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University Libraries

University Libraries

University Libraries

Your Privacy and University Libraries

The University of Denver Libraries are deeply committed to protecting the privacy of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors we serve. We are guided by the American Library Association's Code of Ethics, which states, in part, that "we protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted," and that "we do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions." We firmly believe this right to privacy is a fundamental condition to intellectual freedom and the pursuit of knowledge.

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.

It is important to understand that modern library systems are complex and we license content and services from third-party vendors who have their own privacy and confidentiality practices. While we make every reasonable effort to hold all our licensed services to the same standards, and attempt to send as few personal identifiers as possible when connecting users to a resource, some 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 you may generate when you use our systems and services, and what we do with them. If you have questions about your privacy as it relates to these data and this statement, please feel free to contact the University Libraries Dean's Office.

When you check out print materials:

Data are stored in our library management system for the purpose of managing patron accounts and providing services. Access to these data are restricted to library staff and faculty. Examples of data in this system include:
• Your name, address, phone, email and ID number.
• The items you currently have checked out or requested.
• The items you previously checked out that still carry a fine.
• The items you have requested through Interlibrary Loan.

Once you return an item, and you do not owe a fine on the item, your checkout of the item is anonymized and the item cannot be traced back to you.

If 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. Please contact Interlibrary Loan if you would like to know more.

When you use our facilities:

We collect data regarding how many people enter/exit the building and peoples' usage of space during library operating hours. These data are anonymized. They are used to improve the design of physical space within the building. Starting 6/3/21, 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.

Security cameras and security doors (e.g., when you swipe your PioneerCard for access to the building after hours) are located throughout the Libraries and are managed by Campus Safety; the Libraries are not privy to the data collected by these systems.
Information Technology 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. Please see IT@DU's policies and feel free to contact them if you have questions.

Although these data are not collected or maintained by the Libraries, it is important to know all these systems are also subject to DU's Privacy Statement.

When you use our walk-in services, at desks or instruction rooms:

We may collect e-mail addresses and other contact information, in order to provide and 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 (mailing and e-mail address, other contact 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. Visitors are only requested to complete the form if Special Collections and Archives does not already have their information on file.

When you use Compass, our catalog and discovery tool:

Data are gathered and made available to the Libraries that includes operating system, browser, country, on or off-campus location, whether or not 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. Additional information about the data collected by ExLibris can be found at:

When you use any portion of our website:

The Libraries' website (OmniUpdate), 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. The Libraries do not use Google Advertising Features, so no personal or demographic data are made available to the Libraries via Analytics. However, if you are logged into your Google Account while using the Libraries' website or tools, additional data may be tracked and linked to your Google Account.

Additional information, including instructions on adjusting what data Google connects to your account, can be found at:

Google also offers a browser add-on that allows you to opt out of Google Analytics:

Springshare (research guides and A-Z database list), Digital Commons, and Yewno are tools provided by third-party vendors. These vendors may or may not capture additional data. Their privacy policies can be found at the links below:

If you fill out an electronic form on our site, 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.

When you log-in using your campus credentials for databases:

Our authentication technology, 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.
Please see OCLC's hosted services page for more information:
Once you are authenticated, none of these data are passed on to the third-party database provider. We license many hundreds of these databases in support of your scholarship, so there are too many to provide here. We encourage you to review privacy policies for these vendors.

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.