FERPA

FERPA Overview

What is FERPA?

FERPA Overview

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

Eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

Generally, schools must have written permission from the eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell eligible students about directory information and allow eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

Patron Information Privacy

Patron Information Privacy

It is the policy of The Carl S. Swisher Library that the privacy of all users will be respected in compliance with federal and state laws as well as professional standards.

All library records and other information relating to an individual's use of the library and its resources are considered confidential. These records include, but are not limited to, circulation records of library materials, address and other registration information, reference or informational questions asked, interlibrary loan transactions, and computer database searches.

The Library will not reveal personally identifiable information of individual users or reveal what information sources or services they consult under most circumstances. Reasons for disclosure include being required by search warrant or subpoena or if there is a substantiated reason to believe that violations of law or of University, campus, or Library policies have taken place. Student workers must refer all cases of this nature to a staff member and should not release this information themselves. This policy applies to all resources regardless of their format or means of delivery as well as to all services offered by the Library.

What should you do if a student asks what book their friend has checked out?

  • Let them know- their friend won't mind
  • Let them know that you cannot share that information
  • Show them the computer screen with their friend's account