Patron Question of the Month
Patron Question of the month - from the 2016 Library Survey:  Why Can't I Access a List of Everything I've Borrowed?

NH RSA 201-D:11 is the NH privacy statute for libraries.   This statute states that library records must be kept confidential, and includes not only customer name, address, and contact info, but also items borrowed and materials that have been "viewed or stored in electronic form."  Why is this statute so strict?

Remember, our staff does not know your family dynamics or personal situation.  We've had the experience of a person coming in and asking for a list of what their spouse has taken out....only to find that they are in the middle of a nasty divorce, and the person asking was looking for "proof" of their spouses' state of mind for a child custody court hearing (by the way, we did NOT give them the information they sought).  There have also been cases in other states where government agencies have tried to obtain patron borrowing histories without a warrant or subpoena.

Baker Free Library does have a privacy policy. In order to make sure that our staff do not have access to electronic records of individual patron borrowing histories, we have programmed our catalog software to delete any borrowing history that is over 30 days old.  This way, if a government agency tries to seize patron records, they will not have a whole history of what you have checked out.  We know that it is inconvenient to our power readers that we do not keep an electronic list of everything you have borrowed.  But there are ways you can keep a list that are easy and in your control, not ours.  Use one of the apps on your smartphone or computer, such as Evernote. Or keep a small spiral or bound notebook in your purse or pocket and record your authors/titles read.

We do allow other individuals to access your patron record IF and ONLY IF you have given us in-person permission with specific names.  A phone call or email will not suffice - the permission has to come from you directly, in--person in the library to one of our desk staff.  A note is added to your account, and we will allow those individuals to check materials out, renew items, and reserve items on your card.  Remember you can revoke that permission at any time with an in-person visit during our open hours.

According to the American Library Association Bill of Rights, every individual has the right to read and research anything they choose.  We uphold that right by complying with the state privacy law and abiding by our library's privacy policy.
Patron Privacy and Spouses - A Reminder to our Users
October 2012
Libraries are required to respect the individual privacy of their users, which means that library staff cannot reveal titles checked out, requested, or on hold to persons other than the individual themselves.  NH RSA 201-D:11 specifies that library user records are not to be disclosed without the consent of that specific user.  Due to a rise in privacy concerns, the staff at Baker Free Library are now asking husbands/wives to provide verbal, in-person permission if they would like their spouse to have access to information on their library card.  Once we receive that verbal permission, a note will go on that person's card, naming the spouse that has permission to reserve, renew, and check out books in the husband/wife's name.  Please understand that this ultimately protects the privacy of our residents -- library staff do not know the marital status of our users, and it is not appropriate for staff to make exceptions. If you would like your husband or wife to be able to pick up items for you, check out items for you, or reserve items for you on your card, please come into the library and speak to a librarian about putting a note with that permission on your library card.

Questions?  Please contact Lori Fisher, Director, at lori@bakerfreelib.org.

 
Library Mission and Policies
Updated 12/7/2017
 
The Baker Free Library serves the informational, educational, and leisure needs of the residents of Bow.  It promotes, develops, and maintains open access to the facilities, resources, and services available locally and through inter-library networks. Baker Free Library assures an environment that stimulates knowledge, culture, and the pure enjoyment of reading.
 
The Library staff and Board of Trustees are always striving to uphold and review policies that govern the Library's day-to-day operations.  Policies are usually reviewed on an annual basis. The latest policy revisions can be found below in pdf format (Adobe Reader required).

Baker Free Library Collection Development Policy - approved 10/10/2013
This policy details how materials are selected and purchased for the collections, how items are weeded (removed) from the collections, and how patrons can request that an item be removed from the collections. In addition, important documents from the American Library Association regarding ethics and intellectual freedom are appended to the policy.

Baker Free Library Telescope Lending Policy - approved 4/10/2013; revised 5/8/2013

Baker Free Library Patron Behavior Policy - approved 11/18/2009; revised 10/10/2012; revised 2/10/2016

Baker Free Library Unattended Children Policy - approved 11/18/2009; reviewed 10/10/2012

Baker Free Library Public Posting Policy - approved 9/14/2011; revised 4/11/2012

Baker Free Library Indoor Digital Sign Policy - approved 3/9/2016


Baker Free Library Privacy and Confidentiality Policy - approved 5/11/2011

Bake
r Free Library Workplace Violence Policy - approved 11/10/2010; revised 4/10/2013

Baker Free Library Board of Trustees By-Laws -  see Library Trustees page

 
Baker Free Library Social Software Policy - approved 12/9/2009; revised 4/8/2015
 
Baker Free Library Phone Policy - approved 6/10/2009
This policy covers the courtesy phone in the library lobby and the use of cell phones in the library.
 
Baker Free Library Circulation Policy - approved 1/14/2009; revised 6/10/2009; revised5/17/2010; revised 2/9/2011; revised 8/10/2011; revised 8/1/2012; revised 5/8/2013; revised May 14, 2014.
This policy covers all of the basic policies that library patrons need to know: library card eligibility, responsibilities of card holders, loan periods, renewals, late fees and overdue notices, lost/damaged materials, reserving materials, returning materials, confidentiality of library user records, and fees for out-of-town cards.
 
Baker Free Library Public Internet and Computer Use Policy - revised 2004; revised 5/17/2010
The library's public Internet computers are available to Baker Free Library card holders only.  A Wi-Fi connection is available to anyone who visits the library.
 
Baker Free Library Meeting Room Policy and Agreement - see the Reserve a Meeting Room page
 
Baker Free Library Group Tutoring Policy - see the Reserve a Meeting Room page

Baker Free Library Parental Permission Form for Group Tutoring Session - see the Reserve a Meeting Room page

Baker Free Library Inclement Weather Policy - revised 1/9/2013