Privacy Policy

PrairieCat Privacy Policy

  1. General

At PrairieCat, we respect your need for online privacy and protect any personal information that you may share with us, in an appropriate manner. Our practice as regards use of your personal information is as set forth below in this Privacy Policy. As a condition to use of PrairieCat services, you consent to the terms of the Privacy Policy as it may be updated from time to time. In the event of a material change, we shall notify you by means of a prominent notice on the PrairieCat website.

  1. Library Records

PrairieCat protects its users’ privacy by keeping information about materials they check out and information they access confidential, as required by the IllinoisLibrary Records Confidentiality Act, 75 ILCS 70/1 et seq.

75 ILCS 70/1 Registration and circulation records; statistical reports

1 (a) The registration and circulation records of a library are confidential information. No person shall publish or make any information contained in such records available to the public unless:

  1. Required to do so under a court order; or
  2. The information is requested by a sworn law enforcement officer who represents that it is impractical to secure a court order as a result of an emergency where the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger of physical harm. The information requested must be limited to identifying a suspect, witness, or victim of a crime. The information requested without a court order may not include the disclosure of registration or circulation records that would indicate materials borrowed, resources reviewed, or services used at the library. If requested to do so by the library, the requesting law enforcement officer must sign a form acknowledging the receipt of the information. A library providing the information may seek subsequent judicial review to assess compliance with this section.

This subsection shall not alter any right to challenge the use or dissemination of patron information that is otherwise permitted by law.

(b) This section does not prevent a library from publishing or making available to the public reasonable statistical reports regarding library registration and book circulation where those reports are presented so that no individual is identified therein.

(b-5) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as a privacy violation or a breach of confidentiality if a library provides information to a law enforcement officer under item (2) of subsection (a).

(c) For the purpose of this Section, i “library” means any public library or library of an educational, historical or eleemosynary institution, organization of society; (ii) “registration records” includes any information a library requires a person to provide in order for that person to become eligible to borrow books and other materials and (iii) “circulation records” includes all information identifying the individual borrowing particular books or materials.

(Source:  P.A. 95-40, eff. 1-1-08.)

  1. Information Recorded and Used:

Personal Information

We request a user’s library patron barcode and PIN to log into My Account on the PrairieCat online catalog,. You also have the option to choose a unique alias or username which will be used solely for the purpose of providing access to your user account. Individuals may choose to submit their email addresses or telephone numbers in order to receive library services such as phone, email or text notifications. Library accounts also include name and postal address. PrairieCat does not sell, rent or otherwise distribute information to outside companies or organizations unless legally required to do so.

Third Party Partners

PrairieCat has teamed up with reputable third-party partners to provide certain online services. The information you submit to PrairieCat may be provided to those third parties on a confidential basis so they can assist us in providing these services. In cases where users leave the PrairieCat website to visit one of its partners’ websites, they are encouraged to learn about the privacy policies of the websites they visit.

Contents of your User Account

We store and maintain files, lists, emails and other data stored in your user account. In order to prevent loss of data due to errors or system failures, we also keep backup copies of data including the contents of your user account. Hence your files and data may remain on our servers even after deletion or termination of your user account. We assure you that the contents of your user account will not be disclosed to anyone except in circumstances specifically mentioned in this Privacy Policy. We also do not process the contents of your user account for serving targeted advertisements.

Financial Information

In case of services requiring payment, we request credit card or other payment account information, which will be used solely for processing payments. Your financial information will not be stored by us except for the name and address of the card holder, the expiry date and the last four digits of the Credit Card number. Subject to your prior consent and where necessary for processing future payments, your financial information will be stored in encrypted form on secure servers of our  Payment Gateway Service Provider who is required to treat your Personal Information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Visitor Details

We use the Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, referring URL, files accessed, errors generated, time zone, operating system and other visitor details collected in our log files to analyze the trends, administer the website, track visitor's movements and to improve our website.


Cookies are commonly used to provide useful features to website users. A cookie is a small text file that is sent to your browser from a website and stored on your computer’s hard drive. Cookies cannot read data from your hard disk or read cookie files that were created by other websites – the website that creates a cookie is the only one that a browser will permit to access it. The cookie itself does not contain any personally identifiable information, but may be used to tell when your computer has accessed PrairieCat’s website. Examples of ways in which PrairieCat might use cookies include customizing content areas or analyzing site activity. Some electronic services offered by PrairieCat such as the online catalog place temporary cookies for current sessions.

If you are concerned about the use of cookies, we suggest that you set your browser’s options to notify you whenever a cookie is set or to disallow cookies altogether. You should be aware, however, that prohibiting the use of cookies may restrict your access to certain types of content or features on PrairieCat’s website.

We may from time to time employ the services of a third party agent to analyze statistical and aggregate data about our website content and user base. This aggregated information is not personally identifiable and is employed in improving website functionality and offerings. To this end, these third parties may employ the use of cookies and, or pixel tags in providing their services. While these third party cookies are not tied to your Personal Information, PRAIRECAT does not have access to these cookies nor are we responsible for them.

  1. Children’s Privacy

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). We do not request or knowingly collect any personally identifiable contact information from anyone under 13 years of age. 

  1. Security

PrairieCat has taken reasonable steps to safeguard the integrity of its data and prevent unauthorized access to information it maintains, including but not limited to authentication, monitoring and auditing. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of the entire operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management. These measures are intended to prevent corruption of data, block unknown or unauthorized access to our systems and information, and to provide reasonable protection of private information in our possession.   Any page on the PrairieCat website that asks for personal information will show a lock icon in the status bar.  Look for this icon on any web page that asks for your personal information.

PrairieCat Ecommerce

PrairieCat accepts eCommerce payments on behalf of its member libraries through the PrairieCat online catalog for fines and fees, lost materials and program registration. The policies and statements provided below govern the use of PrairieCat eCommerce services.

PrairieCat Ecommerce Payment & Refund Policy

These Payment Terms apply to payments you make to PrairieCat.

By using PrairieCat Ecommerce services, you agree to pay all charges in effect at that time for the fees or services you buy, along with all applicable taxes and other fees. You authorize PrairieCat to charge your Payment Method for your initial transaction, as well as any future transaction.

If we are unable to charge your Payment Method (for example, because your credit card has expired), you are still responsible for paying us. All ECommerce fees are non-refundable. All amounts are to be paid in US Dollars.

Refunds of Ecommerce Payments

PrairieCat will not issue refunds for any payments made through Ecommerce. Any user who believes they are entitled to a refund should contact their home library to discuss the issue.

Chargeback of Ecommerce Payments

Chargebacks occur when a cardholder asks their bank to reverse a transaction. PRAIRIECAT will not dispute chargebacks of Ecommerce payments. PrairieCat will accept the chargeback, notify the member library, and direct the member library to discuss the issue with the cardholder. PrairieCat will deduct the chargeback from the ecommerce pay-out in which the chargeback occurred.