Friday, April 3, 2009

Libraries and Customer Privacy

We are in the early stages of the process of selecting a new ILS at MPOW and as a result I have been thinking about what I would like in an ILS. One of the directions that I personally would like to see us move is to retain more data about the way our members use our collection - borrower history, tags, reviews, etc. - with a view to improving the user experience of our online catalogue.

With that in mind this interesting post about privacy and service delivery caught my eye, Library Garden: What Libraries Can Learn from Facebook. There is a lively discussion in the comments. The issue of user privacy always seems to divide library workers. I definitely fall on the side of letting users decide what they want to keep private and opening up our systems and data to improve services. I've heard too many users asking me on service desks if we keep a record of what they have borrowed for me to think that many people are as concerned about their privacy as we are, as long as users must opt in.

Where do you stand?

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