JKM Library Confidentiality Policy

The JKM Library formally recognizes:

  • That under no circumstances should the JKM Library store a borrower’s Social Security number in I-Share or require a Social Security Number from another library for billing or other purposes;
  • That all records identifying the names, contact information, or I.D. numbers of library patrons are confidential in nature;
  • That such records are not to be revealed to anyone other than the patron in question without either the express written permission of the patron in question or the adherence to proper legal and seminary procedures regarding required access to such information;
  • That library employees are encouraged not to keep records with personally identifiable information, unless that information is necessary, and to destroy such records as soon as possible.
  • That the confidentiality of patron records requires that such records should be consulted by library employees only for LEGITIMATE purposes such as locating or recalling library materials, processing overdue notices and fines, adding or deleting names to the database,  making collection development decisions, resolving billing matters, or investigating violations of Library circulation policies, including but not limited to, the following:
    • expired I.D. number with overdue items still charged
    • patrons who repeatedly claim to have returned books
    • patrons who have manipulated the system to set their own due dates outside the Library's established patron loan periods
    • patrons with outstanding Library accounts who have been referred to collection
    • Library employees may not view patron records for such purposes as idle curiosity, personal interest, or general monitoring.
  • Special requests for confidential information to be used for research purposes shall be addressed to the Library Director.

Examples of requests for library information that is confidential and must not be honored

This list is intended to provide examples of possible violations of confidentiality of library information and is by no means exhaustive.  Any request for confidential information from patron records coming from a law enforcement officer or investigative agent of the state or federal governments, MUST be referred to the Library Director.

  • A request for the circulation records of a faculty, student, staff or other library card holder by someone else.
  • A request by a faculty member for the identity of students who borrowed reserve items.
  • A request to review the circulation records of a student suspected of plagiarism.
  • A request to see interlibrary loan borrowing records.
  • A request for addresses, phone numbers, I.D. numbers or other personal information contained in the borrower database.
  • A request to see a list of individuals who are not members of the seminary communities but who have been granted library borrowing privileges.
  • A request by a parent for information such as fines or other fees without the student's permission.
  • A request for the name of the person who has checked out a particular item.
  • A request to reveal the nature of a library user's reference request or database search.
  • A request for the names of persons who have used audio-visual materials.
  • A request for a list of items copied for or sent to a particular Library user.
  • A request for a list of suggested acquisitions submitted by a particular Library user.
  • A request from law enforcement authorities for the identity of anyone conducting research on a particular subject.

If the provisions of this policy are violated by a JKM Library employee, that employee will be reprimanded once in writing; a second violation will result in termination of employment.  If the provisions of this policy are violated by anyone else — an employee of either McCormick Theological Seminary or the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, or any student or library patron — the JKM Library will respond by referring the instance to the pertinent school’s FERPA administration process.

Adopted  October, 2014 by the JKM Library Board, to be reviewed at the beginning of each academic year.