer programs.
K.S.A. 45-218, K.S.A. 45-219 and K.S.A. 45-220 define the conditions and procedures related to requesting access including, but not limited to, the charging of fees for providing access or furnishing copies of public records.
It is the policy of the Wichita Public Library that all circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users are confidential. These records will be made available if they can be redacted to eliminate individually identifiable references. Library staff may require advance payment for reproduction costs, including estimated staff time for reproduction, review and redaction of the records requested, before the records are provided. These records will not be made available in original form to individuals (other than the card holder), groups or businesses. These records will not be made available in original form to any local, state or federal agency
except pursuant to a subpoena or warrant as may be authorized under the authority of and pursuant to federal, state, and local law relating to civil, criminal or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power. The Wichita Public Library will resist the enforcement of any such order, subpoena or warrant lacking facial validity.
Requests to examine or obtain information relating to circulation or registration records will immediately be referred to the Librarian-in-Charge, who will explain the confidentiality policy.
Upon the receipt of an order, subpoena, or warrant, the Director of Libraries shall consult with the appropriate legal officer assigned to the Wichita Public Library to determine if the subpoena is facially valid, requiring adherence.
The Library Board of Directors may authorize Library staff to distribute materials to customers using Library records, with the cost to be reimbursed by Library support organizations. The Board’s authorization will only be given when responsive customer
action would be mutually beneficial to the Library and the support organization. Library staff will only distribute materials to addresses within the United States or its political possessions. These materials must be prepared in such a manner that a customer will be
required to opt in before receiving additional information directly from the support organization. Additionally, the customer will have the ability at any time to opt out of distributions from the Library support organizations, the Library, or both.