Confidentiality of Library Records Policy

Columbia University Libraries


The Columbia University Libraries supports and complies with New York State Law (New York State Civil Practice Law & Rules 4508, Chapter 112, Laws of 1988) with respect to the confidentiality of library records. All library records relating to an individual patron's use of the library and its resources are confidential. These records may be consulted and used by library staff in the course of carrying out library operations, but will not be disclosed to others except upon the request or consent of the library user, or pursuant to subpoena, court order, or otherwise required by law. Such disclosure may be made only by Division Directors in consultation with the Deputy University Librarian and University Counsel.

New York State Civil Practice Law & Rules 4508, Chapter 112, Laws of 1988

Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records relating to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of the library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.