The Basis of this Policy
The McPherson Public Library provides confidentiality of data regarding use of the Library’s materials and services in accordance with State of Kansas and Federal laws.
The Library strives to protect the patron confidentiality in relation to items used in the Library or checked out, and to information sought through library systems or the Library’s reference services. Registration and circulation records are confidential, and disclosure of these records is limited to the patron him/herself or to that person’s designee as indicated in writing, and to Library staff in the performance of their duties. All other disclosure of these records is permitted only by court order.
Protection of confidentiality does not extend to records of outstanding fines or fees; payments for the use of Library premises or equipment; or communications directed to the Library regarding Library services.
Responsible Data Practices
The Library is committed to responsible data practices. This means that no user data is retained that is not essential to the functioning of a Library service; that information is available only to those Library staff who must use it in the course of their duties; and that data is kept secure while in the Library’s possession and discarded when it is not longer used.
Computer and Internet Use
Patrons may reserve time on Library computers by logging on at a Library terminal and entering their Library card number and four-digit PIN. The reservation data for each day is routinely deleted. Library computers are configured to prohibit the saving of files to the hard drive, and to keep the amount of cached data and browsing history stored by Web browsers to the minimum required by each program. Additionally, while using public Internet computers, users may opt to clear their browsing history, cache and other personally identifying information at any time during their session. Otherwise, that data is deleted from the computer upon a computer reboot.
Users are strongly encouraged to log out of all computer programs they utilize at the Library before leaving the computer station so that others do not have access to their personal information. As an additional measure, the Library has implemented an automated system which routinely removes temporarily stored information on Library computers. However, users should not rely on this measure alone to remove or safeguard their session data.
Use of the Library’s computers for the transmission, dissemination, and/or duplication of information is regulated under various state and federal laws. The Library expects all users to comply with such laws.
If a reference question cannot be answered immediately, it may be necessary for the reference librarian to telephone or email the requester at a later time. The contact information provided by the patron is retained only as long as is necessary to reply to the request, after which it is destroyed.
Online Subscription Resource Access
In addition to all the resources a user may choose to access on the Internet, the Library also subscribes to and provides the public with access to online resources and services that are managed by third parties, such as article databases, online newspapers, and reference works. When Library patrons are asked to identify themselves using their Library card number to access these subscription resources, the card number is checked against the Library database to verify that the user is a legitimate member of the McPherson Public Library community. The online service receives the information that the user is authenticated but is not provided with the user’s Library card number or with any other information identifying the user.
Library Online Catalog
Patron log-in totals (patron names are not collected)
Number of hold requests placed (patron names are not included)
Number of renewals (patron names are not included)
Search types (keyword, browse, etc.)
In addition, a library user may choose to have the online catalog collect information on such things as favorite authors or subjects in order to be notified when new materials arrive that will be of interest to the user. The Library user has the option to link this type of information to his or her library record, but such linkage is solely at the user’s discretion.
Security of Library Records
The Library makes every reasonable effort to protect its network from hackers.
Email that people send to the Library is not necessarily secure against interception. The Library does not require sensitive information such as social security numbers or credit card numbers, and it is advisable not to send such sensitive information by email.
Meetings, Groups and Events
Reservation of a meeting room requires contact information of one representative of the group holding the meeting. This information is not considered confidential and is stored according to the McPherson Public Library records management requirements.
Members of the public who attend Library-sponsored meetings or participate in group activities organized by the Library may be asked to provide contact information for notification of future events. Doing so is voluntary, and at any time the user may ask to be removed from any such list.
User Rights & Responsibilities
Users have a right to view their own patron record and record of items currently checked out or requested. They can update contact phone numbers and email addresses by signing into their user account online. It is the responsibility of users to make sure that their information in the Library’s patron database is current and accurate. Users can have their information updated at the service desk.
The Library card is the user’s access to Library services. Lost or misplaced cards must be reported to the Library as soon as possible. Cards can be misused by others and so should be kept secure by the Library user.
Users have a right to opt-in or opt-out of any electronic communications and/or personalization systems that the Library offers.
Users should read and understand the privacy policies of any third party sites to which they provide any personally identifiable information. The Library is not responsible for the data users submit to third party sites.
Users must take responsibility for removing any storage media or other devices that they have attached to the computer they are using. The Library cannot reveal the identities of subsequent users for any reason.
It is the responsibility of users to understand and adhere to the McPherson Public Library Rules. Violation of these rules while in the Library may lead to the suspension of Library privileges, and appropriate legal action.
Law Enforcement and Library Records
There are times when law enforcement officials may request Library registration and circulation records. As specified by law, the Library may disclose these records only upon the presentation of a signed order from the appropriate court.
Additionally, certain federal laws, including the Patriot Act, may allow federal law enforcement officials to access records, including those of libraries, through means outside of those defined by state law.
Should any law enforcement requests be made to the Library, the Library will strive to provide only the specific information requested and will exercise its best effort to protect the privacy of patrons whose information has not been requested in the legal documentation.