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Library Patron Confidentiality

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Fayetteville Public Library (FPL) values patron confidentiality and adheres to the American Library Association 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.”

A. Confidentiality of library records
  1. FPL’s privacy and confidentiality policies are in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws (see LEGAL BA for a copy of the Arkansas State Act 903 of 1989 concerning the confidentiality of library records). While library records are not provided for public or media requests, they may be subject to disclosure to law enforcement officials under provisions of state and federal laws.  

  2. FPL only collects personal information necessary for conducting library business. The library does not share or sell patron information or library records. Some third-party vendor sites provided through the library require users to create unique accounts. These services have terms of use and privacy policies independent of FPL, and patrons are responsible for reviewing them before registering and using.

B. Confidentiality on website & social media
  1. When patrons visit FPL’s website, the library may collect and store the following non-personally identifiable information for the purpose of improving website design, presentation and system performance:

    1. The name of the domain from which the user accesses the internet

    2. The Internet Protocol (IP) address of the patron’s computer or internet provider

    3. The date and time FPL’s website is accessed

    4. The URL of the pages visited and files downloaded

    5. The internet address of the website linked directly to FPL’s site

    6. Search terms used to come to FPL’s website and while on the site (in aggregate only).

  2. FPL may use “cookies” as a collecting tool on its website. “Cookies” are small data files written to a computer’s hard drive, generated by websites to provide users with a personalized and often simplified online experience. If patrons choose not to accept the cookies generated by the library’s website or third-party database applications, certain features may not work as well or be unavailable. Even if cookies are disabled, most of the features on FPL’s website will not be affected. 

  3. If a patron initiates a reference inquiry, subscribes to the library’s newsletter, or submits a form on the library’s website, this information is considered as part of the borrowers account and protected as outlined above. 

  4. FPL’s website contains links to external websites not maintained by the library. The library cannot be responsible for user privacy when visiting outside websites. Please consult the privacy policies of those websites should there be questions regarding their use. 

  5. Information collected automatically on the library’s website, as well as emails sent to FPL and its employees, is generally subject to state open record laws, except as provided by Arkansas state law or federal laws.

  6. FPL requests that any user that links to the library’s website be presented in a manner that does not give the impression that FPL is making an express or implied endorsement of any good or service provided on the user’s website, and that the link is presented in a manner that clearly indicates that the user is leaving the library’s site and accessing another.


Code: NJ

Date: 1/09/95

Date Revised: 02/28/17