Passage of the USA Patriot Act in 2001 has compelled many libraries to publish their policies for the protection of the privacy of their users within the framework of that federal legislation. The purpose of this document is to assure the users of the Reed Library that their privacy is important, and that we, as an institution, strive to protect that privacy.
Our Policy: To safeguard the privacy of individuals in their use of the libraries, the Reed Library maintains the confidentiality of library records and actively supports the American Library Association's Code of Ethics that states: We protect each user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted.
Reed Library will not share users' personal information except as required by law or a court order. Although the Reed Library makes every effort to protect users' privacy, the federal USA Patriot Act (Public Law 107-56 (1)) authorizes federal agents to obtain records of the books and other materials borrowed by users from the Reed Library to the extent such records are maintained. Additionally, libraries are prohibited by the law from notifying the user of such a request by federal authorities.
Data Collection: In order for Fort Lewis College students, faculty, staff, and guests to conduct business with the Reed Library, the Library maintains information about users in a variety of formats and databases. Statistical data gathered to support the goal of continuous service improvement is stripped of personally identifiable information.
- Library Users' Records: These records include any information the Library requires users (faculty, staff, students, and guests) to provide in order to become eligible to access or borrow materials. Such information may include addresses, telephone numbers, and FLC identification numbers. This data primarily comes to us from other college records and is maintained indefinitely. Guests provide addresses, telephone numbers and identification information, which is often the individual's driver’s license number or FLC identification number, directly to Library staff.
- Circulation Records: These records include information on books and other materials currently checked out to faculty, staff, student or guest. Once items are returned, the information is expunged from the user's record unless a fine or fee has been incurred.
- Interlibrary Loan Records: In some instances, information about requests is shared with other library staff for collection development and /or service purposes, but the data remains confidential among library staff. Documentation of interlibrary loan borrowing history is maintained to comply with copyright guidelines.
- Donor Records: Donor information, including name, address, and affiliation, if applicable, is collected.
- Reference Services: All reference assistance and consultations are confidential regardless of whether the transactions are made by telephone, email, or in person.
- Requests for Purchase or Special Materials Handling: Purchase or processing requests linked to individual users are not shared outside the Library. User names, telephone numbers, or e-mail addresses may be attached to internal records and shared among library staff to facilitate follow-through and responding to the requester, as necessary or requested.
- Contracts and Licenses for Information Resources: Contracts and licensing agreements between the Library and information service providers shall be consistent with institutional policies and applicable privacy laws. Usage data gathered by either party will protect the anonymity of individual users and will protect the confidentiality of their searches.
Users' Right to Know: Users are entitled to know what information the Reed Library collects about them. State law, with a few exceptions, gives a user the right to be informed about the information FLC collects about the user. It also gives a user the right to request a copy of that information and to have the College correct any part of the information that is incorrect. This should be done by contacting the Library Director, John F. Reed Library, Fort Lewis College, 1000 Rim Dr., Durango, CO 81301.
- Personal information received on faculty and staff comes from the Office of Human Resources. Student information comes from the Office of the Registrar. The College does its best to ensure the security and accuracy of confidential information. Faculty and staff can check and update personal information such as their mailing address and e-mail address through WebOPUS. Students can also view some of their personal information WebOPUS and can change their address online and request other changes through the Office of the Registrar. Confidential information cannot be shared with external third parties.
- Links to other sites from the Reed Library’s web site, including, but not limited to, databases and electronic journals that the Library has licensed for use by FLC students, faculty, and staff, are covered by the other web sites' privacy practices. The Reed Library is not responsible for the privacy practices of other web sites.
Staff Responsibilities: Except in the provision of library services through contracts with third parties or in accordance with federal and Colorado state laws, no Library employee shall make known any information contained in the records listed above. Library records will only be released in accordance with a proper judicial order and with permission of the designated administrative officer of the College. Library staff shall refer all requests for the above information to the Library Director.
- American Library Association Code of Ethics
- The USA PATRIOT Act - Includes what the Patriot Act is and why it matter to libraries along with recent and reauthorization information.
Updated by TFS on August 1, 2008