Confidentiality Madness

The phone rang at bedtime tonight. Caller ID showed the local library, so I picked up.

“Hello, this is the librarian at [local public library] calling for Beth.”

She’s unavailable. It’s bedtime.

“Well, she has an overdue book.”

OK, which one?

“I can’t tell you. We have a policy.”

Look, she’s a first grader. She has over a decade to go before attaining majority. There is no confidentiality here. Besides it’s a library book, not an HIV test.

“Sorry. Library policy. I can only talk to the borrower.”

I’m the parent responsible for returning it! If you want it back, you need to tell ME what it is.

“[mumbles title of book.]” *click*

Have we all lost our minds? Why do library books have confidentiality? This isn’t PHI. Do you realize you violated the spirit of the confidentiality just by telling me an overdue book existed? Who makes these policies?

*Sigh* Maybe my daughter should try suing for the breach of Protected Borrowing Information.  What’s a LIPAA violation worth these days?

2 responses to “Confidentiality Madness”

  1. See, I know my kids’ library card numbers and would just look up their account online…privacy smivacy


    1. I could do that too, but it’s the principle. She’s a minor. OUR minor. She has no confidentiality from us.

      Besides, the question remains, why are library books confidential?


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