We are committed to the privacy and security of personal information and privacy and confidentiality concerning the use of our services. The purpose of this Privacy and Confidentiality Policy (“Policy”) is to provide you with information about how Calvert Library (“the library”) collects, uses, shares, and safeguards certain of the information it gathers.

About This Policy.

Except as otherwise provided, the Policy applies to:

  • Use of our library services, including our websites and applications
  • Phone and email communications
  • Social media interactions on our websites and other third-party websites like Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter

The nature of our business requires that we gather and maintain information that is of a personal nature that you may wish to keep protected. This Policy does not apply to third-party websites and applications we make available through our website, vendors or partners.

This Policy is based in part on the ethics and practices of professional librarianship, and 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.”

We are committed to privacy and confidentiality for all library users, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

In general, Maryland state law (MD Code, GP §4-308; ED § 23-108) protects your library records against unlawful “inspection, use, or disclosure” and provides specific legal criteria under which records can be inspected, used or disclosed. Protected library records include user names, personally identifiable information, use of the library’s materials, services or facilities, such as information and materials consulted or borrowed, database search records, public access computer use, circulation records, interlibrary loan records and program registration records. In keeping with the American Library Association’s Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records and Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information About Library Users and Maryland State law (MD Code, GP, § 4-308; ED, § 23-108), Calvert Library staff will not respond to any informal request by a third party for personally identifiable information about any library user. Personally identifiable information may be released to a law enforcement agency or officer only after presentation by the law enforcement agency or officer, of an order by a court of competent jurisdiction issued in proper form (a court issued subpoena or search warrant) and/or under the provisions of the USA Patriot Act.

Library records may be subject to disclosure to law enforcement officials under provisions of state law, the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), or in a civil lawsuit. Librarians may be forbidden from reporting to you that your records have been requested or obtained under provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Consistent with MD Code, GP, § 4-308; ED, § 23-108, we will not make library records available to any agency of state, federal, or local government unless a subpoena, warrant, court order, or other investigatory document is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, showing good cause and in proper form. All law enforcement inquiries for library records will be referred to the Library Executive Director.

Please read this Policy carefully before using library services, this website or submitting information to us. By accessing library services or visiting this website, you indicate your understanding that the collection, use, and sharing of your information is subject to the terms of this Policy. If you do not consent to the collection, use, and sharing of your information as described in this Policy, please do not provide us with such information.

Changes to this Policy.

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. In the event we make material change(s) to the Policy, they will be effective immediately upon posting to the website and will apply after the “effective date” listed above. You understand and agree that your continued use of library services or the website after the effective date, means that the collection, use, and sharing of your information is subject to the updated Policy.

The Information Calvert Library Collects

In general, Calvert Library collects, receives, and maintains information about the use and activity customers make of our library’s materials, services, or facilities. More specifically, this information relates to such customers’ use of our resources, such as information they seek or receive, and the resources they consult, borrow, acquire, or transmit. The following are examples of this information.

  • Information required to register for a library card (for example, name, address, library card number, telephone number, email address, birthdate)
  • Grade level and school (used for CRAB Cards and library programming)
  • Materials currently checked out (until returned, unless the user activates reading history using the My Account function in the catalog)
  • Previous borrower information for materials
  • Fees owed and payments made
  • Information to sign up for library programs
  • Information about topics searched for and materials requested
  • Website data to measure and analyze visitors, usage and activity
  • Usage and activity data of third party vendor library services, such as research databases and digital materials

The Way We Use This Information

This information enables us to provide access to a library account, to other library services and allows the library to perform and improve essential functions. In setting this Policy, the library seeks to provide the ideal balance of privacy, customer service and convenience. Personal information may be used in the following ways, but is not limited to:

