DU Libraries Privacy Policies

The DU Libraries are committed to protecting the privacy of all Libraries users: students, faculty, staff, and visitors. We are guided by the American Library Association's Code of Ethics.

When you use our services, however, you generate data. We may collect and analyze these data in order to improve our services in the pursuit of supporting your success. We make every reasonable effort to anonymize and protect these data, and consider them an institutional asset subject to the University of Denver's Privacy Statement.

Modern library systems are complex and we license content and services from third-party vendors who have their own privacy and confidentiality practices. Some identifying information is required for authentication, troubleshooting, or customized services. We encourage you to review the privacy and confidentiality policies of these parties.

Below are the types of data that are generated when you use our systems and services, and what the DU Libraries do with that data. If you have questions, contact Jack Maness, Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication & Collections Services.

  • Checking Out Physical Materials

    Data is stored in our library management system for the purpose of managing patron accounts and providing services. Only specific Library employees can access your account information, which includes:

    • Your name, address, phone, email and ID number
    • Items you currently have checked out or requested
    • Items you for which you have accrued an unpaid fine
    • Items you have requested through Interlibrary Loan

    When you return an item, your checkout of the item is deidentified, and the item cannot be traced back to you.

    When you borrow materials from other institutions through Interlibrary Loan, records of these transactions are stored in a separate internal system and not automatically anonymized. Your name and the item you request is transmitted to the lending library.

  • Using the Anderson Academic Commons

    The Main Library collects data on how many people enter/exit the building, and usage of space during library operating hours. These data are anonymized and used to improve physical space within the building.

    Security cameras and security doors are located throughout the Libraries and are managed by Campus Safety; the Libraries do not have access to the data collected by these systems.

    IT@DU provides wireless internet routers through the building, as well as zero-client workstations. Cell phones often automatically "ping" wireless routers and exchange data (this is true wherever you go), and when you log into campus networks your campus ID is needed to authenticate. These systems are subject to IT@DU's policies and DU's Privacy Statement. These data are not collected or maintained by the Libraries.


    Waitz Sensors

    Starting June 3, 2021, we are beginning a one-year pilot project to install Waitz sensors in the Main Library to provide users with real-time data that shows how busy the library is during operating hours. The Waitz sensors never collect information such as a name, mobile phone number, email address, or other contact information. MAC address information is immediately hashed (cannot be decrypted) and no personally-identifiable information is ever processed or stored on Waitz or DU Library servers. The use data from Waitz will also facilitate space efficiency in the library.

  • Using Research Services and Special Collections

    The Libraries collect email addresses and other contact information that we use to improve our services. Special Collections and Archives researchers are required to complete a registration form prior to using collection materials in the Reading Room. Identifying information is recorded on this form. The forms are held on paper in Special Collections for a period not to exceed three years from the date of last visit.

  • Using Compass

    Data are gathered and made available to the Libraries that includes operating system, browser, country, on- or off-campus location, whether a user is signed into their library account, searches performed, and site navigation. No personal information is made available to the Libraries.

    This tool is contracted through ExLibris and adheres to the ExLibris Privacy Policy.

  • Using Our Online Tools and Services

    The Libraries' website, research guides (Springshare), A–Z database list (Springshare), Special Collections @ DU, Archives @ DU (Archives Space), Digital Commons @ DU (Digital Commons), Compass (Primo), Online Exhibits (Omeka), and Yewno are tracked using Google Analytics. Data gathered include the browser, operating system, and city of the device being used, searches performed, and site navigation. No personal or demographic data are made available to the Libraries via Google Analytics. However, if you are logged into your Google or Gmail Account while using the Libraries' website or tools, additional data may be tracked and linked to your Google Account.

    Review Google's Account Data and Privacy for additional information, including instructions on adjusting what data Google connects to your account.

    Googles' Opt-Out Browser Add-on allows you to opt out of Google Analytics.

    Springshare (research guides, A–Z database list, library hours, Ask Us, Chat with a Librarian, and Research FAQs), Digital Commons, and Yewno are tools provided by third-party vendors. Review the privacy policies of each vendor to find out what data they collect.


    If you fill out an web form on our website or in Qualtrics, such as those for reporting a problem, reserving study rooms, requesting a consultation, asking a question, etc., we keep these data in order to trouble-shoot, improve services, and/or to keep statistics on our work. Many of these forms also generate emails to library staff.

  • Using Library Databases

    EZProxy is hosted by OCLC, a non-profit library cooperative, and collects anonymized data (randomized sessionID and timestamp), as well as the resource accessed. A separate log includes your username, the sessionID and timestamp, but not the resource accessed. We may use these logs to troubleshoot authentication errors or prevent and/or stop security breaches when they occur. We may also anonymize and analyze these logs in order to assess our collections and their use. Review OCLC's Hosted Services for more information.

    Once you are authenticated, none of these data are passed on to the third-party database provider. We license hundreds of databases; there are too many to provide here. We encourage you to review privacy policies for each database vendor.

  • Libraries Social Media Accounts

    The Libraries do not collect, maintain, or otherwise use personal information stored on any third party site in any way other than to communicate with users on that site. The Libraries may contact you to seek permission to use your content in another social media forum, but will never do so without explicit permission and credit.

    Social Media users may remove themselves at any time from the Libraries’ “friends” or “fan” lists. Users should be aware that third party websites have their own privacy policies and should proceed accordingly.

  • Release of Information to Law Enforcement Officials

    The University Libraries will only release Library patron information if legally mandated by law enforcement investigators with an appropriate warrant, subpoena, or court order. In October, 2001, Congress passed the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" (USA PATRIOT Act) which broadly expanded law enforcement's surveillance and investigative powers. More about this Act can be found at the American Library Association USA PATRIOT Act and Intellectual Freedom.

    We strive not to keep extensive records on individual patrons, but in the event of a valid court order, the data described above may have to be presented to law enforcement.