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  1. Phil Shirley
  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
  3. Friday, August 11 2017, 12:06 PM
  4.  Subscribe via email
I'm working on a presentation that will include information about things you can do in your Sierra, Millennium, or Encore system to protect the privacy of confidential information. The list I've come up with is below, but I'm sure I've missed some things. Do you have any ideas for things I should add, or any feedback for the items below that have question marks? Also, do you have any ideas of things you would like III to change or add in the software to improve patron privacy?

• Limit Data Retention Period
o Delete old patron records, long-billed items, and ILL records (anything else?).
o If you use the "last patron" feature, remove "last patron" data from item records a given number of days after checkin.
o Limit the file size for "fines paid" to limit the length of time that information is kept.

• Public catalog
o Use HTTPS for all of it, not just for logging in (if possible).
o If you use PINs, allow patrons to change their PIN.
o Reading history: If you use it, set it so that patrons have to opt-in. Be aware that it's visible to staff with Sierra SQL access.
o Removing personally identifying information from Google Analytics logs.
o Webpac logs?
o Encore logs (if any?)

• Notices
o Because email is sent in plain text over the internet, use print templates to remove (or at least minimize) the confidential information in email notices.
o Don't use the cc feature of email notices, or securely delete the copies as soon as you don't need them.
o Clear the logs of phone notices (Teleforms, others) regularly if you have them.

• Staff user accounts
o Avoid generic logins as much as possible.
o Password policies (specific policies you can set in Sierra)
o User permissions (don't give people more access than they need)

• Other
o Use HTTPS instead of HTTP for Patron API (the old Patron API).
o SIP2 logs (if any?)

Thanks for any help you can give me on this.


Phil Shirley
Technology Services Coordinator
Cuyahoga Falls Library
Hi Phil -- this sounds like it will be a really good presentation. At Lakeland Library Cooperative we are all about limiting data retention. We purge expired patron records longer than 3 years, almost all of our members are on some kind of schedule for deletion of long billed items (most at 1 year, a few at up to 2 years) and I clear the Fines paid file at 13 months. Our system policy is such that members have one year in which to bill each other for lost & paid items and some of the manual charges that patrons incur and pay elsewhere (not at their home library). We only retain the last patron information for 60 days. I run a rapid update on item records every month resetting qualifying items to lpatron = 0. A little less on the Webpac side but we do use PIN's, the forget your PIN option and the Reading History opt-in. We don't use Google Analytics. We are formulating a plan for regular password changes for staff user accounts but with 40 member libraries on the shared ILS and more than that in individual locations, we have hundreds of logins so this will be a major effort for us in the coming several months. This will be in conjunction with logins/passwords for other services we offer. We always encourage members to limit access in terms of user permissions but that is really in the control of our member library directors so its more of an education effort on our part. At the moment it varies from library to library on our system, some get it, some don't.
We are in a unique situation where we have removed two of our largest members from the shared ILS over the last 10 years but we retained and at one point updated and added patron records because we have a systemwide reciprocal borrowing agreement. However, in the last 2 years we have stopped the regular loads of updates and new patrons from the one system that could send them. And we are now receiving notifications from the other system about replaced cards/barcodes via email and we are routinely (daily) deleting those patrons as we are notified that the patron information has been updated on the other systems. Going forward, patrons from those two libraries who come into our shared system members will have to have their information entered by staff the same as any other new patron.

We are working on getting users off the http API and on to the https API. That has also been something ongoing because there are 3rd party vendors out there whose software can't make an https request but our goal is to discontinue use of the http API at some point in the future. We do not house the Teleforms and Self checkout equipment here in this office so I cannot speak to what our members do in that regard. We do not have the cc in email notifications set. We've never used that particular feature.

We also mandate a maximum 3 year expiration date on all patron records added to the system and a maximum 3 year renewal for existing patrons. This enables us to not only check addresses with regular patrons periodically but sets the base for our deletion of inactive or expired patron records. And I am itching to do a systemwide purge of really old charges (some of which go back to the early 1990's on our system and which came over from our two previous systems (GEAC and Dynix). I have conducted some purging of old charges for individual members but not on a systemwide basis. The statute of limitations in our state is 6 years.

  1. Sheryl VanderWagen
  2. 7 months ago
Thanks for your response, Sheryl. It's useful to know about your excellent policies. :-)

  1. Phil Shirley
  2. 7 months ago
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