Library Privacy Policy

Confidentiality and Privacy

Upholding the privacy rights of library users is an important tenet of the library profession. Library employees do not give out any confidential information regarding library users.1 Confidential information includes: name, address, email address, telephone number, social security number, protected statuses such as race, gender identity, sexual identity, country of citizenship, religion, employment status or history, or information on who has checked out or consulted particular items. 

Library staff do not monitor patron access to or selection of information or engage in the use of personally identifiable information for profiling purposes. Likewise, patron information queries and any knowledge of patron borrowing history are used for the sole purpose of providing service. Personally identifiable data is removed from all retained information about past search queries, requests, and loans. 

Information queries submitted to the library may include information regarding IP address, browser, and Internet service provider; this information may be used to facilitate the resolution of access problems. This information is not shared with third parties. 

Use of library resources  provided by external vendors is subject to the privacy policies and terms of use implemented by those vendors. 

The Library's circulation records and other records identifying the name of library users and other personal information are confidential. Library employees acting within the scope of their library duties will have access to this personal information. Patrons will have access to their own library records. Use of personally identifiable information is only done in the interest of providing or improving services to patrons, is securely stored, and retained for the shortest amount of time possible. This information is not provided to third parties unless under a court order. The library will act in accordance with state and federal law.2

Any threats or unauthorized demands (i.e. those not supported by a process, order, or subpoena) concerning circulation and other records with identifying information on library users shall be reported to the Dean of the Library and any appropriate University official.

Any questions about this policy should be directed to the Dean of the Library or to their designee.

Approved by the Library faculty on 1/26/2022

1 The Code of Ethics of the American Library Association states that libraries protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted. As surveillance technology evolves, the American Library Association has also resolved to oppose facial recognition software and behavioral data misuse.

2 In accordance with California law (Cal Gov Code 6267), such library records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power. If a court order (i.e., subpoena or search warrant) is issued under Foreign Intelligence Security Act or FISA (50 U.S.C. 1803) rules, the Library employee served with court order may not disclose, under penalty of law, the existence of the warrant or the fact that records or other tangible materials were produced as a result of the court ordered search.