De-identification and Patron Data

by Becky Yoose Library Applications and Systems Manager The Seattle Public Library Libraries and library vendors contain multitudes of data1 : item circulation, patron information, computer sessions, program attendance, website logs, and searches, just to name a few. Data plays a critical role in analysis and assessment of collections, operations, and services; however, the privacy of the patron must be taken into consideration in using any patron data. Anonymization and de-identification are two methods that can aid libraries and vendors in using patron data assessment while respecting patron privacy. Library patron data contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII), which consists of