Privacy & Confidentiality of Library Records

Library Records
Greenwich Library is committed to protecting the privacy of all library patrons and other users (collectively, “users”). Our commitment to our users’ privacy and confidentiality is based on the law and also on the ethics and practices of librarianship.

The Greenwich Library seeks to protect its users’ privacy by keeping information about materials they check out and information they access confidential as required by law. In relevant part, Connecticut law (General Statutes of Connecticut, Chapter 190, Section 11-25) provides that:

  • [R]ecords maintained by libraries that can be used to identify any library user, or link any user to a library transaction, regardless of format, shall be kept confidential, except that the records may be disclosed to officers, employees and agents of the library, as necessary for operation of the library.
  • Information contained in such records shall not be released to any third party, except (A) pursuant to a court order, or (B) with the written permission of the library user whose personal information is contained in the records.
  • No provision of this [law] shall be construed to prevent a library from publishing or making available to the public statistical reports regarding library registration and use of library materials, if such reports do not contain personally identifying information.

All users are advised that any Library record or other information collected by the Library is subject to disclosure pursuant to a court order or as otherwise authorized by applicable law.

User Access and Responsibility
We maintain a limited amount of personally identifiable information about each Library cardholder, including name, address, telephone number and, if provided, e-mail address. You are entitled to view your personally identifiable information and are responsible for keeping your information accurate and up-to-date.

Choice and Consent
We will not collect or retain your private and personally identifiable information without your consent. If you consent to give us your personally identifiable information, we will keep it confidential and will not sell, license or disclose personal information to a third party, except on a confidential basis to an agent working under contract to the Library, without your consent, unless we are required to do so by law.

Third Party Services and Internet Communications
We seek to ensure that the Library’s contracts, licenses, and offsite computer service agreements reflect our policies concerning privacy and confidentiality. For example, the Library maintains licenses with a variety of third-party databases that permit users to access these databases through Library computers or the Library’s website. If a user seeks to access such a database through the Library, we only provide information that authenticates the user as a registered Greenwich Library patron and do not provide personally identifiable information about the user. Nevertheless, users must be aware, when accessing third party sites—even sites maintained by organizations with which the Library has a contractual relationship—that there are limits to the privacy protections the Library can provide. Any election to utilize third-party content or services will constitute your agreement to the terms of any privacy policy applicable to that content or service. The Library encourages users to review the privacy policies of all third-party providers. Users who use the Library’s new online public access catalog are encouraged to read the BiblioCommons privacy policy.

Some users may choose to take advantage of RSS feeds from the Library catalog, public blogs, the ability to receive hold and overdue notices via e-mail or text message, and similar services that send personal information related to Library use via public communication networks. Users are cautioned that any electronic communication utilizing the internet or a wireless network is subject to unauthorized interception.

Greenwich Library works with a variety of service providers to provide eContent (e.g., eBooks, eVideo, eMusic, and eAudiobooks) to our users. Before accessing any of the Library’s eContent, users should read the privacy policy, if any, of the relevant service provider. For example, users who check out eBooks from the Greenwich Library website for use on their eReader (or via an eReader app) may receive those eBooks via Amazon or another third party. Amazon’s privacy policy describes the kind of information that is collected and stored in connection with such transactions, and we encourage users to familiarize themselves with that policy before engaging in any such transaction. For example, the Library understands that Amazon currently retains (on a long-term basis) information about the eBooks a user borrows as well as any notes or highlights added to the text by the user.

Users accessing the Library’s website will need to enable cookies in order to access a number of resources available through the Library. Our Library servers use cookies solely to verify that a person is an authorized user in order to allow access to licensed Library resources and to customize Web pages to that user’s specifications.

Use of Information in Connection with Other Programs, Services and Activities
The Library may compile aggregate demographic data related to our users and donors to better manage our services and to provide aggregate information to potential contributors of financial resources for the Library’s programs. In addition, as with other similar organizations, the Library collects certain personally identifiable information about our users and donors for purposes related to our mission. For example, information is obtained from online transactions such as donations as well as responses to our e-newsletter and email communication. This information may be used to send information to users or to donors about various programs and services offered by Greenwich Library as well as other Greenwich Library initiatives and information. An individual who wishes to stop receiving any particular type of communication may do so by clicking the unsubscribe link in the relevant e-mail or may contact the Library.

As is customary in the non-profit world, Greenwich Library will sometimes send to people who have expressed interest in the Library’s programs or services requests to support the Library. In order to ensure the most efficient use of Greenwich Library’s fundraising dollars, we use third party vendors to make sure the contact information we have for our users and donors is accurate and to determine which users and donors are most likely to support our mission. The Library does not sell or license information about our users or donors nor does it send donor solicitation mailings on behalf of any other organization.

The Library has physical, electronic, and managerial measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to the information we collect. Although we design these measures to be as effective as possible, we cannot assure that such measures will function as intended.

Staff Access to Personal Data
Under Library rules, Library staff may access personal data stored in the Library’s computer system only for the purpose of performing their assigned Library duties. Our internal policies prohibit Library staff from disclosing any personal data we collect from users to any other party except where required by law, to the extent necessary to fulfill a user’s service request or otherwise with the user’s consent.

Library Computers and Wireless Access
Users are encouraged to consult the Library’s Use of Electronic Resources Policy for additional information regarding use of Library computers or the Library’s wireless internet connection network.

By using the Greenwich Library’s services, including its website, and by communicating with the Greenwich Library, users agree to be bound by the terms of this policy. This policy may change from time to time, and we encourage users to check it periodically.

Download Policy PDF