  • Assisting customers with their accounts
  • Maintaining internal records
  • Carrying out our obligations and enforce our rights including those arising from any contracts entered into between you and us, including for billing, payment, and collections. This includes, without limitation, sending notifications regarding customer accounts, such as holds, materials checked out, accounts about to expire, fees and items overdue
  • Contacting you and/or providing you with email alerts, event registrations and other notices concerning our products or services, or events or news, that may be of interest to you.
  • Analyzing library usage data to improve services
  • Contacting library users for research purposes to help improve services
  • Resolving cases of violations of library rules and regulations
  • Engaging in marketing activities, including to help design products and services appropriate for our users.
  • Communicating with you in social media concerning our products and services.
  • Testing, research, analysis and product and service development.
  • Responding to law enforcement requests and as required by applicable law, court order, governmental regulations, or other lawful processes.
  • Processing applications for employment, as well as to evaluate and improve our recruiting efforts.
  • As necessary or appropriate to protect the rights, property, security, and safety of us, our employees, our users, our information systems, and the public.
  • Evaluating or conducting a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other transaction or transfer of some or all of our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation, or similar proceeding, in which personal information held by us is among the assets transferred.

Personally identifiable information will remain confidential and will not be sold, licensed or disclosed to any third party, except those vendors working under contract with the library, as required by law, or as otherwise described in this Policy. For information about the ways third party vendors may use or disclose your information, please see the “Third party vendor services” section later in this Policy.

Third party vendor services

Calvert Library contracts with third party vendors to provide expanded services, such as digital collections, research databases, streaming media content and devices able to be connected to the internet. Calvert Library makes concerted efforts to ensure that the library’s contracts, licenses and off-site computer service arrangements reflect the library’s policies and legal obligations concerning user privacy and confidentiality.
Third party vendors may gather and disclose your information according to their own policies, such as,

  • Personally identifiable information you knowingly provide, including when you register for the site, provide feedback and suggestions, request information or create shared content
  • Other information that could be used to identify a library user, such as your IP address, search history, location-based data and/or device ID
  • Non-personally identifiable information, such as your ad views, analytics, browser information (type and language), cookie data, date/time of a request, demographic data, hardware/software type, interaction data, serving domains, page views and the web page you have visited immediately prior to visiting the site
  • Other data that third party services may collect as described in the vendor’s privacy policy and terms of use

Protecting your library card and PIN/password

Please notify the library immediately if your card is lost or stolen, or if you believe someone is using your card or card number without your permission. We encourage you to protect your PIN/password for your privacy and security. Library staff are unable to see your account PIN/Password. If you forgot your PIN, please use the “Forgot my PIN” feature through the online catalog. If you do not have an email address listed on your library account, contact the library for assistance.

Keeping account information up-to-date

Please notify the library immediately of any changes to your personal information to keep your account information up-to-date. Contact Calvert Library to update your account information. Calvert Library cards expire every 10 years after the date they are created or renewed.

Parents, Children, Representatives of Card Holders and Documentation In Lieu of Cards

CALVERT LIBRARY respects the privacy of all library users, regardless of age.

Individuals 16 and older may obtain their own library card without a parent or legal guardian present.

Regardless of who was present when a minor opened their account, parents and legal guardians of an un-emancipated child under age 18 who wish to obtain access to a child’s library records may do so if they present the child’s library card (or provide the information below that may substitute for a library card) or the child is present.

An authorized adult may conduct library business for themselves or on behalf of another adult by presenting that person’s library card (or provide the information below that may substitute for a library card).

The following will be accepted in lieu of a library card:

By Phone:

  • Recitation of the card number together with the cardholder’s name and date of birth which match library records
  • Recitation of the cardholder’s name and date of birth, along with one of the following pertaining to the cardholder: phone number, address, or email address (all of which match library records)

In Person:

  • All of the above, plus:
    • A photo or photocopy of the card (including media on electronic devices)
    • Recitation of the card number together with a governmental identification document for the card holder (e.g., license or military ID)

In order to maintain accessibility to online resources, a customer may be provided a library card number if the customer recites the cardholder’s name and date of birth, along with one of the following pertaining to the cardholder: phone number, address, or email address (all of which match library records)

Items on hold

Calvert Library staff treat the materials you place on hold as confidential. Customers may have another person pick up items reserved on their card. Because another person knows about this hold and has been asked to pick it up by the customer, the library believes that the customer is allowing another person to know what they are reading (implied consent). No information may be given about the account and no additional items may be checked out to the account. Please ask a staff member if you have questions about holds.

