Privacy Policy

Your Right to Privacy

At the Centre County Federation of Public Libraries, we value your right to privacy as a user of our libraries. Your records are strictly confidential, and personal information is only collected as is absolutely necessary.

What do we collect? 

We collect the following information about our users: name, phone number, mailing address, birth year, the last 3 digits of your driver’s license or other valid I.D., and email (if applicable). The libraries additionally keep a record of what items you currently have checked out, and what items you currently have on reserve. The libraries do not keep a record of past circulations of individual library card holders, except for the purpose of tracking fines, or lost or damaged items. These circulation and overdue records are removed from the user’s account once they have been paid. However, each item record contains the name of the last library card holder who checked out the item.  

How do we use this information?

This information is used for identification and transactions related to your library account, and will never be shared with an outside organization or individual except by court order, in relation to criminal activity committed inside the libraries, or in the case of sending information about fines or fees for collection. In addition, we reserve the right to use your address, phone number, and email for library-related communications. We will never sell your personal information to a third-party vendor.

Protecting your privacy

To protect your account, we require a valid Centre County Federation of Public Libraries library card number in good standing to be presented at time of checkout. Information about a library cardholder’s account will only be given out if the card number for that account is presented to a staff member, and items you have placed on hold will only be checked out to the account used to place the hold. If you have asked someone else to pick up your hold, they must present your card number in order for them to be permitted to do so. The accounts of users 12 and under may be accessed by a parent or guardian who is listed on their account. In order to ensure the security of your personal information, it is essential that you notify your home library immediately if your card is lost or stolen.

Confidentiality and public computer use

The libraries track the total number of computer uses and hours of use. In addition, login records are kept for six months, which track when a patron used a public computer and for how long. We do not keep track of what you view while you are online. All public computers are set to delete user internet history, cookies, and temporary internet files on a per session basis. The libraries are not responsible for the privacy practices of websites visited by users while using public computers. The libraries use anonymous filters in order to be compliant with the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA). These filters can be turned off at a user’s request.

Your privacy and our website

To better assist our community in using our online services, the websites of the libraries, online catalogs, and any online surveys utilize cookies, small data files that are stored on your own computer. The libraries may also use Google Analytics to collect anonymized information about website traffic. Online visitors may choose to opt-out of having data collected by Google Analytics by utilizing the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/.

Surveillance

Security cameras are in use on some library premises. These recordings are only reviewed in the case of alleged criminal activity or abuse of library services.

Third Party Vendors

By using online services offered through third-party vendors such as Overdrive, Freegal, EBSCO, etc., library card holders implicitly agree to the privacy policies and terms of service of these vendors. The Centre County Federation Libraries are not responsible for the privacy of information volunteered to these outside organizations.

 

The Centre County Federation of Public Libraries follow Pennsylvania State Law (PA 24 P.S. Section 4428), which mandates that library records are “confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by court order in a criminal proceeding.” If you have questions about the confidentiality of your records as a library user, or would like to review your account information in order to ensure its accuracy, please contact your home library. 

  • Approved by the Centre County Library Board of Trustees: April 27, 2017
  • Approved by the Centre County Federation of Public Libraries Board: May 4, 2017
  • Approved by the Schlow Centre Region Library Board: May 10, 2017       

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