“ Confidentiality relates to the possession of personally identifiable information [PII], including such library-created records as closed-stack call slips, computer sign-up sheets, registration for equipment or facilities, circulation records, Web sites visited, reserve notices, or research notes (ALA Privacy and Confidentiality).”
All libraries should have a records retention policy for paper and electronic records with Personal Identifiable Information (PII) (Vaughn, 2007).
EDI alerts such as “If you liked this book, then you will like these…” relies on PPI (Fifarek, 2002).
The Sonoma County, CA Library’s Privacy Statement:
We are committed to preserving the privacy of our visitors and patrons. We do not collect personal information about you just because you visit this site. We will not share any information you give us with anyone unless required by cour t order. We do not collect or sell your information for commercial purposes. Your patron information is confidential (Falk, 2004).
Libraries can use the ALA Privacy Toolkit to help create their own policy: http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/iftoolkits/toolkitsprivacy/privacy.cfm
Limit the monitoring, collection, disclosure, and distribution of personally identifiable information (PII).
Avoid creating unnecessary records. Only record a user's PII when necessary for the efficient operation of the library.
Avoid retaining records that are not needed for efficient operation of the library. Assure that all kinds and types of records are covered by the policy, including data-related logs, digital records, vendor-collected data, and system backups.
Avoid library practices and procedures that place information on public view
using postcards for overdue notices or requested materials;
using patron names to identify self-pickup holds;
placement of staff terminals so the screens can be read by the public;
using sign-in sheets to use computers or other devices;
providing titles of reserve requests or interlibrary loans over the telephone to users' family members or answering machines).