Law Enforcement Inquiries

Procedure: Law Enforcement Inquiries

What to do if an agent of a federal, state, or local law enforcement department comes to the library to request information:

All employees should always get their supervisor.
If the request comes when a supervisor is not present, inform the senior reference librarian on duty.

Below is the normal procedure that a supervisor (Library director, deputy director, or stated person in charge) will follow. Sample copies of warrants and subpoenas have been distributed to each service desk, and additional copies are available.

If a verified law enforcement agent presents a Search Warrant:
We accept the copy of the warrant and let them get what they need. A search warrant will have a list of specific items they are seeking.

If a verified law enforcement agent presents a Subpoena:
We accept the subpoena. Nothing needs to be given to anyone at the moment. Respond to the officer/agent with "Thank you, I will give this to my director." The library director and library counsel will follow up as needed.

If a verified law enforcement agent makes a verbal request:
We do not give out information that connects a patron with library materials or services solely on a verbal request. Contact the library director. If he is not available, turn down the agent politely. As you would with any request of this nature say, "I'm sorry, I cannot help you with that information."

Please note: If possible, we should get a list of any materials confiscated so that these items can be checked out to "Missing".

Approved 7-22-2003
Revised 9-18-2018