The intellectual pursuits of individuals using library or internet resources are considered confidential information regardless of the age of the borrower. Such records shall not be made available to any individual or agency except pursuant to such process, order, subpoena, or warrant as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.
Library patrons routinely share personal data while using Library services and resources. The Patron Privacy and Data Retention Policy exists to:
- provide appropriate records to staff and the public
- comply with laws on privacy, confidentiality, and open records
- ensure the Library minimizes the collection and retention of personally-identifiable data to only what is strictly necessary, in order to protect patron privacy
- outline a destruction/deletion schedule when retention no longer serves a legitimate Library need
The Library creates, retains, and manages data in a variety of ways:
Borrowing items, requesting items, and searching the catalog
Requests outside of the MVLC catalog
These records are kept for the administration of the request and loan. They are retained until the end of the statistics reporting period for that fiscal year, aggregated, and then deleted.
Appointments, reservations, and activity logs
These records are kept for the administration of the activity. They are retained until the end of the statistics reporting period for that fiscal year, aggregated, and then destroyed.
Reservations made through online event calendars and museum pass booking software are kept to manage attendance at events and pass loans. They are retained until the end of the statistics reporting period for that fiscal year, aggregated, and then deleted.
The Library contracts with numerous third-party services and vendors to provide patrons with a wealth of useful resources. While the Library regards these tools as valuable, they are all independent companies with their own privacy policies. Patrons are encouraged to review these policies before creating accounts with these resources, and to ask Library staff for assistance in locating the policy if necessary. The Library does not monitor or record patrons’ individual use of these resources, but where possible records aggregate usage for statistics reporting for that fiscal year.
Public computer and network use
The Library makes available computers and a wireless network for public use (which is governed by 2.8 Computer Use Policy). Every effort is made to provide these resources without any sort of tracking or monitoring, either electronically or by video surveillance. The computers have both anti-virus and session management software to protect users while using Library computers, and also software that erases session history automatically when a patron closes their session and when the computer restarts.
The Library’s wireless network is open to the public and requires no sign-on credentials or session tracking, other than aggregate session totals for statistics reporting for that fiscal year.
The Library has security cameras throughout the building and grounds to protect the building, materials, staff, and patrons. These cameras are a part of the Town of Chelmsford’s video security system and governed by its data retention policy. The length of video stored varies depending on how much is recorded, but is typically deleted after 30 days.
Donor and volunteer information
The Library appreciates the tremendous support provided by the community. Donor information is retained indefinitely as historical record. A list of active volunteers is maintained to facilitate volunteer activities, and volunteers can request to be removed at any time. Volunteer activity logs are retained until the end of the statistics reporting period for that fiscal year, aggregated, and then deleted.
Accident and incident information
Records detailing accidents and incidents occurring at the Library, or involving Library staff or patrons, may be retained indefinitely. This will include written details in print or electronically, and video or other images related to the persons or property involved.
Approved, Library Board of Trustees, July 2018