Information for Libraries Concerning Upcoming Changes in Maine Library and Patron Confidentiality Law
State law protects the privacy of patron records maintained by Maine public libraries, the Maine State Library, the Law and Legislative Reference Library as well as the libraries of the University of Maine System, Maine Community College System and Maine Maritime Academy.
In early 2015, Maine lawmakers amended the Maine Library and Patron Confidentiality Law to enhance and clarify patron privacy protections. Those changes are reflected in Public Law 2015, Chapter 81 and will become effective this fall - 90 days following the adjournment of the First Regular Session 127th Maine Legislature.
Summary of 2015 Changes in Maine Library and Patron Confidentiality Law
The amended language in Public Law 2015, Chapter 81 does the following:
- Specifies that personally identifying information about the library patron is confidential
- Clarifies that confidential patron information may be released to library officers, employees, volunteers and agents of the library for administrative purposes.
- Allows aggregated and statistical data about library use to be published so long as the confidentiality of a library patron's personally identifying information is not jeopardized.
Frequently Asked Questions about Maine Library and Patron Confidentiality Law
In an effort to assist Maine libraries in understanding changes in law, the Maine State Library has posted background information and frequently asked questions on its website.
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