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Home > About the Library > Privacy Policy

Fresno County Public Library Privacy Policy


The Fresno County Public Library is committed to protecting the privacy of the customers and staff of the Library. We subscribe to the American Library Association's Code of Ethics which upholds each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought and received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.

We collect and maintain only that personal information about our users which is required to deliver Library services. Library staff do not give or sell to third parties or private or public agencies any information about Library users, the materials they check out, the information they seek, the online resources they access, or other services they utilize, unless we are required to do so by court order, or as a result of a subpoena or search warrant. Library users should be aware, however, that the USA Patriot Act of 2001 increases the power of federal investigative agencies to compel the disclosure of personal information.

Registration & Circulation

By law (California Government Code Section 6267), circulation and registration records of Library users are confidential. The Library collects only that information needed to verify the identity of borrowers, to enable contact for Library operations purposes, and for minors, contact information for a parent or legally responsible adult. The Library takes reasonable steps to safeguard this registration data and to prevent unauthorized access to it.

Upon request, the Library will provide information to parents and guardians about fines, fees, or other charges incurred by their minor children.

Users have the right to access their personal information and to verify its accuracy through "My Account" in the Library catalog. A library card number and PIN are required to access your records which include materials currently checked out, holds to be filled, money owed, and personal reading lists in "My List."

Records of items borrowed are maintained electronically. Links between users and the items they borrow are broken after the items are returned. Records of fines and fees may be retained for several years according to Fresno County and San Joaquin Valley Library System policies. "My List" is managed by each individual user, but lists inactive for 90 days are purged. Circulation system back-up is maintained as necessary to allow data rebuild in the event of system problems.

Radio Frequency Identification

No personal information is recorded on the RFID tag when an item is checked out or checked in. The only information stored on the tag is the barcode of the item. Links between borrowers and the items they borrow are maintained in the Library’s circulation system and are broken after the item is returned. The Library's Public Catalog is not searchable by barcode. The Library takes reasonable steps to safeguard its circulation system and prevent unauthorized access to it, and complies with all State Laws regarding Public Records, specifically library circulation records.

Electronic Information

Electronic logs of visits to the Library catalog and Library web pages from inside the Library or from home are purged regularly. Software programs summarize anonymous statistical data such as numbers of user sessions, time of day of sessions, and browser types being used. This anonymous data helps the Library make its site more useful to visitors. The Library has no control over the privacy practices of other web sites which are included as links on Library web pages.

To use Library subscription databases from home, Library users are required to enter their library card numbers to ensure that only Fresno County Public Library cardholders may access these resources as required by licensing agreements with database vendors. Individual users' personal information or IP addresses are not passed on to the database vendors and are not linked to searches performed in the subscription databases.

Special Services

No personal information is required of users in order to obtain reference service in Library branches or by telephone. Contact information, however, will be required if you wish to receive follow-up information or ask questions by e-mail. All logs of reference service transactions are discarded within one month after anonymous statistical data is compiled. By County policy, invoices for billable services such as mail and fax reference service are maintained 5 years.

In order to utilize some special services such as attending Library programs which require registration, computer classes, delivery of talking books, interlibrary loan, newsletters, meeting room reservations, and literacy services, Library users must provide sufficient identifying information to enable the delivery of these services. These records are generally purged when users' transactions are complete or they choose to stop using a continuing service such as a newsletter. Comments about library service and suggestions for purchase of library materials are deleted when they have been acted upon.

The Library's Teen web page provides the opportunity to post public messages about books. Users may enter their own names and e-mail addresses to enable contact by others outside the message board forum or they may choose to participate anonymously without names or email addresses.

Public Computers

In order to provide equitable access to public computers, the Library requires all users to sign up for sessions. Public use PC sign-up records are destroyed daily.

At public computers, all documents created, Internet search histories, temporary files, cache, and certificates are purged upon closing of the browser and/or daily rebooting of the PC's. While the Library takes measures to ensure the privacy of public computer users, it cannot guarantee that every task completed is private.

Questions

For questions about the Library's privacy policy and practices, contact roberta.barton@fresnolibrary.org

Rev. 4.2005