Hermitage Branch Library Violates Patrons' Privacy Rights
(Tell Me I'm Making A Big Deal Out Of Nothing...)
As we've discussed, I'm a library junkie.
Last night we made our trip to little mecca to pick up our stack of holds. Something was different. I started to ask for them politely at the desk and then saw the three front shelves in the lobby no longer held new releases.
They held the requested books. Which library patrons can now pick up themselves. All you have to do is look for your name on a slip of paper, wrapped around your book, DVD or CD.
The problem is, as I see it, is that so can anyone else. Any person who enters the library can browse the stack of holds, see your full name and what you've requested.
This brings up two issues.
1. Privacy. Maybe I don't want people to know that I've requested a book on making my own beer. (Relax, Mom. I haven't really. It's just an example.)
2. Theft of popular holds. You know the new Stephen King book still has hundreds of people waiting for it. What's to stop some unscrupulous bastard from seeing a fresh copy, taking off the name slip and appropriating the book for himself? The "hold" person not only loses that copy, they lose their place in line for a new copy because the "hold" under their name was filled when the library received the book--not when the patron actually checks out the book.
Yeah, it's probably nothing. But I think if we're gonna be upset about the Patriot Act giving the Feds access to library records, maybe I can be a little upset about the library staff giving any dork on the street access to my library holds.