It is the policy of the Humboldt State University Library to respect the privacy of all users to the extent permitted by law. The Library will not reveal the identities of individual users (names, addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers) or reveal what information sources or services they consult (books checked out, questions asked), to anyone outside of the organization unless required to by law.
This policy applies to all resources regardless of their format or means of delivery, as well as to all services offered by the Library. While search warrants or court orders have always been required to obtain library records, the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act and increased surveillance and investigative activity by the Federal Bureau of Investigation have renewed American libraries' concerns for patron privacy. While a search warrant or court order is still required to obtain records, the USA PATRIOT Act makes it much easier for the government to obtain both.
For examples of how this policy applies to specific Library services, see below.
The Library does not reveal the names of individual borrowers nor reveal what materials are charged to any individual, except as required by law. The Library does retain information about HSU Library resources that an individual currently has checked out, but that information is expunged after those resources have been returned to the Library. The Library does not keep a permanent ongoing record of borrowing for any individual, although the Library system's back-up files may retain borrowing information for up to three months after an item is returned. The Library may also retain borrower information relating to billing activity for lost or damaged materials for an indefinite period.
Documentation relating to interlibrary loan requests, including the names of borrowers and titles requested, is retained by the Library for internal working purposes for a limited period of time. Personal information, provided in order to request interlibrary loan service, is also shared with our library lenders.
Information and data obtained by the Library through surveys or other means, whose intended use is to provide assessment of services, collections, facilities, etc., are considered confidential and will not be shared except in aggregations, to protect the privacy of individual participants.
Personal information collected from the Library web site is not made available to any other entity outside the Library except as required by law. There are different types of information that the Library may collect during your visit to our web site, and associated web sites (licensed databases, HSU Library Catalog, etc.), including the following:
Consultation services are confidential and information about using these services will not be shared outside the Library. Library staff will not reveal the identity of Library users, the nature of their inquiries, nor the information or sources they consult.
Additional information from the American Library Association:
Approved by All Library Council 1-10-12