Books for Lending, Data for Taking

The NY Times (reg. req.)looks at libraries that are borrowing techniques from Amazon, Netflix and other Internet companies that keep information about their customers' purchases and preferences so they can better cater to their needs or tastes.
Yet for the libraries, privacy remains an important issue.

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Improve service and protect privacy

What's wrong with libraries using transactional data to better meet the needs of patrons? Amazon, Netflix and other Internet companies do this already and people don't stop buying things from there or using their services. This does not mean patron details should be sold or given out. Libraries can use this data to improve services, at the same time protecting privacy.

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