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Hastings Public Library

Hastings Public Library Privacy Policy

Your Right to Privacy

The Hastings Public Library (“HPL” or “Library”) respects your privacy, whether you are a user, visitor or donor, by treating personally identifiable information as confidential, and will make reasonable efforts to protect it. The Library holds true to the values of the American Library Association affirming that, “Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association.” We aspire to protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted. By using our website, downloading our mobile applications, visiting the Library, or donating to us, you agree to this policy.

State law (Michigan Library Privacy Act, P.A. 455, 1982) protects your library records from disclosure if a member of the public or the media requests them. Library records include any written or electronic record used to identify a patron. This includes, but is not limited to, your borrowing history, name, address, telephone number, or email address. Although the Library does everything we can in order to protect your privacy, there are times when we may be required by law to provide this information. Library records may be subject to disclosure to law enforcement officials per legal requirements, the USA PATRIOT ACT, or in a civil lawsuit. The Library may also be forbidden from reporting to you that your records have been requested or obtained.

What information do we collect?

The Library strives to collect the least amount of personally identifiable information necessary and tries to avoid creating unnecessary records. We keep your information as long as required by State of Michigan Record Retention And Disposal Schedule. We avoid practices that might place your information in public view without your consent. You may choose to submit your personal information in order to use some library services. The personal information you give to the Library will be treated as confidential, to the extent possible. We will not sell or license your information. We will not disclose it to any third-party except those working under contract with the Library or as required by law.

We may collect the following personal information when you access library services:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Email address
  • Date of Birth
  • Library barcode number
  • Items currently checked-out, requested, cancelled holds, and interlibrary loans (MelCat)
  • Overdue items (until returned)
  • Fine history
  • Sign-up information for library events

The Library does not keep a record of your reading history beyond operational requirements. Once you return an item, it is removed from your account. You may choose to turn on the reading history feature in your online account to keep a log of items you check out. Fees on items from HPL or other libraries will remain on your account until paid. Third-party vendors (see below section on third- party vendors) however, may keep a record of your borrowing history.

We use Google Analytics to collect data about the use of our website; this data is kept by HPL and not readily accessible to outside parties. We use this information to make improvements on our website and to track trends.

Your personal information (name, address, etc.) is not tracked. Our website collects the following data:

  • Browser type
  • Anonymized internet address
  • Operating system type
  • Web address of the page from which you linked to our site
  • Device
  • Network service provider
  • Interaction data

Any personal information provided by you in email messages, web forms, in-person, via telephone, or other communications is only used for the purpose for which submitted.

How does HPL use the information collected?

Depending on the library services you choose to use, the following are some examples of the ways we use your information in order to provide those services to you. You always have the option of whether or not to provide the information being used for such services.

  • We use personal information and residency verification to issue library cards. If a user chooses to provide an email address, HPL may use it to send account alerts and other communications. We use library records to assist in maintaining our collections and to verify records of patrons’ paid and unpaid fines.
  • We may use shared content, login credentials, social media Information and library records, as allowed by you and in accordance with the preferences you have established, to deliver enhanced or personalized services.
  • We use personal information, login credentials, and residency verification to provide access to e-books through our mobile applications.
  • We may use personal information when collecting or processing payments, fines, and retail purchases.
  • We may use personal information and social media information to administer promotions, surveys, and contests.
  • We may use personal information and social media information to provide opportunities to further engage with the Library through advocacy and fundraising campaigns.

Who has access to my information?

All library patron records are considered confidential. Library records may only be disclosed to:

  • Library staff performing job duties
  • Cardholders upon proof of identity
  • Parents or guardians of minor children (limited access)
  • Anyone with written consent of the cardholder (limited access)
  • Under legal compulsion, such as court order or subpoena

If the library cardholder is under the age of 18, the parent or guardian listed in the library record may only be given limited information about that child’s record. In accordance with Michigan Law proof of the parent or guardian’s identity is required through photo identification.

Parents and Guardians can gain access to another adult patron’s record only through written consent of the cardholder. Information given is limited to: the number of items checked out, due dates, and fines owed. No additional information will be provided.

All library patrons can view basic personal information online or at the Library. Limited edits of email addresses and PINs can be done online. Address, phone and other information can be updated in person at the Library. Proof of your identity through photo identification is required to update information in person. A PIN is required to change this information online.

How do we protect children’s privacy?

The privacy and safety of children (defined as under age 18) is very important to us. Personal information collected by the library is not shared with any library-affiliated agency or vendor. Due to the ease with which children can share personal information on the internet, we encourage parents and caregivers to monitor their children’s online activities.

HPL affirms the legal and constitutional rights to privacy for patrons accessing materials and information from a library. In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, it is the policy of the Library to: (a) deter user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via the internet; (b) deter unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity; and (c) deter unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors. To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet filters”) shall be used to block or filter Internet access, or other forms of electronic communications, to “harmful material,” as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

The Library will comply with the requirements of Children’s Internet Protection Act while upholding the constitutional and legal rights to privacy and confidentiality of their patrons.

Our Website and Public Computers


The Library’s website ( is encrypted via HTTPS. All communications between your browser and the Library website are private. Your account with the Library/Lakeland Library Cooperative is also encrypted.


