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Library Policies: Privacy Statement and Guidelines


It is the policy of Hofheimer Library that the privacy of all users shall be respected in compliance with federal and state laws and professional standards. The Library will not reveal the identities of individual users or reveal what information sources or services they consult. This policy applies to all resources regardless of their format or means of delivery as well as to all services offered by the Library.

For examples of how this policy applies to specific services or programs, please refer to the Practice Guidelines that follow:

Circulation - It is the policy of the Library that the privacy of all borrowers of library materials shall be respected. The Library will not reveal the names of individual borrowers nor reveal what books are, or have been, charged to any individual. When library users need books that are on loan, they may submit a recall request through the online catalog. The Circulation Supervisor may also assist by calling in books once the current user has it checked out for 3 weeks or near the end of the 60-day loan period.

Media Equipment - Hofheimer Library is not responsible for any lost data or documents. The borrower is solely responsible for saving files to a USB flash drive or other memory device. Any data or documents saved to library equipment will be permanently erased upon return to the library. When using a digital device (voice recorder, camera, or iPad), borrowers may sync additional data and applications, with the understanding that all data added by the borrower will be erased when the device is returned.

Collection Development and Resource Management - Purchase or acquisition and related collection management requests linked to individual users or groups of users (e.g. the Art Department) are deemed confidential information and not shared outside the Library. Within the Library, user names are temporarily attached to internal records and shared among relevant staff to facilitate notification of library actions and follow-through.

Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery - Users of interlibrary loan and document delivery services receive the same protection in terms of confidentiality of their requests. In some cases, information about requests is shared with other library staff for collection development purposes; however, it remains confidential within the Library. Documentation of requests may be retained as necessary for the Library to comply with reporting, copyright or other regulations.

Library Assessment and Reports - Information and data obtained by the Library through data collection in support of assessment of services, collections, facilities, resources, etc., or in support of research related to library and information services, are considered confidential and will not be shared except in aggregations, to protect the privacy of individual participants.

See also the VWU privacy policy.

Updated February 2021

Third Party Data Collection

Third Party Data Collection

Users of the library's online resources, such as databases, e-books and electronic journals should be aware that they are using third party resources that collect information in various ways, some of which is to improve the user's experience of the product or to provide the library with useful statistics about the use of products, but some of which is for other means that may be more commercial in nature.

The Library encourages you to consult the following on the ALA website for more information: 

Questions and Answers on Privacy and Confidentiality

About the USA Patriot Act

Added Feb 2021