4.002 Policy Regarding Government Officers' Investigatory Requests Pertaining to Library Patrons or Users


The statutes, decisions and rules governing law enforcement’s investigative tools are numerous and complex, containing many technical definitions, exceptions and cross-references.  Because of the great variety of investigatory requests the Library may receive from government officers, an exhaustive compliance guide or training program for all staff members would not be practical.

The Library must carefully evaluate each investigatory request, with legal guidance from an attorney where possible.  The determination to comply or refuse an investigatory request will depend on many details, including information from the requesting officer or agency, a review of the officer’s credentials and investigatory documents, and the law.  The Library may seek relief from the courts in some cases where the request is not supported by the proper legal authority.

For these reasons, the number of people authorized to handle government officers’ investigatory requests about Library patrons and users must be limited.  Therefore, the Executive Director designates certain staff members as Library Privacy Officers to have special authority with respect to confidentiality and privacy issues.  Library Privacy Officers must be thoroughly familiar with the Library’s policies and procedures and its Constitutional duties and mission, as well as the general requirements of applicable laws.  At east one Library Privacy Officer should be available on the Library premises at any time the Library is open to the public.



Staff members, with the exception of the Executive Director and Library Privacy Officers, are not authorized to accept any subpoenas, warrants, court orders or other investigatory documents directed to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library or pertaining to Library property.

All staff members are authorized to provide the following information to law enforcement officers:


The name and description, if personally known to the staff member, of any person who has committed, is committing, or threatens to commit a crime affecting Library staff or members of the Board of Library Trustees, Library patrons or users, or Library property; and


To the extent that staff member is a witness to such a crime, any other information relevant to the crime that is personally known by the staff member.

  In all situations, staff must immediately contact the Executive Director, a Library Privacy Officer and/or the Library’s attorneys when approached by law enforcement or other government officer seeking patron information.  Staff members are required to know the location of a Privacy Policy Card (which should be kept in all departments), and are encouraged to present the card to any government officer, to indicate the Library’s policy and demonstrate that the staff member does not intend to be uncooperative.


All other investigatory requests by government officers may only be handled by the Board of Library Trustees, the Executive Director or a Library Privacy Officer.  They also have authority to accept, deny or comply with subpoenas, warrants, court orders and other investigatory documents directed to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library or pertaining to Library property.