A cookie is a small file sent to your browser by a website each time you visit a site. Cookies are stored on your computer and can transmit personal information. Cookies are used to remember information about preferences on the pages you visit.

You can refuse to accept cookies, disable cookies, and remove cookies from your hard drive. However, this may result in a lack of access to some library services. Our library servers use cookies to verify that a person is an authorized user. This allows you access to licensed library-affiliated or approved third-party vendors and to customize webpages to your preferences. Cookies obey the privacy settings that you have chosen in your browser. We will not share cookie information with external third parties.

Data & Network Security

The library uses software programs that monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized or malicious attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage.

Caution: No software provides 100% security, hackers and software breaches have become commonplace, please release personal information at your own risk.

Public Computers & Connected Devices

The Library does not keep a record of your activities on any public-accessible computer or device made available for public use. Any record of browsing history and activities are removed when you log out.

All personally identifiable information is purged immediately upon the end of your public computer session. An anonymous log is created that identifies only the computer terminal number, reservation time, and duration of the session.

The Library does not monitor usage of public computers. In the event of suspected abuse as described in the Computer and Internet Policy, library staff can remotely see what a patron is using a public computer for. Staff will also remotely connect to a patrons’ computer with permission to assist the patron in using the computer without having to leave staff desks.

Email & Marketing

Electronic mailing Lists: You may choose to subscribe to an HPL electronic mailing list that promotes library news and activities. The mailing lists may be serviced by an affiliated vendor. See below for information on how the Library works with third party vendors.

Fundraising and Marketing Outreach.  As is customary in the non-profit world, we may send requests to support the Library to people who have expressed interest in the Library's programs or services.  In order to ensure the most efficient use of our resources, we may use third party vendors to make sure the contact information we have for our users is current and to determine which users are most likely to provide support.  We do not rent or sell your personal information.

Using Third-Party Vendors

The Library enters into agreements with third-parties to provide online services, digital collections, streaming media content, and more. When using some of these services, you may also connect with social networks and other users.

Affiliated third-party vendors may collect and share your information, including:

  • Personally identifiable information you knowingly provide. This includes: when you register for the site, provide feedback and suggestions, request information, or create shared content.
  • Other information that could be used to identify you. This includes: your Internet Address (IP Address), search history, location-based data, and device information.
  • Non-personally identifiable information. This includes: your ad views, analytics, browser information (type and language), cookie data, date/time of your request, demographic data, hardware/software type, interaction data, serving domains, page views, and the web page you visited immediately prior to visiting the site.
  • Other data as described in the vendor’s privacy policy and terms of use.

For more information on these third-party services and the types of data that may be collected and shared, refer to their Terms of Use and Privacy webpages. You may choose not to use these third-party vendors if you do not accept their terms of use and privacy policies. Please read them carefully.

We make reasonable efforts to ensure that the Library’s contracts, licenses, and offsite computer service arrangements reflect our policies and legal obligations concerning patron privacy and confidentiality. Our contracts address restrictions on the use, aggregation, sharing, and sale of information, particularly about minors.

The library expects vendors to:

  • Follow all privacy related items in the vendor contract and licensing agreements.
  • Conform to library privacy policies.
  • Provide a product which complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
  • Refrain from collecting or sharing additional information about patrons, other than is needed for delivery of the library services provided.
  • Have a publicly posted privacy policy.

Library patrons must understand when using remote or third-party vendor sites that there are limits to the privacy protection the Library can provide.

The Library also may suggest links to external websites that are not privacy-protected. You are not required to give these sites your library card or any other personally identifiable information in order to use their services.

What Surveillance is Used at the Library?

Library Video Surveillance

The Library has interior and exterior security cameras. Video footage is kept for a minimum of 30 days.

Interior video is available to view by designated staff, or by third parties under legal compulsion.

Exterior video is available to view by designated staff and will be made available to law enforcement upon request.

Body-worn Cameras

Local police and public safety officers may wear body-worn cameras. Police agencies do not engage in regular surveillance or patrols to the Library but do respond to calls for service. They can record patron contacts, interviews, and other events when recording could provide value as evidence. An officer does not need your consent to record.

How do we handle law enforcement requests?

It is the policy of the Hastings Public Library to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of the registration and circulation records of its borrowers to the fullest extent permitted by law. Only the director or designee is authorized to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers. We speak with our legal counsel whenever possible before determining the proper response. Library records are not made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government without a subpoena, warrant, court order or other legal document requiring us to do so. These orders must show good cause and be in proper form. Library staff are instructed to refer any law enforcement requests to library director.

Our commitment to you

The Hastings Public Library respects your privacy and will make reasonable efforts to protect your personally identifiable information from unauthorized disclosure. Library patrons who have questions, concerns, or complaints regarding the library’s handling of their privacy and confidentiality rights should contact the Library Director. The Library reserves the right to change or modify this privacy policy at any time. Changes will be posted on the Library’s website.

This library has not been served with a government subpoena or national security letter under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT ACT. If this notice is removed, patrons can assume that a subpoena or national security letter has been served.

Michigan Library Privacy Act


Library Board Approved November 2, 2020