The purpose of this policy is to affirm the Board’s commitment to privacy and to identify policy implications of this commitment.

Policy Statement and Details

As a public body, the Library abides by the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Library values the privacy of its users, regardless of the manner in which they engage with the library and takes every reasonable precaution to ensure that personal information is accurate and up-to-date.

The Chief Librarian, or designate, serves as the library’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Officer for the purposes of the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA).

Burnaby Public Library will only use personal information for the purpose for which it was originally collected or in a manner that is consistent with those purposes.

The Library does not sell, rent or lease personal contact information stored in the Library’s database to outside parties.

All records relating to cardholder registration and the use of library services, including questions asked, programs attended and materials viewed, accessed or borrowed, are confidential.

The library adheres to all applicable legislation, including Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation, in its communication with users.

No person or organization outside the library may have access to them, with the following exceptions:

  • a third party acting on the library’s behalf to expedite the return of overdue items or obtain monies owing to the library in cases in which users have failed to return library materials on time
  • where there are compelling health and safety reasons;
  • to contact a person’s next of kin if that person is injured, becomes ill or dies while visiting the library
  • by subpoena, warrant or other court order

The choice of materials and the way in which information is utilized in the library is considered to be a private undertaking on the part of the individual library user. If people are to make full use of public library facilities, their privacy cannot be or appear to be compromised by the possibility that others have access to information on what materials they are using, what questions they are asking, or personal data collected by the library. It is the responsibility of a child’s parent or guardian, not library staff, to monitor a child’s use of library services and collections.

As stewards of the personal information entrusted to the library by members of the public, library staff are expected to meet the highest standards when ensuring the protection of that information.

Video surveillance

Video surveillance is used for the following reasons:

  • as a means of increasing the level of security of individuals;
  • to minimize the loss of the library collection or other physical assets; and
  • as a means of assisting in the apprehension and/or prosecution of those who violate the law on library premises.

The Library Board recognizes that individuals have privacy rights that are reduced, but not eliminated, while under video surveillance.

A surveillance video is recognized to be subject to the provisions of the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Internet access

The Internet has become essential to participation in a democratic and information-driven society and is an essential part of the universal access to information that libraries provide and support. The Internet is a largely unregulated environment which contains information and opinions that range in scope from authoritative to completely unreliable. Patrons need also to be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information about patrons' activities. While Burnaby Public Library strives to uphold its commitment to protect patron privacy in the delivery of Internet resources, the library assumes no responsibility for the security and privacy of online transactions that are not conducted on Burnaby Public Library’s own website.

Last reviewed 2019-12-12