PPL Privacy Statement & Social Media Policy

Portland Public Library is strongly committed to protecting the privacy of its online users, customers, members, donors, and friends. We believe that maintaining privacy on the internet is very important and we take seriously our responsibility to inform users about the information we collect and use.

Confidentiality of Patron Account Information

All registration and lending records of Portland Public Library are considered private and confidential as part of our commitment to intellectual freedom, PPL policy, and the Maine Revised Statute, Title 27. Confidentiality extends to all records with identifying information about patrons, including their requests for information and materials and their lending transactions. It also includes the use of Library computers and the online resources they access.

The Library will keep patron records confidential and will not use this information except as necessary for the proper operation of the Library and will not disclose the information except upon consent of the user, pursuant to subpoena or court order, or as otherwise required by law.

Records of patron’s past borrowing are never retained unless patrons specifically choose to opt in to the “Recently Returned” feature.

Promotional E-mail & Newsletter Communications

By providing your email address in your Library account, you agree to receive notification e-mails about items requested and borrowed. Occasionally, we may also send emails about developments in Library business that will impact users. Our users may also “opt in” to receive our monthly online newsletter of Library events and news, by checking the box on the Library card application form.

Privacy of Website Usage

The Library’s website and social software are intended to create a welcoming and inviting online space where Library users can find useful and entertaining information and can interact with Library staff and other Library users.

In common with many websites, the Library’s website automatically logs certain “non-personally identifiable” information about visits to our website. This information is used for system administration, usage statistics, and to inform future development of the site. Any personally identifiable information provided to the Library is maintained by and accessible only to the Library unless the Library explicitly states otherwise. The Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet or website resources by individual members of the public except as required by law.

Individual visits to the Library’s website and to third party electronic services are logged automatically, but do not identify individuals. The Library accesses summaries of usage to evaluate our impact, improve our content, and better manage our online services.

Third-Party Partners

The Library has teamed up with reputable third-party vendors in order to provide certain online content and services to its online users. When users leave the Library’s site to visit one of its partners’ sites, users are encouraged to become familiar with the privacy statements of each site they visit.


The Library has all reasonable physical, electronic, and managerial measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to the information we collect online. We do not, however, claim any responsibility for information collected by or from websites linking to or from the Library’s website.


Parents should remind their children to ask their permission before providing personal information to any website or purchasing any products or services online. The Library urges all parents to participate in their children’s exploration of the Internet and to teach them about protecting their personal information while online. “Internet Safety for Minors” is a topic in the Library’s Acceptable Use Policy.

Social Media Software and Expectations

PPL offers social software tools as a limited public forum to share ideas, opinions, and information about Library-related subjects and issues for educational, cultural, civic and recreational purposes. Social software is defined as any web application, site or account offered by the Library that facilitates the sharing of opinions and information about Library related subjects and issues including blogs, listservs, websites, social network pages like Facebook and Twitter, and patron ratings and lists of Library materials (e.g., My PPL).

What You Can Expect Of Us

Library staff exercises editorial control on our social media platforms to create a safe and welcoming environment, and to support our aim to create online communities around the Library and its services. We moderate comments and the Library reserves the right to remove content that is unlawful, is off topic, or otherwise does not comply with our expectations below. We strive to keep our Library communities like our Library locations: safe and welcoming.

Postings by users do not indicate Library endorsement of the ideas, issues, links, or commentary posted. Additionally, endorsement is not implied via “following,” “friending,” or otherwise linking to other online entities.

What We Expect Of You

When you choose to share comments, lists, or other information in the Library’s social software, you agree to do so with responsibility and respect for the Library’s communities and purpose.

  • Always communicate with respect. Be considerate of others. Obscene, harassing, or abusive language is not tolerated.
  • Act legally and ethically. Acting or attempting to act in violation of state, federal, or local law, ordinance, or regulation, or Library policy, is prohibited.
  • Protect your privacy. Do not post personally identifying information. Young people under age 18, especially, should not post information such as last name, school, age, phone number, address.

The Library reserves the right to remove posts that include:

  1. Copyright violations
  2. Off topic comments
  3. Commercial material/spam
  4. Duplicated posts from the same individual
  5. Obscene language
  6. Specific and imminent threats
  7. Libelous comments
  8. Images

By choosing to comment on the Library’s social software you agree to these expectations. Violation of the Social Media Expectations may result in warnings or exclusions from our social software tools.

Acceptance of Terms

By using the Library’s website, you signify your acceptance of this Statement. If you do not agree to this Statement, please do not use our sites. Your continued use of any Library site following the posting of changes to these terms will indicate your acceptance of those changes.

Revised 01/06/2015