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Confidentiality of Customer Records and Protection of Personal Information

The board recognizes that library records and customer information are confidential. According to Ohio Revised Code section 149.432, library records are defined as a record in any form that is maintained by the library and that contains any of the following types of information:

  • Information an individual is required to provide in order to be eligible to use library services or borrow materials.
  • Information that identifies an individual as having requested or obtained specific materials or materials on a specific subject.
  • Information that is provided by an individual to assist a staff member to answer a specific question or provide information on a particular subject.

Information that does not identify an individual and that is retained for studying or evaluating the use of the library is not considered confidential and is not subject to this policy.

Personal Information Maintained by Shaker Heights Public Library

The library has adopted a Circulation of Library Materials Policy that requires certain personal information be provided by those applying for a Shaker Heights Public Library card. This information includes:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number
  • Name of parent/guardian for juveniles
  • E-mail address (optional)
  • Special status information (e.g. Golden Buckeye)
  • Restrictions on library borrowing (if any)

The library assigns a library card number and profile code to each cardholder’s account. The library updates personal information when customers notify the library of changes to personal information and at least every two years when library cards are required to be renewed. Birth date information is monitored regularly for changes in status and borrowing privileges (i.e., minor to adult). The library retains all personal information regarding a cardholder as long as that card remains active, and purges personal information three (3) years after expiration or termination of a customer’s library card.

Releasing Customer Information

  • Library staff will provide access to customer account information at a service desk to a customer who has the library card in hand for that account or a valid government-issued photo ID. Staff may choose to ask for additional identification.
  • Library staff will release library information or library records pertaining to a minor child to that child’s parent, guardian, or custodian upon presentation of the child’s library card. A parent or guardian who is listed in the “care/of” line of a minor’s record may, upon presentation of a government-issued photo ID, receive information about the record and pay overdue fines.
  • Library staff will provide access to customer account information over the telephone to a caller who can provide the library account number.
  • When a lost or stolen card is reported over the telephone, the customer account associated with that card will be blocked.

Exceptions to Confidentiality

Under Ohio law, a customer’s library records or information shall not be made available to any individual other than the individual who is the subject of the record or information, except as follows:

  • Records or customer information pertaining to minor children when requested by parents, guardians, or custodians.
  • In accordance with a subpoena, search warrant, or other court order, or to a law enforcement officer who is investigating a matter involving public safety in exigent circumstances.
  • Upon the request or with the consent of the individual who is the subject of the record or information.
  • For library administrative purposes as defined by Ohio Revised Code section 149.432.

Responsibility for Personal Information

The Shaker Heights Public Library is part of the CLEVNET consortium, which owns and maintains the Integrated Library System (ILS) containing personal information about CLEVNET library customers. As a CLEVNET member, Shaker Heights Public Library follows the “Personal Information Rules for the CLEVNET System” and Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1347.

Shaker Heights Public Library designates the Circulation Services Manager as the employee who has the responsibility to monitor and maintain the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness of the personal information in the ILS as it pertains to the Shaker Heights Public Library.

Protection of Personal Information

Both CLEVNET and Shaker Heights Public Library have reasonable physical, electronic, and managerial measures in place to prevent unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure of personal information in our possession. We routinely review data collection, storage and process practices, security measures, and physical security to guard against unauthorized access to systems where information is stored.

Access to personal information we hold or obtain is restricted to employees, contractors, and agents (including hosting services) on a need-to-know basis to operate, develop, and improve our products and services. Such employees, contractors, and agents are bound by confidentiality and subject to discipline, including termination and criminal prosecution.

Approved by the Shaker Heights Public Library Board of Trustees 2/15/2011, 12/10/2012