Theresa Chmara is an attorney in Washington, DC. She also is the General Counsel of the Freedom to Read Foundation. She is the author of Privacy and Confidentiality Issues: A Guide for Libraries and their Lawyers (ALA 2009). She has been a First Amendment lawyer for over twenty-five years and is a frequent speaker on intellectual freedom issues in libraries. She is a contributing author for the Intellectual Freedom Manual published by the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association.
- Table of Contents
- About the Author
Imagine receiving a subpoena requiring patron records or Internet use history. What is your library's policy? Do you know? Does your library have a policy? How big a problem is this?
Because libraries are on the front lines of patron privacy and confidentiality controversies that raise First Amendment questions, it is increasingly critical that libraries and their counsel become familiar with the constitutional rights of patrons. By understanding the issues and the relevant laws, librarians can take action to protect users' First Amendment rights. In this clear and concise guide set up in a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) format, First Amendment attorney and litigation expert Chmara shares her decades of experience in easy-to-understand, jargon-free language. Library directors and managers as well as lawyers who represent libraries will learn
Interspersed within the questions and answers, actual court case studies lend a sense of urgency to the explanations. Covering circulation and Internet use records, along with the role of the library as employer, this guide is librarians' first line of defense of the First Amendment.
1. When Do Privacy and Confidentiality Issues Arise?
2. The First Amendment and Other Legal Considerations
3. Privacy, Confidentiality, and the Internet
4. State Privacy and Confidentiality Statutes
5. Minors' First Amendment Rights and Rights to Privacy
6. Federal Laws
7. Developing Privacy Policies
Appendix: State Privacy and Confidentiality Statutes Index