The Haverhill Public Library is committed to patron confidentiality. The confidentiality of library records and patrons is at the core of library ethics and the Haverhill Public Library follows the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.

Confidentiality of Library Records

Under the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 78, Section 7 “That part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be a public record…”

Confidentiality extends to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, and includes database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, interlibrary loan transactions, registration records, and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.

Circulation, registration information, and information retrieval records may not be disclosed except to:

  1. The cardholder (with card or other proper ID). NOTE: This is regardless of age or relationship. For example, parents cannot be told what materials a child has checked out without the child’s consent.
  2. Staff acting within the scope of their duties in the administration of the library system and in facilitating interlibrary loans.
  3. Persons authorized by the cardholder to access the individual’s records identified by being in possession of the cardholder’s card or the card barcode number.
  4. Representatives of any local, state, or federal government, pursuant to subpoena or search warrant authorized under the authority of federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or investigative power. Upon receipt of any such subpoena or search warrant, the Library Director and Board of Trustees will consult with legal counsel to determine if the subpoena or search warrant is in proper form and if there is a valid basis for its issuance before providing confidential information.

The Library may, at times, use patron email or postal address for the library’s internal mailing lists.

The Library does not sell, lease, or otherwise distribute or disclose patron name, email address, postal address, telephone number, or other personal information to outside parties. Photographs may be taken at Library events by members of the Library staff or press. These photos may appear in local media or the Library’s website or social media. Attendance at events implies approval of your photograph possibly being used in these ways. Images will never be sold or given to third parties. Please alert Library staff if you wish to be excluded from event photography. Alert Library staff if your photo is used and you wish it to be removed.