PRIVACY POLICY

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees
January 25, 2021

Public libraries have a long and proud tradition of protecting the privacy of their patrons and the confidentiality of their data. There is a heightened awareness today about how information is collected and shared, and this document outlines several policies and practices of the Hastings Public Library [the “Library”] concerning these issues.

Visiting the Library
We welcome visitors to our Library. Visitors do not have to be residents of Hastings-on-Hudson and identification is not required to enter the Library or to enjoy any of these activities:
• Reading books and magazines within the Library
• Attending a Library-sponsored program or instructional class
• Receiving assistance at the Reference Desk or from any staff member
• Using the wireless network on your personal mobile device

Getting a Library Card
A library card is required to borrow materials. Library cards are free, but we request certain information:
• Name
• Address
• Phone number
• Email address
•Valid ID with your Hastings address (i.e. Con Ed bill, telephone bill)

The Library belongs to the Westchester Library System (WLS), a countywide cooperative that provides members with certain shared services. WLS maintains the automated circulation system that stores library card information and shares that data with all 38 public libraries in Westchester, thus enabling our cardholders to borrow items from any Westchester library. Patron registration data is deemed confidential under New York State law (1CPLR 4509) and is not to be disclosed unless pursuant to subpoena, court order, or where otherwise required by statute.

Borrowing Library Materials
When you borrow a book, audiobook, or film from the Library, a temporary record of that transaction is linked to your library card. That record is kept until the material is returned, and then it is permanently erased. The circulation system does have an optional feature that allows patrons, at their request, to keep a log of items they have checked out. Circulation history is kept confidential under the same law (NYS 1CPLR 4509) that governs library card information.

Computer Usage
Library Computers. In order to use a computer at the Library, a library card or guest pass (good for one use) is required. A 24-hour record is kept only of the length of time you spent on the computer. When the browser is closed, no record remains of the sites that were visited during that session.

Wireless Network. WLS maintains a wireless network for patrons who prefer to use their mobile devices to access the Internet. Some statistical information is recorded, such as the number and length of visits and bandwidth usage. No personal information is recorded on users or sites visited.

Library Website. HastingsLibrary.org is the Library’s website on the Internet, and it contains a wealth of information on Library programs and services. It is also a point of entry to other websites. As you browse through the website, read pages, or download information, some information will be recorded about the visit but nothing that will identify you personally. The information gathered is only used to improve our site and to find out how many visitors we get and the types of technology they use.

Some third-party vendors featured on the website provide databases on a subscription basis, and the Library or WLS may require patrons to enter their library card number for authentication purposes only. Note that whenever you leave HastingsLibrary.org, you will be subject to the policies and data-gathering practices of the individual sites you are visiting.

Meeting and Study Rooms
The Library offers a variety of meeting spaces to nonprofit and other organizations, subject to policies set forth by the Library, including a request for basic contact information. This information is not shared with anyone. Study Rooms are available for individuals and small groups. To the extent that a record is made of a room reservation, this information is not, as a general rule, shared with anyone.

Security Cameras
The Library employs closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) to maintain a safe and secure environment for our patrons and staff. Images from the cameras are saved for a short period of time before being recorded over, and only a limited number of library staff have access to them. These recordings could be shared with law enforcement personnel if requested to investigate an incident occurring on Library property. Otherwise, law enforcement will be granted access only pursuant to a properly executed court order or similar documentation.

Email
The Library collects email addresses in order to communicate with patrons regarding upcoming programs and other library news. We do not share our email database with other groups, and patrons may opt out of receiving such communication at any time.

As a general rule, the Library is committed to patron confidentiality. Confidentiality extends to information requested or received and materials consulted or borrowed. Whenever a library service can be linked or identified with a specific user, the Library will strive to maintain patron privacy to the fullest extent possible, subject to applicable law.

If you have any questions about privacy issues at the Library, please contact the Library Director at the address below.

Library Director
7 Maple Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
914 478-3307

Collection Development Policy

Approved by Library Board August 11, 2022

Purpose

Selection
The Library’s goal is to provide materials and resources to the entire community, i.e. from birth through adulthood, for personal, educational and professional needs. We aim to serve as a center of lifelong learning providing a diverse collection that represents various points of view.  In selecting material, staff rely on the following criteria:

  • Reputable reviews in newspapers, professional journals, trade magazines and media
  • Patron requests and statistical information provided by the Westchester Library System
  • Award recipients
  • Artistic, literary or intellectual merit
  • Quality of writing, design, illustration or production
  • Local history and local authors
  • Identifying and enhancing underrepresented material in our current collection

In addition to the aforementioned Library Bill of Rights, the Library’s selections are guided by ALA’s

Freedom to Read Statement  https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/freedomreadstatement and

Freedom to View Statement https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/freedomviewstatement

Donations
Donated materials are accepted by the Library.  Donated items in good condition may replace or be added to our collection in accordance with the “Selection” policy.  Materials may be sold in our Book Shop or at the semi-annual book sales, both sponsored by the Friends of the Hastings Public Library.

Weeding
The selection process is ongoing and therefore must include the removal of materials to prioritize space for adding new, timely and relevant works to the existing collection.  The Library uses the following criteria in removing material:

  • Condition—damaged, torn, soiled or missing pages; a replacement will be purchased if necessary
  • Usage—little or no usage; has not circulated in 3 years
  • Relevance—dated content, factually incorrect
  • Multiple copies—duplicates of the same title may no longer be needed

Items that are weeded from the collection are deleted from the catalog and offered to the public for free, donated to non-profit organizations, recycled and lastly, discarded if the condition warrants.

Reconsideration Policy
The Library recognizes that certain materials may be controversial.  Selections are not made on the basis of any approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the works and in keeping with the goals of this Collection Development Policy.  Parents/legal guardians have the right to oversee the reading material of their own children.  No group of parents/legal guardians or other community members have the right to determine the materials made available to children other than their own.

If a patron objects to an item in the Library, the following procedures will be followed:

  • Every effort will be made to resolve the issue informally by discussion between the patron and the appropriate librarian.  Patrons should be prepared to discuss the material in question in the context of the entire work.  A written report of this discussion will be shared with the Library Director.
  • If the matter is not resolved, the patron may request a more formal re-evaluation.  The “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form is available at the Library and on our website.  The completed form should be submitted to the Library Director. 
  • A committee of two librarians and two Library Board members will be established to consider the objection.  The committee will re-evaluate the material bearing in mind the selection criteria set forth in this Collection Development Policy.  The patron will be welcome to appear before the committee if he/she so chooses.
  • The committee will make a written report of its recommendations which shall be sent to the Library Director for a final decision.  This decision will be sent in writing to the patron. 

No material will be removed from the collection until the re-evaluation procedure is completed.

Request for Reconsideration of Library Material

If you wish to request reconsideration of an item in our collection, please complete this form.

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