Privacy Policy

Introduction

One of the cornerstones of librarianship is respect for the privacy of library users. The North Of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE) and our member libraries recognize the importance of protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of the information that you share with us when you use our web sites or other library services. Described below is our policy on the collection, use, disclosure, maintenance and protection of personal information that you provide to us.

What information is collected and how it is used

Library Borrowing

When applying for a library card at any of our libraries, we must obtain certain information about you in order to provide you with a library account. If you are affiliated with our college libraries, we may receive personally identifiable information to create and update your library account from your college.

We will maintain confidentiality of information received, and materials consulted, borrowed or acquired, including database search records, circulation records, interlibrary loan records, and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services through NOBLE.

NOBLE maintains several web-based management tools, such as forms related to renewing books, saving search histories or resource preferences, requesting materials, etc. The personally identifiable information collected through these tools and stored in NOBLE’s computer systems will only be used to maintain your account and provide services to you and is not made available to any other entity outside NOBLE except as required by law or appropriate law enforcement procedures.
Public library users have the option of providing us with your e-mail address for the purpose of notifying you about your library account. Public library users may request that we remove your e-mail address from your record at any time.

Website

When you use the NOBLE website and library catalog, the NOBLE web server collects certain technical information from your web browser, including your browser type, operating system type, internet address, and the web address of the page from which you linked to our site. In some cases our web server may use browser “cookies” or other technologies to maintain session and preference information or to provide other complex functionality. You may adjust your Internet browser to disable the use of cookies and other web technologies; however, some features of this website may not function properly if you block these technologies. Any information that we automatically collect via this web site is only used internally for technical troubleshooting, to improve the usability of our website, and to track aggregate statistical trends.

Except for information that you choose to submit to us (through web forms, e-mail messages or other communication), NOBLE does not collect any personally identifiable information (such as your name, address, phone number, age, gender, ID numbers, etc.) on our website. If you do choose to submit personally identifiable information to us, that information is used only for the purpose for which you submitted it, and will not be used for other purposes. Information from other sources is not combined with the information that we collect. While we may disclose information about use of our web site in aggregate (such as server use statistics) we will not disclose to third parties any information that could be used to identify individuals or their use of NOBLE resources, except as required by law or appropriate law enforcement procedures.

Access to information we have about you

Any person is entitled to view their library account information in person with positive identification in our libraries. Only patrons with proper identification may correct their library account information through the library. The records of minors with their own cards are also considered to be private to those persons. Parents or legal guardians who are responsible for a child’s library materials may obtain records pertaining to overdue items.

Sites linked to from NOBLE

NOBLE provides links to a variety of sites and services.

Some licensed electronic resources contracted for the use of our constituents by NOBLE, our libraries, the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners require verification of a valid library account.

Our website contains links to websites and licensed databases that are not maintained or supported by NOBLE or our libraries. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these external web sites, and we encourage users of these resources to familiarize themselves with the policies of the providers of these services and resources.

Security

Only authorized library and NOBLE staff with assigned password may access personally identifiable information stored in NOBLE’s computer systems and then only for the purpose of performing library work. We use industry-standard security measures to protect any personal information that you may provide to us.

NOBLE maintains a private telecommunications network to securely transmit data with our member libraries. However, transmissions made on the Internet are generally not secure, since the information is transferred in clear text. We cannot guarantee that your submissions to our website, any content residing on our servers, or any transmissions from our server will be completely secure.

All contractors to whom patron data or access to patron data is provided must execute a document in the format provided by NOBLE specifically citing that the patron data will not be retained nor sold or otherwise distributed or disclosed.

References

This policy is based on the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, which in Article III states: ‘We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted,’ and Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 78, Section 7, which states, “…that part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be public record as defined by clause twenty-sixth of section seven of chapter four”.

NOBLE recognizes and utilizes Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 78, Section 7, which states: “Library authorities may disclose or exchange information relating to library users for the purposes of inter-library cooperation and coordination, including but not limited to, the purposes of facilitating the sharing of resources among library jurisdictions as authorized by clause (1) of section nineteen E or enforcing the provisions of sections ninety-nine and one hundred of chapter two hundred and sixty-six.”

For more information about the privacy and confidentiality principles supported by the library profession, please see this section of the website of the American Library Association.

Contact

If you have questions about this policy or feel that we have acted in violation of this policy, please contact NOBLE’s management team.

Approved by NOBLE Member Libraries 3/16/2006

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