Use of your personal information

Explore needs to collect and retain some data about you; our customers, members, staff and volunteers; in order to provide our services.  Our collection and storage of data complies with Data Protection legislation  You can find out more data protection on the Information Commission website.

Explore is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office and has publicly notified its uses of personal data in the public Register of Data Controllers. Explore undertakes to maintain personal data in secure conditions and to process and disclose data only within the terms of its Data Protection notification.

Explore also acts as data processor for data held as part of the City of York Archives and Local History collections.  City of York Council is the Data Controller of this data. It includes the records that the Council creates in pursuance of its day to day business as a local authority as well as material gifted to the Council by independent bodies.

How we use your information

We will collect personal information about people, if you:

  • Register as a library member – this also gives you access to use our archives collection at York Explore
  • Register for the York Card discount scheme
  • Sign up to receive our email newsletters
  • Book a place at a library event or workshop
  • Provide feedback or request information about our services where you require a response
  • Apply to work for Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual, Ltd, including volunteer roles
  • Request to view/access any item from our archive collection

Library membership

We will collect your name, address and date of birth, if you register as a library member. We shall also ask if you are happy to provide a telephone or mobile number and email address as this helps us provides a quicker and more efficient service to you; and an email address will be required to use some of our digital services. By default we keep a record of your borrowed items for one year, although you can switch this off on your online account if you choose.

We use the information we collect to look after your library membership account, for example:

  • keeping a record of which items you have on loan at any one time;
  • letting you know when an item you have requested is available for collection;
  • letting you know if the items you have on loan are overdue for return; and
  • applying any relevant membership concessions or entitlements.

York Card membership

We will collect your name and contact details including your address, phone number and email address when you register for a York Card. We need this information so that we can ensure residents’ cards are issued correctly and to provide you with information quickly and efficiently. For more information please visit the York Card site.

Email newsletters

You can choose to receive news and information about our services and forthcoming events by email. We will collect your name and email address.

We may provide separate email newsletters for different services, but you will be able to choose which newsletters you would like to receive, and you can choose to unsubscribe from any or all of our mailings at any time.

Events and workshops

If you book online to attend one of our events and workshops we shall ask for your name, address and email address. If you make a booking in a library we may ask for a contact telephone number rather than an email address. If you book online and there is a charge for an event, we shall also ask for your payment details.

We use this information to send you confirmation of your booking and any further details about the event, or to let you know if it has been cancelled. We may also ask you if you would like to receive information by email about our forthcoming events.

Access to our Archives

If you book to access any of our archive collection (held at York Explore) you will be asked to complete a research exemption form. These are kept and held to demonstrate compliance data protection legislation.


If you send us feedback or requests for information, it is up to you to decide how much personal information you wish to disclose, but if you require a response then we would need your name and a means of getting in touch with you such as postal address, email address or telephone number.

Job applicants

We ask for details such as name, address, telephone or mobile number and email address so we can contact applicants about their application. We also ask for details of employment history, training and qualifications to assess applications.

Once a person has taken up employment with Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual Ltd, we would create an employment file. The information in the file will be kept securely and will only be used for purposes directly relevant to that person’s employment.

Surveys and evaluation forms

From time to time we may carry out surveys to help us understand how our services are currently being used, and how we might improve services in the future; and we also invite participants at our events to provide feedback using an evaluation form.

If you choose to complete a survey or evaluation form, we only collect anonymous information about your preferences, interests and experiences, but we may ask for demographic information such as your age and ethnic origin which we would use for statistical purposes only. We only collect this data anonymously, so survey and evaluation responses are not linked to any personal information we may hold about you.

Visitors to our website

Everything you need to know about cookies and other privacy implications of using this website are explained in our website Privacy Policy.

Hosted Systems

All of our IT systems are hosted by third parties, and as such our trusted IT providers will have access to your data for the purposes of technical support and service provision. This includes the library catalogue, the website, the e-library and our mailing list software. Explore’s contractors  will not use your data beyond the purpose of providing our services.  Some of our IT services are maintained on computers located outside of the European Economic Area.  The public printing solution is hosted in Canada, and the mailing list distribution software is hosted in America. Explore will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Sharing your information

We don’t share any personal information, including your email address, with any third parties besides those supplying our services under contract, unless we are required to do so by law. We may occasionally share anonymous usage information with partner organisations to help with data analysis.

We may also provide anonymous data to organisations that have provided us with grant funding to run additional services; for example, we may receive grant funding to run a programme of events. It is usually a condition of receiving the grant that we report back to the funding body on the take up of services, including statistics about the different range of people who participate. This is why we sometimes ask for information such as gender, age, ethnic origin or postcode on survey, evaluation or booking forms.

Access to your personal information

You may request details of personal information we hold about you by making a request under the General Data Protection Legislation. You can make a request in writing to Data Protection, Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual Ltd, Library Square. Museum Street, York, YO1 1DS You may be asked to provide proof of your identity and proof of your address as part of this process.