The Library is committed to protecting the privacy of our customers, donors and other contacts. In accordance with the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics: “ 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.” Customer records are confidential. Their inspection, use or disclosure is prohibited (Annotated Code of Maryland ED §23-107) and are excluded from disclosure under the Maryland Freedom of Information Act (ST GOV §10-616) unless otherwise provided by law.
We will not collect or retain your private and personally identifiable information without your consent. We require your personal information in order to set up a library account by assigning you a unique identity within our system. This protects you from fraudulent use of your library card and unauthorized access to your user history. When visiting our library’s website and using our electronic services, you may choose to provide your name, address, telephone number, email address or library card barcode.
To safeguard privacy, customers requesting information will be asked to provide their library card number, name, and other information. Information can also be given to persons authorized by the cardholder to access their record with a signed note of permission given by the cardholder. Parents or guardians of a child under the age of 13 may obtain access to their child’s records only if they provide the child’s library card or card number since they are required by policy to sign their child’s library card application.
The Library ensures that its contracts and licenses reflect its policies and legal obligation concerning user privacy and confidentiality. When connecting users to licensed databases and other electronic resources outside the library, the library releases only information that authenticates the user as a library card holder of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Nevertheless, users must be aware, when accessing remote sites, that there are limits to the privacy protection the library can provide and the Library does not claim any responsibility for information collected by other websites linking to or from the Library website.
The Library does not sell, lease or otherwise distribute a library user’s private and personally identifiable information to outside agencies unless compelled to do so by legal authorities, such as when presented with a court order, or to comply with investigations under the USA PATRIOT ACT.
The Library occasionally conducts promotional campaigns to inform people about our services. At those times, the library uses customers’ email or postal addresses to compile its mailing list.