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Privacy statement


The purpose of this statement is to inform users of this website about the collection and use of personally identifiable information at the Ottawa Public Library. 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.

Providing personally identifiable information

Library users do not have to provide personal information to visit the Ottawa Public Library website or to download information, except in these circumstances: A library card is required to access the My Account features of the catalogue (such as viewing items checked out and viewing or changing requests). A library card number is also required for accessing certain electronic database products from home. In this context the number or associated user name is required for authentication as a library user and is not tied to personal information.

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

The Ottawa Public Library collects personal information of library users 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 Ottawa Public Library.

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

Personal information will only be disclosed to you, except if disclosure to a third party is required by law.

Ottawa Public Library 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.

Limiting employee access to information

The City Librarian limits employee access to personal information to only those employees who need access in order to perform their assigned duties.

Protection of information via established security procedures

Ottawa Public Library maintains security standards and procedures regarding unauthorized access to personal information to prevent unauthorized removal or alteration of data.

Personal Information Available through Use of Website

The IP address of a computer accessing the Ottawa Public Library website is recorded for the purpose of website usage analysis. There is no attempt to associate any IP address with an individual user.

OPL Website & Cookies

For its remote services the OPL uses session-based cookies to manage authentication (e.g. My Account in the catalogue and the use of database products from outside the library), and persistent cookies to collect data that is not personally identifiable for statistical reporting purposes only. A cookie is a small file that stores information. A cookie is considered persistent if the file is stored on your hard drive, where as a cookie that is discarded when the browser is closed is considered to be a session-based cookie.

Privacy & Digital Rights Management Software

OPL allows access to downloadable audiobooks through a subscription to OverDrive, linked from its website. OverDrive employs Digital Rights Management software to provide a discrete borrowing period for loaned downloadable audiobook items to correspond with the contractual relationships between OverDrive and the publisher of the items. The software is not used to communicate user information back to OverDrive or Ottawa Public Library.

Other Websites

Various websites may be linked through the Ottawa Public Library’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.

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. 

Disclosure of information other than your own personal information will be subject to MFIPPA.
All formal requests for access to information must be sent in writing to:

MFIPPA Coordinator
Strategic Coordination
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.