Patron Privacy & Confidentiality Policy

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The Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District complies with all applicable laws governing privacy and confidentiality of patron records, including the Illinois Library Records Confidentiality Act (75 ILCS 70/1), and follows the American and Illinois Library Associations’ recommendations on protection of patrons’ privacy and confidentiality.

Confidentiality includes, but is not limited to, circulation of library materials, electronic resource searches, interlibrary loan transactions, program attendance, and services provided. Staff will limit access and use of patron information to activities that are required to maintain patron accounts and conduct official library business. In addition, staff will not disclose, sell, or lease confidential information to outside parties—including presenters, vendors, government or law enforcement officials—unless required to do so by law.

Personal Information Collection

We limit the personal information we collect and access to only that which is essential to maintain accounts, conduct official library business, and ensure compliance with applicable laws. This includes the following:

  • Name
  • Telephone number
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Library card barcode number
  • Materials currently checked out and/or requested
  • Overdue materials (until returned)
  • Unpaid account charges (until paid)

We safeguard personal information by:

  1. Reviewing and destroying unnecessary records
  2. Removing the correlation between personal information and materials borrowed once the items are returned and checked out to the next patron
  3. Purging personal information on public computers once users have logged off
  4. Ensuring that contracts with electronic service providers reflect our policies and legal obligations
  5. Having security procedures that protect against loss, destruction, an unauthorized access to patron information
  6. Not requiring personal information to visit our website

Links to Other Sites

The library website contains links to sites not maintained by the library. The library is not responsible for the privacy practices of any other sites. The library encourages individuals to become familiar with these privacy practices and be mindful when asked to disclose personal information.


The library uses cookies to facilitate access to our catalog and electronic resources. Cookies are small data files that are sent to an individual’s web browser that are then stored on a computer’s hard drive. These cookies do not collect, store or maintain a library user’s personally identifiable information. Patrons do not have to accept these cookies to visit or use website and resources. Cookies may be refused or deleted from a computer’s hard drive.
In order to access the library catalog and electronic resources from home, the barcode number from the library card is required for authentication purposes. Providers of licensed electronic resources do not have access to records containing personal information. Any information collected is discarded upon logging off.

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