Privacy policy

Portsmouth Libraries and Archives Service (Portsmouth City Council) is a registered Data Controller (Registration Number Z5578313).

Portsmouth Libraries and Archives Service tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information in accordance with data protection law. For more information about how Portsmouth City Council uses personal information see the Council’s data protection privacy notice

What information do we collect?

This privacy notice tells you about how Portsmouth Libraries and Archives Service collect and uses personal information. It applies to information we collect about:

  • People joining the library and using library services
  • People applying for volunteering experience
  • People applying to join our mailing lists or receive our blog
  • People requesting research support from the Portsmouth History Centre
  • People booking a place at an event

The type of information we collect would include name and contact details (including emergency contacts where appropriate). When you join the library we also collect data on your gender and date of birth.

Why do we collect your information?

Portsmouth Libraries and Archives Service use personal information to:

  • Fulfil your membership of the library or any service or product you have requested or purchased
  • Offer you a personalised experience and inform you or events or updates you have asked to hear about
  • Check your identity in the event of any membership enquiries
  • Understand our members in order to plan and develop services or make improvements

How do we keep personal information secure?

We will take appropriate steps to make sure that the personal information we hold (on paper and electronically) is kept securely and only used by people who have a right to see it. The Council’s security measures include encrypting personal data and equipment, system access controls and training in data protection for all staff.

Where another company or organisation processes personal information on behalf of the Council, they will only process your personal information in line with the Council’s instructions and are obliged to provide security assurances to the Council and to certain regulatory bodies.

People who use our website

Our website is provided by Surface Impression Limited. Search queries and results are logged anonymously to help improve our website and its functionality. No identifiable personal information is collected by Surface Impression.

How long do we keep hold of personal information?

Records are kept in line with Portsmouth City Council’s retention policy and we will not keep your information longer than necessary. When you join the library Portsmouth Libraries and Archives Services will keep your information for a period of three years. It will be stored securely on an electronic database and only used in order to provide library services. You have the right to request the data we hold on you and ask for its removal if you no longer wish to use, or be contacted by, the Libraries and Archives Service.

Access to personal information

Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’. See the Portsmouth City Council data protection privacy notice for details of how to access your information and what you may be entitled to see.

Sharing or disclosing personal information

We only share personal data that is relevant and proportionate for the practical delivery of a library service (such as sending a newsletter). Portsmouth Libraries and Archives Service will never sell, rent, share or trade your personal data to third parties for marketing purposes without your prior consent. See the Portsmouth City Council data protection privacy notice for further details.

Complaints or queries

Any complaints, queries or requests should be sent to Portsmouth City Council’s Data Protection Officer.


Telephone: 023 9268 8482 

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at: 

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or call 01625 532 692 to use the textphone service

Changes to this privacy notice

This privacy notice was last updated on 27 May 2020.

How to contact us

If you want to request details of our privacy policy and how we collect and use personal information, you can contact Portsmouth City Council’s Data Protection Officer using the contact details above.