Privacy of Library Records Policy

Appalachian State University Libraries' policy with regard to the confidentiality of library records adheres to the following:

Acting within the guidelines of Appalachian State University's Policy Statement on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Appalachian State University Libraries' will not release the details of a student's library bill to a third party without the explicit written permission of the student.

North Carolina State Statutes

CHAPTER 125 Article 3. Library Records. § 125-18. Definitions. As used in this Article, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) "Library" means a library established by the State; a county, city, township, village, school district, or other local unit of government or authority or combination of local units of governments and authorities; community college or university; or any private library open to the public.

(2) "Library record" means a document, record, or other method of storing information retained by a library that identifies a person as having requested or obtained specific information or materials from a library. "Library record" does not include nonidentifying material that may be retained for the purpose of studying or evaluating the circulation of library materials in general. (1985, c. 486, s. 2.) § 125-19. Confidentiality of library user records. (a)Disclosure. - A library shall not disclose any library record that identifies a person as having requested or obtained specific materials, information, or services, or as otherwise having used the library, except as provided for in subsection (b). (b) Exceptions. - Library records may be disclosed in the following instances: (1) When necessary for the reasonable operation of the library; (2) Upon written consent of the user; or (3) Pursuant to subpoena, court order, or where otherwise required by law. (1985, c. 486, s. 2.)


Chapter 132. Public Records. § 132-1. "Public records" defined.

(a)"Public record" or "public records" shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions. Agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions shall mean and include every public office, public officer or official (State or local, elected or appointed), institution, board, commission, bureau, council, department, authority or other unit of government of the State or of any county, unit, special district or other political subdivision of government. (b) The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people. Therefore, it is the policy of this State that the people may obtain copies of their public records and public information free or at minimal cost unless otherwise specifically provided by law. As used herein, "minimal cost" shall mean the actual cost of reproducing the public record or public information. (1935, c. 265, s. 1; 1975, c. 787, s. 1; 1995, c. 388, s. 1.) § 132-1.2.


Confidential information. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to require or authorize a public agency or its subdivision to disclose any information that:

(1) Meets all of the following conditions: a. Constitutes a "trade secret" as defined in G.S. 66-152(3). b. Is the property of a private "person" as defined in G.S. 66-152(2). c. Is disclosed or furnished to the public agency in connection with the owner's performance of a public contract or in connection with a bid, application, proposal, industrial development project, or in compliance with laws, regulations, rules, or ordinances of the United States, the State, or political subdivisions of the State. d. Is designated or indicated as "confidential" or as a "trade secret" at the time of its initial disclosure to the public agency. (2) Reveals an account number for electronic payment as defined in G.S. 147-86.20 and obtained pursuant to Articles 6A or 6B of Chapter 147 of the General Statutes or G.S. 159-32.1. (3) Reveals a document, file number, password, or any other information maintained by the Secretary of State pursuant to Article 21 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes. (1989, c. 269; 1991, c. 745, s. 3; 1999-434, s. 7; 2001-455, s. 2; 2001-513, s. 30(b).)