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Privacy Policy


The purpose of this statement is to inform customers about the collection and use of personally identifiable information at the Ottawa Public Library (OPL). The following is not intended and should not be interpreted as a contract of any nature, either stated or implied.

Definition of personally identifiable information

For the purposes of this statement, “personally identifiable information” means any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual who is the subject of the information.

The OPL and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

The OPL protects the privacy and confidentiality of all customers’ personal information in keeping with the access to information and privacy provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.56 (MFIPPA) and other applicable legislation.

The OPL collects personal information of library customers under the authority of section 23(2) of the Public Libraries Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.44, and personal information will only be used to administer services and programs at the OPL.

For the purposes of the registration of library customers and the administration of circulating items, the OPL collects the following types of personal information: name, address, telephone number, email address and language preference.

The Chief Executive Officer limits employee access to personal information to only those employees who need access in order to perform their assigned duties. The OPL also maintains security standards and procedures regarding unauthorized access to personal information to prevent unauthorized removal or alteration of data.

The OPL will not disclose personal information to any third parties without having obtained prior consent of the person to whom the information pertains, except when MFIPPA permits disclosure or other applicable law requires that the OPL disclose the personal information.

The OPL does not keep a record of borrowed items once the items are returned, unless the borrower requests this service. Items are otherwise deleted from the borrower’s record immediately upon return.

If you bring a library card that belongs to another person, it implies consent for you to pick up material on hold for that person. It does not allow you to have access to other services and programs or access to information in that person’s record.

The OPL and Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

Electronic messaging sent by OPL is consistent with Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), and is sent to existing cardholders or individuals with existing business relationships. Electronic messaging includes an option for customers to opt-out of further communications.

Privacy provisions for web customers

When you visit the OPL website, your personal information will not be collected unless you choose to use and receive online products and services that require it. Your personal information will then only be used to provide you with Library services and programs, that you select, and for no other purpose.

Logging practices for website customers

The OPL collects IP addresses (an IP address is a number that can uniquely identify a specific computer or other network device on the internet) from visitors to the OPL website.
The Library’s web servers log pages visited on the OPL website and the type of searches done on them.

Ottawa Public Library currently uses Google Analytics to gain insight into the way the Library’s website is used – what content is most popular, what times of day people visit the site, what types of computers/web browsers visitors are using, etc. Your searches remain confidential and anonymous. The Library only uses this information for statistical purposes, to find out which pages customers find most useful. This information helps us make our online services better.

The data retrieved from Google Analytics is aggregated and anonymous; OPL is not able to connect it with any individual customer.

For more information on Google Analytics, please review their privacy overview.


A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes a unique identifier that is sent to your computer or mobile phone or device (referred to here as a “device”) browser from a website’s computer and is stored on your device’s hard drive. Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your preferences allow it. Many websites do this whenever a customer visits their website in order to track online traffic flows.

During the course of any visit to the OPL website, the pages you see, along with a cookie, are downloaded to your device. Many websites do this, because cookies enable website publishers to do useful things like find out whether the device (and probably its user) has visited the website before. This is done on a repeat visit by checking to see, and finding, the cookie left there on the last visit.

a. Third Party Cookies

The OPL leverages third party websites in order to deliver its online services. These websites may be used to download e-books, complete surveys, provide access to subscribed content such as research articles, and social networks.

During your visit to the OPL website you may notice some cookies that are not related to the OPL. When you visit a page with content embedded from another source (e.g. YouTube), you may be presented with cookies from these websites. The OPL does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

b. How to reject cookies?

Each web browser enables customers to set preference specific to the handling of cookies. Please refer to the settings and preferences that are available in your web browser.

Note that if you decide to reject cookies from the OPL website, some aspects of the website may be unavailable to you.

Other Websites

Various websites may be linked through the OPL’s website. Visitors to linked websites are advised to check the privacy statements on those sites and to be cautious about providing personal information without a clear understanding of how that information will be used.

Public internet use & privacy

OPL provides access to the Internet through its public PC service and through the provision of Wi-Fi services to provide access to the internet for customer or library supplied Wi-Fi devices. All customers using the public network have their network traffic filtered on several categories, including spam, phishing, malicious content, proxy avoidance, and child pornography. While the library does not actively monitor network usage, the OPL retains a log of 90 days of internet use which can be linked to customer barcodes. This log is only used by the OPL to investigate potential Terms of Use violations and any OPL disclosure of information contained in the logs must be permitted under MFIPPA or be required by law.

Your right to access

You may request access to your personal information at the Ottawa Public Library. You have the right to request the correction of any personal information that is incorrect or incomplete. Staff in any branch can help you correct personal information.

All formal requests for access to information must be sent in writing to:
MFIPPA Coordinator
120 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2

The initial fee for all formal requests is $5.00. This fee must be included with the request. Your formal MFIPPA request will not be processed until the fee is received. There is no fee when you are requesting access to your own personal information.


Please send your questions in writing to the address above.

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