Privacy and Confidentiality Policy

Central Washington University Libraries is committed to protecting the privacy of its users. Our policies conform to the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, which states: “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.”

The CWU Libraries does gather data about system and resource use for administrative purposes; however, we do not track personal information unless users elect to provide that information, for example by submitting a question, requesting an item, registering for a service, etc. We will not release personal information gathered or collected by the libraries except to the extent required by law.

The libraries formally recognizes:

  • That such records are not to be revealed to anyone other than the patron in question without either the express written permission of the patron in question or the adherence to proper legal and university procedures regarding required access to such information.
  • That libraries employees are encouraged not to keep records with personally identifiable information, unless that information is necessary, and to destroy such records as soon as possible.
  • That the confidentiality of patron records requires that such records should be consulted by libraries employees only for legitimate purposes such as locating or recalling library materials, processing overdue notices and fines, adding or deleting names to the database, making collection development decisions, resolving billing matters, or investigating violations of libraries circulation policies, including but not limited to, the following:
    • Expired I.D. number with overdue items still charged.
    • Patrons who repeatedly claim to have returned books.
    • Patrons who have manipulated the system to set their own due dates outside the libraries’ established patron loan periods.
    • Patrons with outstanding library accounts who have been referred to collection.

Staff Access to Personal Data

We permit only authorized libraries or IS staff with assigned confidential passwords to access personal data stored in the libraries' computer system for the purpose of performing work. We will not disclose any personal data we collect from patrons to any other party except where required by law or to fulfill an individual user’s service request. The libraries does not sell or lease users’ personal information to companies, universities, or individuals.