Policies Patron Privacy

Patron Privacy

Circulation Records:

Oregon Revised Statutes (192.420) provides the public with the right to inspect public records. There are some exemptions, including circulation records, showing use of specific library material by a named person. This exemption allows a library to deny the request for information without penalty. It does not require confidentiality.

The University of Oregon Libraries' general philosophy is to protect the privacy of its readers. Library staff are not authorized to release information to the public or outside agencies without clearance from the University Counsel. If the user has signed a confidentiality waiver, his/her name may be given to another borrower who is requesting the whereabouts of a specific title.

Recent federal laws (USA Patriot Act) have given government agencies additional powers to request library circulation records. Responses to these requests are provided by library staff under the direction of the UO General Counsel.

Live Online Help Privacy:

Main Ask a Librarian page

Information

We do not require any personal or contact information to initiate a chat session. However, library staff might ask for your telephone number or e-mail address so that he or she can call or e-mail you in order to best work on more complex questions. Library staff might also ask whether or not you are affiliated with the University of Oregon (UO) in order to identify the most appropriate resources for answering your questions; many of our databases are licensed for use only by affiliates. Our chat services are open to everyone.

Answering Your Question

We often work in a collaborative fashion with our colleagues in the UO Library System, and your question might be best answered by library staff other than the one that originally received your chat. Your question might be forwarded to a subject specialist librarian better able to provide a good answer. Your contact information will be sent along with your question so that you can be contacted in the most timely manner.

Stored Information

Chat transcripts are stored securely on our chat provider's servers and may also be downloaded to secure storage on the library's servers. We access these transcripts to evaluate the quality of our service as well as for statistical purposes. We are occasionally contacted by researchers in the academic community who are interested in reading our chat interactions. We consider these requests on a case-by-case basis, but in all cases, any identifying patron information is stripped away before the data is provided to the researcher. We do not provide transcripts to any other entities.

Created by bkelly on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Jan 22, 2015