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Dear Circ...

Friday, February 10, 2017

Why don't you keep track of what WAS on my account...??

George Grantham Bain Collection
Prints and Photographs Division
U.S. Library of Congress
Dear Circ,

I read..., for work, for pleasure, for interest, for need, for lots of reasons! But sometimes, I lose track of what I intend to read, and what I've already read. You have all that information at your fingertips. Do you keep track of what I've checked out previously? If not, why not? It would be such a handy tool to just ask you for a list of what I've already read.

Bernard Bibliophile

Dear Bernie,

The short answer is no! We don't keep track of what people have checked out in the past. While it might be useful for some patrons, especially those working on a project, others wouldn't care. On a purely pragmatic level, we'd be keeping track of lots of unnecessary information, and using up computer resources to do so.

In addition to physical reality, you as a patron need to ask, do you really want anyone (other than you) to keep track of your reading history? To have access to all that information about you? What you've borrowed and learned about? And to potentially be able to provide that information to someone who is likely not as benign as us? We live in a rapidly changing world, where the right to privacy is an issue on many different levels. Your privacy is important to us, and the best way we can protect your privacy is to explicitly not maintain your history.


Dear Readers,
Are you wondering about the image above? No, this person is not "Dear Circ" and is not employed by the Roselle Public Library. Nor is he a patron of ours.  The person above was both a famous legal scholar, as well as a famous author, who defined modern concepts of the individual's right to privacy. Place your mouse cursor on the photo for the name of the author. Left click the image for an enlargement. For more information about this individual, go here, here, and here. For items to check out, try our catalog.

Do you have questions about the Roselle Public Library? Want advice about how to manage your account? How to find things? Want to know more about what we can offer you? Or worse, are you just lost in library jargon, and not even sure what to ask? Here's our forum for how to get the most from us, your local library. You can submit questions online to Dear Circ, or, as always, in person, or by phone (630-529-1641). Posted questions will be anonymous. Responses reflect the policies and programs of the Roselle Public Library, and may have no relevance to the policies, services, and procedures at any other library.

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