Patron Privacy Statement
Our Commitment to Our Patrons
The Allen County Public Library is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of patron records. The library will not sell, share or trade our patrons’ names, personal identifiable information, or library account information with any other entity except those working under contract or as required by law. Nor will we send mailings to our patrons on behalf of other organizations not directly affiliated with the Allen County Public Library.
The library strives to collect the least amount of personally identifiable information from patrons. We keep your information as long as required by Indiana State Law. The library does not engage in practices that might place personally identifiable information on public view without patron consent.
It is standard library practice to collect the following information:
- Information required to register for a library card such as name, address, telephone number, email address, birthdate
- Library barcode number or guest pass number used to log on to public computers
- Records of items currently checked-out, requested, interlibrary loans, fines/fees owed, payments made
- Sign-up information for library programs
The library uses Google Analytics to collect data about the use of our website to make improvements to the website and track trends. Data collected includes:
- Browser type
- Device type
- Engagement information (sessions, session duration, pageviews)
- Geography (internet service provider location, language)
- Network service provider
- Operating system
- Referrals (web address patron coming from)
Any personally identifiable information given to the library in email messages, web forms, in-person or telephone reference, or other communications is used only for the purpose for which it was originally collected.
Access to Patron Information
All patron records are confidential and may only be disclosed to:
- Library staff performing job duties
- Cardholders upon proof of identity
- Parents or guardians of minor children (limited access)
- Under court order or subpoena
If the library cardholder is under the age of 18, the parents or legal guardians may only be given information associated with materials that have accrued fines and/or fees (See Circulation Policy).
Library patrons may access their personally identifiable information and are responsible for keeping it accurate and up-to-date. This can be done online or in person. Proof of identity is required to update information in person and a password is required to update information online.
The Allen County Public Library may use your information and library usage history to:
- Develop reports based on aggregate data
- Send you information about upcoming events and programs based on your borrowing history and past event/program attendance
- Send you information on new additions to our collection, based on personal interest categories that you choose
Items placed on hold for library patrons are shelved by the patron’s last name and the last four digits of their library card number for pick-up in the public areas of the Library.
Website and Public Computers
The library’s website is encrypted with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) which is used widely for secure communication between a computer network and the internet. All communications between the browser being used by patrons and the library website are private.
The library uses software programs that monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information intended to cause damage. No other attempts are made to identify individual patrons or their usage habits.
The library uses restoration software to remove personal data and browsing history each time a patron ends their session on a public computer. Library card numbers and Guest Passes are used to reserve public computers. This data is collected for a period of 90 days and used by the Allen County Public Library to forecast the communities need for public computer access. After 90 days this data is purged.
The privacy statement for the Allen County Public Library’s mobile application can be found here.
The library enters into agreements with third-party vendors to provide online services, digital collections, streaming media content and more. Because third-party vendors have their own privacy policies and confidentiality practices, your interaction with their systems will be governed by their individual privacy policies.
The library uses digital video surveillance inside and outside of most of our library locations. Digital video is kept for 45 days. Video is only available to view by authorized library staff.
Library patrons who have questions, concerns or complaints regarding the library’s handling of their privacy and confidentiality rights should request to speak to a library manager. The library will respond in a timely manner and may conduct an investigation or review of practices and procedures.
Library records are not made available to any agency of state, federal or local government without a subpoena, warrant, court order or other legal document requiring the library to do so. All staff have been trained to refer any law enforcement requests to library administrators.
The library takes seriously its obligation to protect the privacy of every patron. This commitment to patrons’ privacy may appear to cause inconvenience on occasion. However, this is a small price to pay for the assurance that an individual’s reading preferences and use of the library will remain exclusively a person’s business.