Privacy Policy

Larchmont Public Library

Privacy Policy

The Board of Trustees and staff of the Larchmont Public Library seek to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all who use the Library in the pursuit of free speech, thought and association. We respect and support an individual’s fundamental right to open inquiry without scrutiny by others.

We are committed to protecting the personally identifiable information you give us and strive to collect and use only that information necessary to provide or improve library service. You have the right to access your information on our web site or in person, but will be required to provide proof of your identity. We will not disclose your personal information to others except upon your consent or request, or unless legally required to do so.

New York State law (CPLR §4509) mandates the confidentiality of all records containing personally identifiable information relating to an individual’s use of any library and its materials, facilities, and services. Confidentiality includes, but is not limited to, circulation of library books, periodicals and other materials, database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference requests, and use of audiovisual materials. We will not sell or lease confidential information to outside parties and will not disclose information unless required to do so by law. Library records containing personally identifiable information will not be made available to anyone except “pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.” We authorize only the Library Director (or her/his designee) to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers. We will confer with legal counsel before determining the proper response.

Information We Collect

The types of personal information we collect are:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Library barcode number
  • Materials currently checked out or requested, including interlibrary loans
  • Overdue materials (until returned)
  • Unpaid fines (until paid)

 

In order to protect your personal information, our automated consortium, Westlynx, employs the following polices and procedures to safeguard the personal identifiable information of the patrons of the member libraries in internal operations.

Circulation records: Once a book is returned and charges (if any) are resolved, the link between a patron barcode and the title is automatically excised. However, as of December 1, 2012, patrons can chose to have their circulation records retained in the catalog system. If they do not affirmatively chose to do so, the records will not be kept.

Back–ups: The Westlynx system is fully backed up on a nightly basis. Back–up tapes are rotated so that no data older than fourteen (14) days is retained. Once every two weeks, a tape is removed from the WLS headquarters and kept off–site. This tape is returned and overwritten in its usual fourteen-day schedule.

Internet protocols: 1) At the consortium site: All caches or logs of a nature that captures specific Internet site use are cleared at a minimum on a weekly basis. 2) In libraries: Westlynx requires that all public Internet workstations be shut down nightly or rebooted in the morning. Software installed on those machines will delete any cache of sites visited by patrons. It also removes any viruses that may have attacked that machine during the day.

Links to Other Sites

Our website contains links to other sites not maintained by the Library. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of any other sites you may visit. We encourage you to become familiar with privacy practices and be mindful of privacy.

Email

You have the option of providing us with your email address for the purpose of notifying you about your library account/library activities. You may request that we remove your email address from your account or from Constant Contact at any time.

The Larchmont Public Library and the Westchester Library System use Gmail, a product of Google, Inc. for traditional email functions and as a backbone for other library business, such as eLibrarian and processing and tracking interlibrary loan requests. Larchmont Public Library also uses Hotmail, a Microsoft Inc. product, for email. You may elect to sign up for and use Library Elf to track library materials. We distribute our monthly events newsletter and special announcements through services provided by Constant Contact.

As of April 24, 2012, these businesses have their own privacy policies available at:
http://mail.google.com/mail/help/privacy.html for Gmail
http://www.microsoft.com/info/privacy/default.mspx for Microsoft
http://www.libraryelf.com/Privacy.aspx for Library Elf.
http://ui.constantcontact.com/roving/CCPrivacyPolicy.jsp for Constant Contact.

Although the Library’s staff takes all reasonable precautions to guard your privacy, you should be aware that their control over Constant Contact, Library Elf, Google and Microsoft is limited. If you are concerned about privacy, you may want to ask a Reference Librarian for an explanation of which services are affected and what you can do to minimize or avoid the use of email.

Cookies

We use browser cookies to ease your access to our catalog and databases. Cookies are small data files that our computer server sends to your Web browser that are then stored on your hard drive. These cookies do not collect, store, or maintain your personally identifiable information. You do not have to accept these cookies in order to visit or use our website and resources, and you can choose to refuse cookies or delete cookies from your hard drive.

When you access our catalog and databases from home, we will require the barcode number from your library card for authentication purposes. Providers of licensed databases do not have access to our records containing personal information. Our contract with vendors stipulates that any information that could be linked to your barcode is to be discarded as soon as you log off.

Children’s Privacy

The privacy and safety of children is very important to us. Personal information collected by the Library is not shared with any other agency or organization. Due to the ease with which children can be induced to divulge personal information on the Internet, we urge parents to supervise their children’s use of the Internet at home as well as in the Library. Parents should also be aware that the Library does not employ filtering devices, in part because they are ineffective and can impart a false sense of security.

Approved by the Larchmont Public Library Board of Trustees 10/15/08
Revised and adopted by the Larchmont Public Library Board of Trustees 4/14/10, and 6/13/2012.