It is the policy of the UIC Library to respect the privacy of all users, 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 format or means of delivery, as well as to all services offered by the Library.
The UIC Library takes confidentiality very seriously. It is our goal to collect only the minimum amount of information necessary. In all cases, the Library will avoid creating or retaining unnecessary records beyond the period needed to provide services to users.
User data may be aggregated and retained for a reasonable period of time. However, the Library will neither collect nor retain information identifying individuals beyond the period required by law. For user data not covered by public records laws, the Library will retain information only as long as it is needed to furnish a specific service (for example, lending a book, ordering a report, recording user service preferences, or conducting internal service evaluation).
All information gathered by the UIC Library in the course of doing business is considered confidential. It will be shared only among units in the Library in the provision of services. Only the patron’s identity is released to campus offices for billing fines and fees.
Within the Library, users’ names are temporarily attached to internal records and shared among relevant staff to facilitate notifications of Library actions and follow-through.
Contracts and Licenses for Information Resources
Illinois Library Records Confidentiality Act (1984) ensures the privacy of a library patron’s registration and circulation records. This act protects sensitive patron information from anyone wishing to obtain it, including a law enforcement or government official, unless a court order is issued and presented to the proper administrative office.
Records generated by the University Library are governed by the Illinois State Records Act. University Library records will be retained according to the records schedules approved by the Illinois State Records Commission.
Reference and Information Services
The UIC Library maintains a high level of respect for the confidentiality of patrons and the questions they ask. The Library will not share data collected in the course of reference service that could identify specific individuals except with the patron’s permission or as required by law. The Library keeps general statistics about its services and research consultations; however, the statistics do not include patron identification data. The Library retains emails and chat transcripts that may contain identifying details used only to provide service. The data are used for compilation of statistical reports and assessment. In the course of typical reference service, a University Library employee may forward information to other University Library staff members in order to answer questions efficiently and thoroughly. In such cases, the patron will be copied on the forwarded message.
Approved by the UIC Library Steering Committee, July 2017