Confidentiality of Patron and Circulation Records Policy

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Protecting patron privacy and confidentiality has long been an integral part of the mission of libraries. Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries (FVRL) strives to protect each library patron's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received, and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted. The following policy addresses how FVRL protects patron privacy and maintains the confidentiality of patron records. The FVRL Executive Director is responsible for establishing administrative procedures necessary to carry out this policy.

The Washington State Open Public Records Law requires public agencies to provide records on request; RCW 42.56.070. There is an exemption to this law for certain library records; RCW 42.56.310. Records kept primarily to maintain control of library materials or to help patrons gain access to information are exempt. FVRL will disclose exempt records to others only with the Library patron’s request or consent, or with a valid court order under applicable state or federal law.

Patron records may be consulted and used by Library staff in the course of their library-related work, as determined by the Executive Director.

This policy applies to all FVRL patrons. Parents, guardians or caretakers of a child under age 18 who wish to access a child’s record of materials checked out or overdue, must provide the child’s library card, card number or verify through other information on the account.

Personally identifiable information collected by FVRL

FVRL collects only enough information from our users to conduct the business of lending library materials. This information includes:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Unique library card number
  • Signature
  • Gender (optional)
  • Responsible adult (minors only)

FVRL does not share or sell our patrons’ information to any third party sources. We share our patron’s information with our Integrated Library Software vendor and use their cloud-based server for storage of patron records. FVRL may share patron data with a third party vendor for assistance in collecting library materials or resolving delinquent accounts.

Third party partners

FVRL enters into agreements with third party vendors and partners to provide online services, digital collections, streaming media content, electronic newsletters and to improve our website. When using some of these services, library patrons may also connect with social networks and other users of these services.

Third party services may gather and disclose information, including:

  • Personally identifiable information knowingly provided, including registering for a site, providing feedback and suggestions, requesting information or creating shared content.
  • Other information that could be used for identification including IP address, search history, location based data and device ID.
  • Non-personally identifiable information, such as ad views, analytics, browser information (type and language), cookie data, date/time of a request, demographic data, hardware/software type, interaction data, server domains, page views and web pages visited immediately prior to visiting a third party site.
  • Other data that third party services may collect as described in the vendor’s privacy policy and terms of use.

For more information on the specific types of data that may be gathered and disclosed by each third party service, please refer to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policies for the online services you use.

External websites

FVRL’s website also contains links to external websites not maintained by FVRL and is not responsible for patron privacy when users visit those websites. Once users link to another website, they are no longer subject to FVRL’s Confidentiality of Patron Information policy, but the privacy policy or statement, if any, of the third party’s website.


Applicable laws or references

Policy history

Approved and adopted by the FVRL Board of Trustees:

  • Original policy January 29, 1975
  • Revised and Reaffirmed August 17, 1981
  • Continuation of Confidentiality of Circulation Records Approved: October 14, 1991
  • Policy name revised for easier indexing, 2/10/03 (formerly titled Confidentiality of Patron Records)
  • Revised: April 9, 2007
  • Revised: September 18, 2017
  • Revised: April 16, 2018
  • Revised: September 17, 2018