To Protect and ServeReport as inadecuate

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Knowledge Quest, v44 n1 p68-71 Sep-Oct 2015

School librarians act as servants of the school community and protectors of students' rights, and it is the ethical duty of school librarians to champion student privacy and resist threats to it. This article addresses the legality of this process based upon the 2007 article "How Does the Family Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA] Affect You" by Thomas V. Toglia, which explained that under the law, student records can be disclosed to third parties only with authorization from a parent if the student is under the age of eighteen (2007, 61). Although library records are not explicitly discussed in the act, they are not listed in the exemptions. Therefore, it is common practice to include library records in the definition of student records (Adams 2005). What should school librarians do when local law enforcement wants to take a peek? This article covers such an issue as presented by the author in her role as district library supervisor and the steps that were taken to protect student rights.

Descriptors: School Libraries, Librarians, Library Administration, Library Services, Privacy, Student Rights, Student Records, Ethics, Citizenship Responsibility, Confidential Records, Confidentiality, Police School Relationship, Law Enforcement, Resistance (Psychology), Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Legislation, Parent Rights

American Association of School Librarians. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 1-800-545-2433; Web site:

Author: Panter, Suzanna L.


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