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Commitment to Our Patrons’ Rights of Privacy and Confidentiality

Idaho State University Libraries affirms that privacy is an essential element of intellectual and academic freedom. For its core library functions, the Libraries subscribes to the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, which states: “We protect each library patron’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.”

Patron Record Privacy:

A library registration record is created for each patron. The record contains the borrower's name, address, and other identifying information. This information is used for library circulation and interlibrary loan purposes. The library's circulation function links a patron with the library materials he or she has checked out. For each item checked out to a patron, the library maintains the following information:

  • Item specific details such as the author, title, call number, and bar code number.
  • The date charged, loan period, and the date due.
  • The number of renewals and the date of the last renewal.

Additionally, patrons may choose to set their library catalog account in Encore to track their reading history. If they do so, information about items checked out will be maintained until the patron record is deleted or until the patron actively removes the information. Some library staff may be able to access this reading history, but will not disclose the patron’s reading history except as required by law.

Staff or student workers will not disclose the following:

  • The name of a patron who has a particular item checked out.
  • The titles that are checked out to a particular patron.
  • Personal information of any patron (address, phone number, email, etc).
  • Identify a patron who has checked out a particular item or describe them in any other way.

Staff or student workers MAY take the following actions:

  • Give the due date of a particular item.
  • Assist in the recall process for checked out item (with the exception of reserve material).
  • Suggest contacting fellow class members regarding the item.

We avoid creating unnecessary records. We avoid retaining records not needed for the fulfillment of the mission and operations of the library, and we do not engage in practices that might place personal information on public view. Information we may gather and retain about current and valid library may also include:

  • Patron registration information
  • Interlibrary loan information
  • Electronic access information
  • Other information required to provide library services

Online Library Resources

In order to obtain access to online resources, we ask library visitors or website patrons to identify themselves by logging into our systems, and to reveal personal information if they wish to borrow materials, request special services, register for programs or classes, or make remote use of those portions of the Libraries’ website restricted to registered borrowers under license agreements or other special arrangements. Additionally, some library e-resource vendors may require patrons to create accounts to use their sites, but these accounts are not under the Libraries’ control.

Computers in the Library

We have configured our public computers so that information relating to what an individual is doing on these computers is not maintained. Session information is wiped after the patron logs off.

Expired Information

We continue to protect personal information from unauthorized disclosure once it is no longer needed to manage library services. Information is purged or shredded at regular intervals designated by University records management policies.

Law Enforcement

We will not make library circulation records available to internal or external state, federal, or local government agencies that request this information from the Libraries, unless a valid subpoena, warrant, or court order is presented. Only the Dean of Libraries and/or her/his designees are authorized to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers, as noted in formal policies and procedures.