Photographs and videos

Calvert Library staff may take photographs and/or videos at library events and library related activities, and attendance and participation at such constitutes implied consent to be photographed. These photographs and videos may appear in future library publications or other library publicity. To ensure privacy, images will not be identified using full names or other personally identifiable information without approval from the person, parent or legal guardian. Please let a staff person know if you do not wish to be photographed by library representatives.

Security cameras

The library uses security cameras to enhance the safety and security of library users, staff and property, while at the same time, protecting your right to privacy. When necessary, recorded images are provided to law enforcement for the purpose of investigating or prosecuting criminal activity. To protect your privacy, cameras are located where library users would not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as entryways and public seating areas. Cameras are never installed in areas where members of the public and staff would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms.

Data, computer and payment security measures

No system for safeguarding personal or other information is 100% secure and even though we have taken steps to protect your personally identifiable information from being intercepted, accessed, used or disclosed by unauthorized persons, we cannot fully eliminate security risks associated with personal information.
We also strive to avoid creating unnecessary records and makes sure your personally identifiable information is not placed on public view without your consent.
Our policies and procedures limit staff access to data and ensure that those with access use the data for authorized purposes only. We limit and protect access through the use of strong passwords that are changed regularly and by storing data securely. Staff will not disclose any personally identifiable information to any other party except to fulfill your service requests, where required by law, or as permitted under this Policy and our policies.
We regularly remove cookies (upon the close of the browser), browsing history, files or other computer and Internet use records that are placed on our public computers. Our public computers are routinely updated and scanned for malicious software and are protected against intrusion. Calvert Library is unable to guarantee that any data entered on the computer will remain private, as the computers are public machines.
Although we maintain strong security with our Wi-Fi network, we encourage you to use secure browsing practices, whether on a public computer or on Wi-Fi. Please see a staff member if you have questions about secure browsing. Please note that Wi-Fi traffic from device to device is prohibited.
Payments processed via card transactions are done securely through our payment processor.

Other services

This privacy and confidentiality policy does not apply to external applications or websites you may access from the library’s public computers, devices, or equipment such as social media sites.
You may choose to take advantage of library-related services via e-mail or other communication methods that send personally identifiable information related to library use via public communication networks. You should be aware that the library has limited ability to protect the privacy of this information once it is outside our control.

Illegal activity prohibited and not protected

Library users may conduct only legal activity while using library resources, facilities, and services. Nothing in this Policy prevents the library from exercising its right to enforce its Customer Expectations, protect its facilities, networks and equipment from harm, or prevent the use of library facilities and equipment against illegal purposes. The library can electronically log activity to monitor public computers and external access to its networks and reserves the right to review such logs when a violation of law or library policy is suspected. Staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of library users, staff, facilities, computers and networks. This includes contacting law enforcement authorities and providing information that may identify the individual(s) suspected of a violation.

Social Media

Calvert Library maintains several social media accounts which allow users to share opinions and information about library related materials and activities. Social networking can include, but is not limited to, blogging, instant messaging, social media sites, and wikis.
The Library does not collect, maintain or otherwise use the personal information stored on any third party site in any way other than to communicate with users on that site, unless granted permission by users for Library contact outside the site. The purpose for contact outside the site may include program promotion, volunteer opportunities, reference help or other similar activities. Users may remove themselves at any time from the Library’s lists, or request that the Library remove them. Users should be aware that third-party websites have their own privacy policies and should proceed accordingly.
The Library reserves the right to edit or modify any postings or comments for space or content while retaining the intent of the original post. The Library also reserves the right to remove any post that violates the Library’s social media policy. The Library shall also be granted the right to reproduce comments, posts, and messages in other public venues (i.e., a posting on Facebook may be quoted in a newspaper or on the library website). Identifying information, other than first name, will be removed unless prior approval is granted by the user.

Questions, Concerns or Complaints

If you have a question, concern, or complaint concerning your personally identifiable information or this Policy, you may send written comments to the Library Executive Director. We will respond in a timely manner and may conduct an investigation or review of practices and procedures. We also conduct reviews periodically to ensure compliance with the principles outlined in this Policy.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees, August 18, 2020
Revised by the Board of Library Trustees, November 15, 2022
Revised by the Board of Library Trustees, December 11, 2023