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How San José Public Library Manages Your Privacy
- No Record of Computer Activities – After you log on to a library computer, the Library has no record of what you do during your session. When you log out, your entire session is wiped, so the next user has no way of accessing your information.
- HTTPS – SJPL.ORG and its event website are encrypted with HTTPS, meaning all communications between your browser and the library website are private. Although your account is also encrypted, your catalog searches and browsing activities are not.
- Reference – Your online, telephone, and in-person questions for library staff are confidential and private.
- Reading History – The Library does not keep a record of your borrowing activities. Once you return your item, that record is wiped from your account unless you enable the Reading History on your account. If an item accumulates late fees a record of the title will remain on the account.
- Confidentiality of Patron Records – This policy details how the Library ensures the confidentiality of patron records.
- Records of Minors – If a public library cardholder is under the age of 18, the parent or legal guardian listed on the account can request their child’s records if that parent or legal guardian has the child’s library card.
- Registration Policy – This provision includes information on how San José Public Library and San Jose State University Library manage circulation records and other identifying records.
- Body Cameras – Library Safety Officers (LSO) at the King Library are equipped with body cameras and can record patron contacts, interviews, and other events when recording could provide value as evidence. Before recording, an LSO is instructed to issue a verbal advisement to the patron, and consent is not needed for recording to commence.
- eLearning – Library vendors (e.g. Overdrive, Axis360, Tutor.com, etc.) have their own privacy policies. Sites may or may not be HTTPS. Check site addresses and policies for more information.
How the Library Community Champions Patron Privacy
- ALA Statement on Privacy – Privacy and confidentiality are so important to the American Library Association (ALA) that it not only includes a statement about it in its Code of Ethics, but it also details these values in Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. Additionally, the ALA offers a list of State Privacy Laws Regarding Library Records.
- IFLA Statement on Privacy – In August 2015, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) published its most recent Statement on Privacy in the Library Environment.
- CLA Resolution on Privacy Rights & Open Government – The California Library Association (CLA) has published a resolution confirming the need to support privacy and open government. Its Intellectual Freedom Committee continues to support efforts to promote patron privacy and confidentiality.
- Section 215 of the Patriot Act (pdf) – This part of the Patriot Act is also known as the “library provision”. To learn more about Section 215, check out these resources:
- Librarians vs. The Patriot Act – a recording from On the Media.
- Long Before Snowden, Librarians Were Anti-Surveillance Heroes – article that explores the history of libraries championing privacy and confidentiality.
- Library Freedom Project – This project advocates for privacy literacy. Discover what other libraries are doing to educate people about privacy.