Privacy in the Public Library
Public Libraries are
committed to protecting the borrowing information of patrons, and their right
to access information that is controversial, sensitive or personal, without
fear of embarrassment or humiliation.
- New York State Law (Civil
Practice Laws and Rules sec 2307 §4509) guarantees the confidentiality
of library patron borrowing records. Your records can only be viewed upon
presentation of a subpoena.
Under New York State
Law, if you are signing for a library card for someone under 18, the library
is, under the above law, prohibited from revealing that minor's borrowed
materials to you.
- USA PATRIOT ACT still
requires the presentation of a subpoena for access to your records.
- Your Patron Information.
The information in your patron record is the property of the library that
is listed as your home library. While other libraries have access to that
data, no other library can use that data for anything other than library transactions.
Your home library can use the data for library mailings. If the library has
a Friends group, they can allow the group to also use the patron data, but
information will not be given to any other organization. If you do not wish
to have the Friends group to have your name, address, email and telephone,
notify the library and you will be removed from that list.
- Your borrowing history.
As soon as you return an item within the due date, the link to that item is
deleted from your patron record. However the software retains in the item's
record, the name of the last person who took it out and the name of the current
borrower of the item. In addition, if you owe a fine or have an outstanding
bill that information stays on your record until six months after payment
has been received. The software also keeps the items you have pending through
- Reading History Option:
If you elect to use the reading history option, the system will remember all
items you checked out even after you return them. This information is protected
under the privacy laws and can only be accessed by you or by the library if
presented with a subpoena. You can at any time delete items from your reading
history and those items will no longer be included. For people who do not
choose the reading history options, no history of checked out items is kept.
- If you wish to be notified
of item availability or fine notices by e-mail, be aware that the e-mail message
will include the title of the item.
For more information:
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