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Privacy Policy

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PENINSULA LIBRARY SYSTEM PRIVACY POLICY

The Peninsula Library System values you as a customer and takes your personal privacy seriously. This Privacy Policy describes information we may collect and explains how we use the personal information we collect from you.

Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. In libraries, the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one's interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality of library records is the library’s responsibility and is a core value of librarianship, and it is the Peninsula Library System’s responsibility to keep information private on behalf of its users when we create and are in possession of personally identifiable information about users.

This policy affirms the library's commitment to privacy, explains the information that the library collects, and alerts visitors to library facilities and users of remotely accessed library services to the privacy choices they face. This policy provides information and process and is in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws regarding the confidentiality of all library users’ records. Although the library does everything we can to protect your privacy, there are times when we may be required by law to provide this information with law enforcement.

LIBRARY CARDS AND CIRCULATION RECORDS

  • To receive a library card, library users are required to provide identifying information such as name, birth date, and mailing address. This identifying information is retained as long as the library user continues to use the library card.
  • A library user's library record includes current information, items currently checked out or on hold, as well as overdue materials and fines.
  • The Library does not maintain a history of what a library user has previously checked out once books and materials have been returned on time.
  • When fines accrue on a user's account, the Library does maintain records of items that have been borrowed but returned after the due date or are still outstanding on the user's record. When overdue materials are returned, and all associated fines are paid, the information associated with the library card number is deleted.

SEARCHING OUR CATALOG FOR BOOKS AND MATERIALS

PLS provides two options for patrons to search the library’s catalog. Below is distinction of the privacy related to the two search options.

Classic Catalog

The classic catalog is a search interface to find books and materials and to place holds. When logging into your account, users can sign up for email notification of new library materials which contain library user saved search terms. Information gathered and stored using this feature is only accessible to the library user. Users have the option of turning on My Reading History, which is a running list of the titles, authors and checkout dates of items you have checked out from the library over time. Titles are stored in My Reading History until the library no longer owns a title or you choose to delete a title from your list. You may turn your Reading History ON or OFF any time when you log into your account.

What is retained:

There is no administrative interface for library staff to access your online account. Reading history, searches, and any user activity is not retrievable by anyone other than the user. The user has the option to delete their search history at any time. If you choose to activate your Reading History, and later turn it off, all stored records will be deleted from the system. Please be aware that if you elect to keep a Reading History, it may be subject to examination by law enforcement authorities upon a formal request without your permission.

When a user visits the classic catalog or our website, we collect and store only information to measure the number of visitors to different areas of the site to assist us in making the site more useful to you. Data collected is separate from individual library account data. We cannot look up your library record to determine what web sites you have visited.

The information collected is limited to:

  • The address (IP) of your computer or Internet provider
  • The date and time you accessed our site
  • The Internet address of the web site that referred you to our site

BiblioCommons

BiblioCommons is a third-party software that provides a more user-friendly method of displaying and searching books and materials and placing holds than the Classic Catalog. Users may a share ratings and reviews of titles found at the local library, create custom booklists, and see other user recommendations. When a user accesses online catalog pages that are denoted as “Powered by BiblioCommons” in the lower left-hand corner of the page, the user will be using what is referred to as the “BiblioCommons Service,” and the user is subject to the BiblioCommons Terms of Use. In acceptance of the BiblioCommons Terms of Use, a user agrees to abide by the BiblioCommons Privacy Statement. Users are advised to read the BiblioCommons Terms of Use and Privacy Statement carefully.

What is retained and shared:

You may create "Shared Content" including ratings, reviews, Lists and My Shelves. Shared Content may be useful for your own reference and can help other users find resources and information. You may make portions of your Shared Content private, or you may leave it publicly available (as "Public Content") for the benefit of yourself and other users. To learn more about the controls BiblioCommons has put in place to protect your privacy, please refer to the BiblioCommons Privacy Statement, or visit your Privacy Settings in BiblioCommons.

OUR WEBSITE

Our web site contains links to external web sites not maintained by the Peninsula Library System. We cannot be responsible for your privacy when you visit outside web sites. Please consult the privacy policies of those web sites should you have questions regarding their use.

What is retained:

When a user visits the classic catalog or our website, we collect and store only information to measure the number of visitors to different areas of the site to assist us in making the site more useful to you. Data collected is separate from individual library account data. We cannot look up your library record to determine what web sites you have visited.

The information collected is limited to:

  • The address (IP) of your computer or Internet provider
  • The date and time you accessed our site
  • The Internet address of the web site that referred you to our site

PUBLIC COMPUTER USE AND PRINTING

The Library uses an online computer reservation program that allows the public to reserve a computer. The Library's public computer search stations are programmed to delete the PC history and a library user's Internet session and all searches once an individual session is completed.

What is retained:

Computer session time is collected for seven days for statistical purposes. Barcodes are associated with the session matching the session time in order to gather statistics regarding number of sessions, length of sessions, and total sessions. Each Wednesday the barcode that is attached to the session is deleted through an automated process, therefore keeping the usage statistical data while disassociating it from the patron information.

Adopted April 3, 2003
Revised December 6, 2018