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Digital Privacy & Technology Guide: ILS Data & Vendors

This guide provides an overview of digital privacy and the tools needed to protect libraries and its users, and thwart surveillance of our communities. This guide was developed by Library Freedom Project and Massachusetts Library Association.

Data Security Basics

Datatypes Within the ILS

When working with ILS data and vendors it is important to note the types of data that each organization may have access to.  Following are the types of data commonly exposed within such systems:

  • Patron
    • Information pertaining to patron accounts and personally identifying information about those patrons
  • User
    • Information pertaining to staff accounts, including permissions and logins
  • Holdings
    • Details of the materials owned by your library such as MARC records
  • Transactions
    • Patron and user activity within the system such as checkouts, holds, fines and orders
  • System
    • Details of system settings and behaviors 
  • Metadata
    • Descriptive information within the system such as the labels used for formats and locations or types of patrons that may exist

Privacy Checklists for LMS, ILS, OPACs & Discovery Systems

Vendor Privacy

Hidden Costs of On-Demand Services

This guide was developed by

Library Freedom Project logo  Massachusetts Library Association logo