The purpose of this policy is to ensure all library users and staff have the right to privacy and confidentiality regarding the collection of personal information and the use they make of the Vancouver Island Regional Library facilities, collections and websites.

The release of such information would contravene the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Collection, Retention and Disclosure of Customer Information

The Library will retain a link for no more than 48 hours between the customer record and items returned to ensure material is complete and in good condition. The Library may store information in the customer database where in its opinion the information is required to answer customer questions, or to monitor possible abuse of the Library borrowing policy. Every effort will be made to minimize the length of time and amount f information stored.

Personal information related to registration, such as name address, phone number, etc., and circulation records, including information that identifies materials checked out by a customer, will not be divulged voluntarily except to the customer.

The Library will keep no record of questions answered that are linked to a specific customer’s name. Work notes used in answering the question will be divulged only to other library employees involved in working on the same question.

When a library user visits the Library’s website, information collected is used only to measure the number of visitors to different areas of the site. The address (IP) of the computer or internet provider and the date and time that the site was accessed are collected. The library will maintain a Privacy Statement on the website for the information of users.

Personal information about a child will be released only with the written approval from the parent or legal guardian.

All information related to a library user may only be used by library employees working within the scope of their duties.

In accordance with provincial legislation, the Library is free to release relevant information to other libraries or companies acting on the library’s behalf for the collection of library property, unpaid fees, fines or other charges.

Library user addresses and phone numbers stored in the VIRL database will not be given or sold to other organizations and will only be used for Library-only mailings when appropriate.

The Library will release personal information in response to a subpoena, warrant or order when approved by the Library’s Privacy Officer.

Vancouver Island Regional Library may on occasion require personal information for events or contests.

Scope of Policy

This policy is interpreted to include, but not restricted to, maintenance of privacy of the following information and transactions:

  • all records identifying the names or ID numbers of library users
  • all records identifying material the library user currently has out
  • all records identifying library user overdue material can be used only for the retrieval
  • of that material
  • all reference questions
  • all inter-library loan transactions
  • all holds placed, trapped, or held
  • all online searches and their results
  • all items photocopied
  • all items faxed to a particular library user
  • all suggested purchases of library material submitted by library users
  • all information pertaining to the identity of anyone conducting research on a particular subject
  • any information pertaining

The same standards for protection of privacy apply to the staff as users of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.


Revised: June 2010

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