privacy for kids

Eileen Simmons (ESimmons@ci.everett.wa.us)
Thu, 28 Feb 2002 17:06:35 -0800 (PST)

Obviously I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think that state laws which protect
the privacy of library records necessarily prohibit a library from releasing
information to a parent. In most public libraries parents sign a form when
they register their kids for library cards that says that the library will
hold them financially liable for lost/damaged material. It's difficult for
me to see how it makes sense to say you are responsible for making sure that
this stuff gets returned, and if it doesn't come back we'll charge you for
it--but we won't tell you what it is you're supposed to return. And it is
usually this sort of situation that results in a parent needing to know
what's checked out on a child's card. In most cases, if the library's
catalog is online, a parent with the kid's card number can look it up
without asking us.

Eileen Simmons
Everett Public Library
Everett, WA