I can honestly say that I don’t know about how our library is equipped to enforce privacy rights. I do know that we don’t keep a record of what patrons circulate, as do other libraries, and this aligns with Jessie’s statement that records that don’t exist can’t be acquired by enforcement agencies. I am almost certain that the library camera data is only kept for a day or two, and the quality is really so terrible, that it would be difficult or impossible to provide these records if requested. Our library website does link to ALA’s State Privacy Laws Regarding Library Records, but we don’t seem to have one written specifically for our library. So, I plan to follow-up with my Dean and colleagues. This won’t be a hard sell, but I can see that this will require some thought particularly in respect to records and how they should be handled, maintained or discarded.
On a mostly related note (and I might have already shared this), my wallet was stolen from my desk last year, and the campus police officer that came to take my statement, told me that we would better able to identify the suspect if there were cameras in our office area. He wanted me to advocate for them, and I realize that this is probably how sometimes these conversations or invasions of privacy start. They try to lull people into thinking that they are safer with surveillance.
Anyhow, this was a really useful and thought-provoking lecture. I certainly feel more confident in the process, and the various levels of requests and various enforcement agencies tied to each type of request. I just realize that I much more to learn in this area.