Commitment to Privacy
The WSU Libraries values each individual’s privacy concerning use of library resources and actively seeks to preserve those privacy rights. Although the Libraries make every effort to protect the privacy of user circulation records and computer use, they may be obligated to release such information to law enforcement agents in response to a search warrant, subpoena, or other lawful directive issued in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1801, et seq., as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56). Under certain circumstances, library staff may be prohibited from informing you that the Libraries received such a request.
The following information explains privacy policies relating to various library services. However, in legal terms, these shall not be construed as a contractual promise, and the Libraries reserve the right to amend policies at any time without notice. Privacy and public records obligations of the Libraries are governed by University policy, pertinent Washington state statutes and by any applicable U.S. federal laws.
Commercial Use of Information
No personal information maintained by the Libraries is sold to third parties.
Use of Public Workstations in the WSU Libraries
When visiting the WSU Libraries, users’ activities are not logged nor monitored. However, individuals are responsible for closing their browser or application when their session is finished in order to protect their privacy and to insure that other individuals are not using or viewing the history or other private information on these workstations.
Use of the WSU Libraries’ Web Site
The Libraries does not maintain any personally identifiable information about site use other than proxy server logs maintained to analyze user access problems. We also maintain server logs that contain aggregate information about use of the site. However, our Web site contains links to websites and licensed databases that are maintained outside of the WSU Libraries. The Libraries are not responsible for the privacy practices of these external websites, so you should look for any privacy statements they may have posted on their sites. Some of these services provide options for establishing accounts/profiles to take advantage of enhanced services they offer. If you log on to any of these using a personal username/password, be sure to log off to protect your privacy from others using your workstation.
The Libraries also maintain several web-based management tools, such as forms related to renewing books, asking reference questions, requesting recalls, etc. The personally identifiable information collected and stored in the Libraries' computer or other systems will be used only to maintain your library account and communicate with you. It is not made available to any other entity outside the Libraries, except as required by law.
In order to protect your privacy in regard to these services, you should always close your Web browser upon completion of your session.
Borrowing WSU Libraries’ Materials
The Libraries maintain personally identifiable information for library accounts of valid library users. Items charged out are, of course, linked to the individual who currently has them. If you were the last patron to check out an item, then your name is attached to that item until it is checked out by another patron. There is not a log of previous materials checked out other than described above. **Upon return of an item to the library, no record that the item has been borrowed by the individual is retained unless the item was returned overdue and resulted in an overdue fine. For administrative and auditing purposes, records of non-returned or lost items billed to an individual for replacement are also retained according to university retention policies.
Library circulation records are confidential information. Library staff will not give out the name of a person who currently has an item to another library user, and will not release this information to any other entity outside the Libraries, except as required by law. (See “Confidentiality of Circulation Records” below).
General Request for Services or Information
Information is retained only long enough to respond to your request. Some requests may result in the addition of personal information to the Libraries circulation database e.g., registering for email notification. It is not made available to any other entity outside the Libraries, except as required by law.
When contacting library staff users should be aware that email messages are subject to public disclosure laws and may be obtained as a public record.
Confidentiality of Circulation Records – Washington State law
RCW 42.17.310(1)(1) provides, the following is exempt from public inspection and copying: “Any library record, the primary purpose of which is to maintain control of library materials, or to gain access to information, which discloses or could be used to disclose the identity of the library user.”
If you have questions or require more information, please contact Beth Blakesley, Associate Dean of Libraries, (509) 335-6134, firstname.lastname@example.org.