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April 14, 1999

Mr. Robert E. Hager
Nichols, Jackson, Dillard, Hagar & Smith, L.L.P.
500 North Akard, Suite 1800
Dallas, Texas 74201

OR99-1040

Dear Mr. Hager:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 124441.

The City of Coppell (the "city") received a request for certain records of the Coppell Public Library. You have released the bulk of the information but you claim that some of the requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.124 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the submitted information.

You assert that bar codes and patron identification numbers which identify a particular individual must be withheld from public disclosure. Section 552.124 makes confidential, with certain exceptions which are not applicable here, "[a] record of a library or library system, supported in whole or in part by public funds, that identifies or serves to identify a person who requested, obtained, or used a library material or service." You argue that only the bar codes and patron identification numbers of the requested information must be withheld pursuant to section 552.124. In our opinion, section 552.124 excepts from disclosure the names, addresses, and other information that can be used to identify library patrons. See, e.g., Open Records Decision No. 649 at 3 (1996) (confidentiality provisions strictly construed). You represent that the bar code patron identification numbers serve to identify the library's patrons. We therefore conclude that you must withhold the bar codes and patron identification numbers from disclosure.

We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

David Van Brunt Price
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

DVP\nc

Ref: ID# 124441

Encl: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Michael Linz
Law Office
701 Commerce, Suite 400
Dallas, Texas 75202-4599

(w/o enclosures)


 

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