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Library Privacy Commitment: Home

Policies and commitments regarding information privacy for users of Sacred Heart University Library

Commitment to Privacy

Sacred Heart University Library values individual privacy concerning use of library resources, actively seeks to preserve each library user's privacy rights and makes every effort to protect the privacy of user circulation records and computer use.

The Library follows the Sacred Heart University Privacy Policy  regarding website use (including GDPR Additional Privacy Considerations), and Terms of Use.

State of Connecticut law as well as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1801, et seq., as amended by the USA Patriot Act (Public Law 107-56) may obligate the Library to release that information to law enforcement agents in response to a search warrant, subpoena, or other lawful directive. Under certain circumstances, applicable law may prohibit library staff from informing a user that the Libraries received that directive.

The following paragraphs set forth privacy policies relating to various library services. However, in legal terms, the Library does not offer these policies as a contractual promise, and the Library reserves a right to amend these policies at any time without notice. Policies in effect at Sacred Heart University, as well as applicable Connecticut statutes and U.S. federal law, determine the Libraries' privacy and public records obligations.

While Using Sacred Heart University Library's Website

If a user connects to the Library's website from a workstation or thin client not maintained by the Library, then the Library's solely record (for statistical purposes only) the time of day at which the user gains access to any resource at that website and any IP address or other domain from which the user makes a connection with the Library's website. However, the Library's website contains links to websites and licensed databases that are not maintained by the Library.

The Library's website is published by contract with Springshare.com on a system application called LibGuides.  This is the text of the Springshare.com Privacy Notification that is linked from the notice that the site uses cookies and records a user's IP address:

When you use LibGuides, the system writes several cookies in your browser. These cookies tell us whether and when you are logged in. The cookies are never shared with any third parties.
In addition, your IP address and browser info is stored in server logs in order to generate aggregate anonymized usage statistics. Your IP address and login name are also stored in the LibGuides activity log to facilitate troubleshooting. This information is available to Springshare staff only and is only accessed upon institution request.
We never share or sell any user information to third parties.  We collect this information using GoogleAnalytics, and Google's use of this information is guided by its Analytics End User Agreement.

While Using Websites Linked from the Sacred Heart University Library Website:

The Library disclaims responsibility for any external website's privacy practices. One who uses a personal username/password in order to log in to a non-Library website should be sure to log off to protect one's privacy from any other individual who gains access to the same workstation or thin client.

The Library also maintain several web-based management tools including forms for renewing books, asking reference questions, requesting interlibrary loans, etc. In order to protect one's privacy in regard to these web-based management tools, one should always close one's web browser upon completing one's session. 

The Library uses personally identifiable information collected and stored in the Library’s internal systems only to maintain a user's library account and communicate with that user. The Library does not make this information available to any other entity outside the University, unless required by law.

When Borrowing Sacred Heart University Library Materials:

For each valid user's Library account, the Library maintains personally identifiable information as part of the Library's circulation records under strict confidentiality.

The Library's catalog (of physical materials) retains information about a user's current charges, search history, reading history, messaging preferences, bibliographic lists.  Each user can manage whether that information is retained by the catalog forever, never, or according to a default setting.  This option is available when a user signs into the library catalog.

For administrative and auditing purposes, the Library records a link between any Library item that a user has currently charged out and that user's identity. If an item is overdue upon return, the Library retains the record that the user borrowed the item and that it resulted in an overdue fine.

The Library similarly retains user-linked records of any non-returned or lost item that is billed to that user for replacement. The Library's staff members are prohibited from disclosing any user's identity link to a Library item, unless required by law.

When Requesting or Using Library Resources from Other Libraries (Interlibrary Loan):

When a user initiates an interlibrary loan request, whether for a physical item or a digital document, the library's intelibrary loan system (Tipasa) retains a record of that request associated with personal information about the user such as name and e-mail address. Borrowing requests are retained as long as the user continues to maintain a Tipasa (InterLibrary Loan) account, and will be deleted when that account expires.  Tipasa is a service maintained by contract with OCLC according to OCLC's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Information that links a user's identity with a request is kept strictly within the Library's Tipasa database and is never made available to other libraries.  As is the case with the Library's physical materials, the Library's staff members are prohibited from disclosing any user's identity link to an interlibrary loan request, unless required by law.

For Other Library Services:

The Library additionally maintains confidential any record of information or material that a user seeks, receives or consults using any Library resource including, without limitation: any database search, reference interview, interlibrary loan, or other personally-identifiable use of any material, facility or service.

Peter Gavin Ferriby, Ph.D.
University Librarian
October 2020

 

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