General Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records

The University of Rochester Libraries adhere to the general University policies on the privacy of student records, which can be found at

All University of Rochester Library records which include personal information are kept confidential except as is necessary for the proper operation of the library, or pursuant to a subpoena or court order, or where otherwise required by law.

In order to provide such services as Voyager Catalog, Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad), Chat, Email Reference, a minimum of personal information is requested from you; please see below for specific privacy information relating to these services.

If you choose to access services licensed by the Libraries either from campus or remotely using VPN, please note that "cookies" or other information may be required in order to verify that you belong to the University of Rochester community. The Libraries make every effort to sign agreements with third parties suppliers which will preserve the privacy of patrons, but cannot guarantee the privacy policies of those sites. Please be sure to check the privacy policies of each site you visit.

*** THIS SECTION IS CURRENT THROUGH CH. 221, 08/29/2001 ***
*** WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CHS. 1-3, 50, 51, and 53-55 ***
NY CLS CPLR § 4509 (2001)
§ 4509. Library records

Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.

Reference Services

In accordance with the principles laid forward in the American Library Association code of ethics, we make every effort to preserve the confidentiality of reference interactions with patrons. If you choose to contact us via email or telephone, it may be necessary to request minimum personal information in order to respond to your question, and depending on the complexity of your inquiry, it may be necessary to refer your question to one of our colleagues.

Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad)

In order to request materials through interlibrary loan, we ask you to provide certain information (name, student or employee ID number or barcode, and department) needed to identify you as a member of the University of Rochester community.

To protect your personal data and information about your requests, you set a password that enables you to logon to ILLiad (the software system used to provide interlibrary loan services) and to access all your personal information and information about your requests. Your password is encrypted on our server and is known only to you.

Your name, departmental affiliation, and the bibliographic details about your request are included in the form sent to other libraries as part of the borrowing process.

In order to demonstrate our compliance with United States copyright law and with accepted copyright compliance guidelines used by the library profession, information about each of your requests -- both filled and cancelled -- is retained online on our server for as long as four years. Please check the Copyright page for more details about copyright compliance.

"Ask a Librarian Online" Live Reference Service

In order to provide this service, only your email address is currently required. At the end of the session, a transcript is provided to you via the email address you have supplied, and will include the interaction between you and the librarian as well as the links to any web pages used during the session.

If your question is complex or highly technical, we may contact another librarian who specializes in the subject for assistance answering your question, or refer you to that librarian for follow-up.

The software used to provide the "Ask a Librarian" service is licensed from a third party (LiveAssistance); a transcript of your session is held on LiveAssistance's servers and is deleted after a limited period of time, according to the Library's agreement with them. Our contractual agreement with LiveAssistance states that they will not sell, share, or rent patron information to any outside parties.

An electronic copy of your transaction (with any personally identifiable information removed) is also retained for training and statistical purposes on the Library's server for a limited time.

Voyager Catalog

Using Voyager Catalog to look up titles, check book locations, etc. does not require any personal information from you. When you borrow a book, place a hold, or fill out other forms on-line, the information in your patron record (name, address, and UR ID#) is associated with the items you request. This information allows you to see what books you currently have checked out, overdue, on hold, etc., and is only viewable by you and Q&i staff members. When you graduate or leave the University, your patron record becomes inactive. Inactive records are periodically removed from the database. The Voyager Catalog system does retain information on the circulation history of individual items, and your name--but no other information about you--is linked to the title of a book you have borrowed. As always, the University of Rochester Libraries hold this information in confidence as described above.

Web Log Data

The Library's Web Server creates a log of standard data about visitors to our site. We use this data to analyze how our Web pages are used, fix errors and broken links, and to determine how our service may be improved. We do not associate an IP address with your name or any other personal information.

Information we collect and store automatically:

  • The IP address you used
  • The date and time you came to our website
  • The pages you visited or viewed
  • The pages you downloaded
  • The address of the website you visited before coming to our site (if any)

Information may be deleted from specific databases after a designated period of time, but because our system is archived on a regular schedule, information about patrons and their transactions may be retrievable for many years. As always, the University of Rochester Libraries make every effort to protect the privacy of patrons now and into the future.



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