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University Libraries

University Libraries

University Libraries

Privacy of Records Policy

Protecting the rights of library users to view and read materials without fear of intrusion, intimidation, or reprisal is a core value for all librarians.

University Libraries considers patron records and borrowing information confidential and private. Library staff will not give out any information regarding Library users or the information resources they consult. This means we tell no one (including faculty, parents, spouses, and other family members) what a person has checked out. Also, we cannot give out the personal address or phone number of any Library user or staff person.

The University Privacy Policy is located here. University Libraries also endorses the American Library Association's Code of Ethics which includes a statement on library users' right to privacy and confidentiality.

Release of Information to Law Enforcement Officials

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 expands 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.

University Libraries does not keep extensive records on individual patrons, but in the event of a valid court order the following information would be available to law enforcement:

  • The patron's record that includes information like name, address, phone, email, and ID number.
  • Any items a patron currently has checked out or requested.
  • Any reading history a patron chooses to save.
  • Any items a patron had checked out that still carry unpaid fines.
  • The last (most recent) patron who checked out an individual item.
  • The patron's record of Interlibrary Loan requests.