Information about your library membership

Libraries West Privacy Notice

The purpose of this Privacy Notice is to tell you what information we collect about you when you use our services, how we use that information and who we may share it with.

LibrariesWest is a partnership between the library services of Bath & North East Somerset, Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole, Bristol, Dorset, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils. The partnership collects and stores data in a shared database to enable you to use libraries across LibrariesWest. Personal data provided to any one authority when registering to use the library service will be shared between all of the authorities in LibrariesWest and held on a shared database.

Each partner authority is a Data Controller in respect of its own data and a Data Processor when using other authorities’ data

What data we need to collect

Unless otherwise agreed with you, we will only collect the minimum personal data required to deliver the service, which includes name, address, Date of Birth, telephone number and email address. We are collecting this data because the data is necessary to carry out the agreement you have entered into i.e. becoming a library member.

Additional data we'd like to collect

You can choose to supply personal information relating to sex, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, religion or belief, caring responsibilities and any access needs such as hearing or visual impairment and difficulties with mobility. This is not a requirement of signing up to the Library Service.

The legal basis for processing your data

By law - Provision of a Library Service

Bath & North East Somerset, Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole, Bristol, Dorset, North Somerset, Somerset County and South Gloucestershire councils are legally required to provide a library service under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, and in order to provide the service efficiently and carry out this public task, we need to hold and process your data.

Explicit consent - Equality Data

If you supply us with information about you, that relates to your sex, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, religion or belief, and caring responsibilities, we will process your personal data to meet our public sector equality duties under the Equality Act 2010. This information is not required in order for you to receive a library service.

Legitimate interests - Audit/Quality Control, Enquiries and Complaints

We will use your personal information, where there is a legitimate interest in carrying out audit and quality control and to enable the handling of enquiries and complaints.

If you have provided us with an email address we will send you automated email notifications reminding you to return or renew your loans a few days before the due date, and emails to inform you when reserved items are available for collection if you have opted to be informed by email.

If you have agreed, we will from time to time send out emails to library members to promote news and events relating to library services. If you would like to receive these emails, please inform a member of library staff.

How long we will keep your data for

We will hold this data for up to two years after your last transaction with us to meet audit requirements. However, if you have unreturned items or outstanding debt your data may be retained for a further two years. After this, your information will be deleted or archived. If you wish to view your details at any time, visit the LibrariesWest website or ask a member of library staff.

Who we share your data with and why

Your data may also be accessed by the suppliers of our library management systems. These suppliers have committed to handling data in accordance with the principles in the UK General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the new Data Protection Act (2018) and will only do so to the extent that is required to maintain the library management systems. Your data may also be shared with the councils' service delivery partners. We will only share your data with these partners where we have a data sharing agreement in place and only for the purpose of delivering more effective public services to you.

Transfers Abroad

To provide and maintain an effective library service to customers it may be necessary to transfer customer data to our LMS supplier's overseas support teams in Canada. This data will only be securely transferred and/or accessed when necessary by the most appropriate technical experts to facilitate the identification and resolution of system faults or errors. This will provide the most effective support mechanism as stated in our contractual agreements and is subject to the PIPEDA data sharing agreement.


The LibrariesWest Authorities jointly purchase a range of e-services, which can be freely accessed by customers, many are located in the UK and/or EU, however those listed below are located in the United States (US). To access these services, customers must consent to their library membership number & PIN being stored and processed on servers in the US. Information provided to any of the following suppliers as part of a support call will also be processed and stored in the US. The following supplier/s have signed ‘Standard Contract Clauses 2010/87/EU’ (SCCs) which ensure that the supplier/s are bound to data protection standards which are equivalent to those required in the UK.

  • Libby (OverDrive) – e-magazines, e-comics & graphic novels, [from 14th April 2021] ebooks (Bristol only).
  • RBDigital (WF Howes) e-newspapers [until late April / mid May 2021]

Your rights as a data subject

You have the right to ask LibrariesWest for a copy of your data, the right to rectify or erase your personal data, the right to object to processing, the right of data portability and the right to withdraw consent where consent is the legal basis for processing your personal data. However, these rights are only applicable if the Council has no other legal obligation concerning that data. We ensure that the information is held securely and is protected from unauthorised access.

You can ask to see what information we hold about you and have access to it by contacting LibrariesWest will then forward your request to the local authority where you signed up for your library card for processing

If you have any questions or concerns about the way we process your personal data, the Data Protection Officer for your local authority can be contacted by emailing

You also have a right to complain to the regulator on the ICO website if you think we have not dealt with your information in a proper manner.

Crime and Fraud, Prevention and Detection:

The Councils are required by law to uphold the law and protect the public funds they administer. They may share information provided to them with other bodies responsible for crime prevention, auditing, administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect crime including fraud.

Changes to our privacy policy

Changes to this Privacy Policy will be made when required in response to changing legal, technical, or business developments. When we update our Privacy Policy, we will take appropriate measures to inform you, consistent with the significance of the changes we make. We will obtain consent to any material Privacy Policy changes if and where this is required by applicable data protection laws.

You can see when this Privacy Policy was last updated by checking the ‘Last Updated’ date displayed at the top of the Privacy Policy.

Library policies

Find out how your library service is planned and see details of our policies: