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Southworth Library Learning Commons Users' Guide: Library Privacy Policy

Library Privacy Policy

User Privacy Policy of the Library

It is the policy of the Library that the privacy of all users shall be respected in compliance with federal and state laws and professional standards. The Library will not reveal the identities of individual users or reveal what information sources or services they consult. This policy applies to all resources regardless of their format or means of delivery as well as to all services offered by the Library.

To aid understanding of the use or value of resources and services the Library may aggregate and retain user data for a reasonable period of time. It will, however, neither collect nor retain information identifying individuals except during the period when and only for the purpose that such record is necessary to furnish a specific service (for example, loaning a book, ordering a report, recording user service preferences, or for internal service evaluation). Data on individuals will not be shared with third parties unless if required by law.

For examples of how this policy applies to specific services or programs, please refer to the Practice Guidelines that follow.

Circulation It is the policy of the Library that the privacy of all borrowers of library materials shall be respected. The Library will not reveal the names of individual borrowers nor reveal what books are, or have been, charged to any individual.

When library users need books that are on loan, the Circulation Librarian will assist them by calling in those books as soon as the guaranteed loan period (usually three weeks) has ended. If the books desired are in a renewal period, they will be recalled immediately.

Collection Development and Resource Management Comments, purchase recommendations, gifts-in-kind, and special requests from users make an important contribution to building and shaping the Library's collections. Purchase, transfer, and related collection management requests linked to individual users -- or even group of users (e.g., the Humanities Department) -- are deemed confidential reader information and not shared outside the Library. Within the Library, user names are temporarily attached to internal records and shared among relevant staff to facilitate notification of Library actions and follow-through.

Contracts and Licenses for Information Resources Consistent with its user privacy policy the Library expects its information service providers to follow the same standards in the performance of the products they license, lease or sell to the Library. Contracts, licenses, agreements and arrangements that the Library enters shall accordingly and as the standard practice protect the identity of individual users and the information they use.

Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Requestors of interlibrary loan and document delivery services receive the same protection in terms of confidentiality of their requests. In some cases, information about requests is shared with other library staff for collection development purposes; it remains confidential within the library. Documentation of requests may be retained as necessary for the Library to comply with auditing, copyright or other regulations.

Library Surveys/Assessment Projects Information and data obtained by the Library or its units through surveys (group or individual interviews or other means) in support of assessment of services, collections, facilities, resources, etc., or in support of research related to library and information services, are considered confidential and will not be shared except in aggregations, to protect the privacy of individual participants.

Public Access Digital Systems The Library's access systems (e.g., SLEUTH, the Library's website, and discovery tools like EBSCO Discovery Service maintained by the Library) frequently track or "log" the actions performed by users of those systems. Information from transaction logs may be aggregated for reporting on types of use and use of materials. For this purpose, information regarding individual identities or the source of the transaction will be not be collected.

Director of Library Services

Cori Wilhelm's picture
Cori Wilhelm
Contact:
315-386-7228