My Reading History FAQ

Maintain My Reading History – Instructions and FAQ

Maintain My Reading History is a feature that allows you to save a list of everything that you check out from the library starting when you “opt-in.”  If you decide to enable this feature, you should be aware of the privacy implications of saving your reading history particularly in relation to the Patriot Act. You should also be aware that anyone with your library card and password will have access to your reading history through your online account.

Instructions to Enable Reading History

Visit the Library Catalog

  • Log into your account by typing in your barcode/username and
  • Select My Account
  • Scroll to “Contact Information and Preferences.”
  • Select “Maintain My Reading History”

The system will start saving a list of titles beginning with any titles that you check out after you have opted in. Anything that you checked out before you started saving your history will not be on the list even if you renew the items.

You can delete some, or all of the titles on your list whenever you want. You can also choose to disable your reading history. If you choose to opt-out, all titles on your list will be deleted and will not be able to be recovered.

Instructions to Disable Reading History

  • Log into your account by typing in your barcode/username and
  • Select My Account
  • Scroll to “Contact Information and Preferences.”
  • Deselect “Maintain My Reading History”

Frequently Asked Questions

Who will have access to my reading history?

If you choose this option, you should be aware of the privacy implications of saving your reading history particularly in relation to the Patriot Act.  Also, please be aware that anyone with access to your library card number can check your reading history or any other information attached to your account.

What kind of information does the Library keep about books I check out or other information services I use?

To receive a library card, borrowers are required to proof of identity, birth date and mailing address. This identifying information is retained as long as the borrower continues to use the library card. A borrower’s library record includes current information, items currently checked out or on hold, as well as overdue materials and fines. The Library does not maintain a history of what a borrower has previously checked out once books and materials are returned on time. Similarly, the Library’s computer search stations are programmed to delete the history of a user’s Internet session and all searches once an individual session is completed. The Library treats reference questions, whether in person or online, confidentially. Personal identifying information related to these questions is purged on an ongoing basis.

What are my rights related to the confidentiality of my reading history?

ECPL considers privacy, intellectual freedom, and access to information to be fundamental tenants of a library.  Protecting user privacy and confidentiality related to information and materials sought is an integral part of ECPL’s mission. In addition, the ECPL recognizes the confidentiality of records related to circulation of Library materials that contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the in accordance with Pennsylvania Statute TITLE 24.  EDUCATION, CHAPTER 16.  LIBRARIES, ARTICLE IV,  24 P.S. §  4428 which states:

Records related to the circulation of library materials which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of the State Library or any local library which is established or maintained under any law of the Commonwealth of the library of any university, college or education institution chartered by the Commonwealth or the library of any public school or branch reading room, deposit station or agency operated in connection therewith, shall be confidential and shall not be made available to anyone except by a court order in a criminal proceeding.

Unless required by law, the Library does not share information about titles of books checked out, the number of books overdue, or the titles of books overdue to anyone other than the user.

What are the implications for My Reading History in terms of confidentiality and the USA PATRIOT Act?

Library patrons need to be aware that using My Reading History means this information is being stored on the Library’s server. If we are served with a subpoena, My Reading History information might have to be surrendered to law enforcement officials with respect to the USA PATRIOT Act.

What is the USA PATRIOT Act?

On October 25, 2001, Congress passed the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” (USA PATRIOT) Act. The act broadly expands law enforcement’s surveillance and investigative powers, with Sections 214-216 applying to libraries and bookstores.

What are Sections 214-216 of the USA PATRIOT Act?

These sections of the Act give law enforcement agencies expanded authority to obtain Library records, secretly monitor electronic communications and prohibit libraries and librarians from informing users of such monitoring or information requests.

What happens if I lose my card?

You will not lose your reading history if you lose your card. However, you should notify the library right away so that others cannot get access to your library account.

What happens when the library removes a title from the collection?

If we remove a title from the collection, you will see the message “Information no longer available” instead of the title.