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Library service privacy notice

Everything we do with information about our library customers – such as how we collect it and who we share it with – has to comply with the Data Protection Act. A key part of this is being open about how we use information and what rights you have in respect of information we hold about you.

If anything in this notice is not clear, or if you have further queries, please get in contact with the Data Protection Officer using the details at the end.

What information do we hold

We hold details of individuals who sign-up to join our library services, either as library members or to use our facilities (such as hiring meeting rooms). The details we hold are your contact information such as your name, address and contact details, as well as details about your use of services, such as your library borrowing history.

We also hold details of members of Suffolk Libraries and Peterborough Libraries who have signed up to the Joint Shared Partnership in the East (SPINE) catalogue.

Why do we have it and what do we use it for

We use the information to provide a library service to you, issuing you with a unique account and maintaining records of items that are issued to you and returned, as well as in contacting you when required. Additionally we use the information to manage bookings of our facilities.

Our legal basis for using your information in this way is provided by the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, which requires us to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service.

You are able to sign-up to receive our newsletter or to receive marketing details about libraries and related council services. In both cases, we will only do so if you have given us your consent and you are entitled to cancel this at any point.

Whenever we use information, we always limit this to only the details that are needed and we ensure that it is used safely and securely. We require anyone we share information with, or who uses it on our behalf, to do so too. All staff receive training on data protection and information security and information is stored within secure IT systems.

Who we share information with and why

We share information with Suffolk Libraries and Peterborough Libraries if you have signed up to the Joint Shared Partnership in the East (SPINE) catalogue. This allows library users to borrow items from Suffolk’s and Peterborough’s stock as well as our own.

Information is shared with suppliers of other services, for example, if you have signed-up to use the eBooks, eAudiobooks, eNewspaper or eMagazine services. This information is shared so that you can use your library membership to access these services.

Data about library users may also be used for business planning and research purposes by Libraries Services and the wider County Council, to understand demand and to improve our services. This will always be done in a way that does not identify individuals unless that is strictly necessary.

All information sharing is done with reference to the principles set out in the Cambridgeshire Information Sharing Framework.

How long we keep hold of information for

We only keep information for as long as it is needed and in library services this varies between one and six years depending on the specific details. This is set out in our retention schedule.

What rights you have

You can see most of your information by logging into your online library account and you can also update things like your contact details here too. If you would like to request a copy of the information we hold about you, a form can be found here.

You can also make a request to have information we hold about you corrected or deleted, as well as to request restrictions on how we use your information. This request can be submitted to the Data Protection Officer. Whether we can agree to your request will depend on the specific circumstances and if we cannot then we will explain the reasons why.

If we are processing your information based on you giving us consent to do so, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Doing so may mean we are unable to provide the service you are hoping to receive and the implications of you giving or withdrawing your consent will be explained at the time.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how your information has been collected and/or used, you can make a complaint to the Data Protection Officer.

You can also report your concerns to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Data Protection Officer contact details


Tel. 01223 699137.

Information and Records, Cambridgeshire County Council, Box No Oct 1224, Shire Hall, Cambridge, CB3 0AP.

Enquiries generally about libraries and your account should be sent to the Library Service.

We do this in three main ways. We may aggregate the info, which means presenting it in groups or larger numbers so that it doesn’t focus on individuals. We may anonymise the info, which means it has details removed (such as name, address and date or birth) so that the entries do not identify individuals. Alternatively we may pseudonymise the info, which is a method of anonymisation that removes identifying details and replaces them with unique identifier which does not reveal your ‘real world’ identity.