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Privacy Policy

Loyola University Chicago Libraries Privacy Policy


As part of our core values, the Loyola University Chicago Libraries strive to protect the privacy and dignity of our users. This policy outlines the types of information we collect, how we secure it, and your ability to limit or access that information. In creating it, we have referenced the American Library Association's Code of Ethics, the Society of American Archivists Core Values and Code of Ethics, the Illinois Library Records Confidentiality Act, and Loyola University Chicago policies.

We will routinely review this policy as new technology and practices emerge to ensure that the Libraries protect your privacy. Unless we note otherwise, this policy applies to the Information Commons (IC), Cudahy Library, Health Sciences Library, Lewis Library, University Archives and Special Collections, and the Women and Leadership Archives. This policy does not cover the Law Library, Rome Center Library, or technology services provided by other units housed within the IC or Lewis Libraries (such as Digital Media Services or the Writing Center).

Information We Collect

To operate and maintain our facilities and services, it is necessary for us to collect personally identifiable information (PII). We securely store any PII that we collect, allow only authorized staff members to access it, and do not share it with anyone else except as required by law or University policy. We purge most PII after a set amount of time, but in certain situations, retention practices require us to perpetually store information. Please see below for these instances.

In cases when you submit PII for optional uses, such as to receive help or get information about the Libraries, we use this information only for its intended purpose, and are sometimes able to do so in a way where you remain anonymous.

For any PII that we collect through your use of Libraries services, we store that information on secure Loyola University Chicago or vendor servers, in Loyola University Chicago email accounts, or in secure network drives. We do not permit storage of PII on our local hard drives, and we regularly scan our computers for PII. In the case of a data breach, the ITS Data Breach Response Policy applies.

The sections below describe the specific information we gather when you use Libraries services.


The facilities-related data that we collect includes the following:

  • Use of entrances at the Health Sciences Library, Information Commons (which includes entry to Cudahy Library), and Lewis Library requires swiping with a campus ID card or registering as a guest with a valid government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, or passport). The information that we capture via ID swipe or registration includes name, Loyola UVID, and current enrollment or employment status. Library operations require that we store this information perpetually.
  • University Archives and Special Collections and the Women and Leadership Archives have additional entry requirements. Using the collections of the University Archives or Women and Leadership Archives requires signing in with your name, email address, phone number, address, affiliation, and topic of research, as well as materials that you access. We perpetually retain these records, and they are only accessible to Archives staff.
  • Security cameras are located throughout all Libraries buildings. A live feed is persistently available to Campus Safety and available upon request to Libraries staff responsible for building security. Campus Safety stores recordings for two weeks and only uses them to supplement incident reports.
  • Cudahy Library, Health Sciences Library, the Information Commons, and Lewis Library use 3D video-based people counters near main entrances to monitor building attendance and capacity. There are no recordings or footage retention periods that are associated with these counters.

Reference and Instruction Services

Libraries staff maintain records of all questions that we receive through our Ask a Librarian services, including in person, by email, phone, and chat. We use these records for training and review purposes, and they may include PII such as name and email. Additionally, we collect the following service-specific data:

  • Our chat reference services collect your IP address, chat transcript, and any identifying information that you provide. We store this information on servers maintained by LibraryH3lp, the vendor for these services, and it is accessible by Loyola University Chicago reference staff and the ChatStaff backup service.
  • Our email reference services collect your name, email, and affiliation, as well as any questions you ask. We store this information on our internal servers and in Loyola University Chicago email. Never send your password through any chat or email form.
  • University Archives and Special Collections and the Women and Leadership Archives keep records of reference questions which are available only to staff.
  • Certain forms of instructional or research help make use of tools such as Google Apps or other non-Loyola applications. We sometimes retain related information for internal assessment purposes.

Hardware: Desktop Computers, Scanners, Copiers

All Libraries hardware technologies are subject to Loyola University Chicago ITS policies. ITS logs certain information about workstation sessions, and more details about this is available in the Rights and Responsibilities When Using Electronic University Resources. In most circumstances, publicly accessible Libraries computers will erase any information you store on them after you sign out of your session. To ensure the security of your information, never leave your computer unattended in a public area.

The copier/scanner machines located throughout the Libraries do not locally store any information. You may choose to use the scan-to-email functionality, which logs a copy of your email address and timestamp for staff only. Please ask for assistance if you are unsure about using this feature.

Library Website and Authentication for Electronic Resources

When you access the Libraries website or sign in to access electronic resources from off campus, there are two systems we use to provide this access. One system (for the Libraries website) collects your IP address, Loyola UVID, and name(s) of the resource that you access. We retain this information for one month on our servers for troubleshooting purposes and then delete it. The other system, OpenAthens (for electronic resource access), collects your IP address but does not store any data that is available to us about what resource(s) you access. This information is available to third-party support personnel for troubleshooting purposes. More information about OpenAthens is available on their privacy policy.

We also use Google Analytics to collect information about visitors to Libraries and University Archives and Special Collections sites. In most cases, this information includes your country, the technology you use, the pages you access, and the length of your session. In certain cases, Google Analytics also collects your IP address. We do not enable any cross-site tracking.

Patron Accounts and Catalog Use

Information that we collect related to book/item borrowing and the use of our online catalog includes the following:

  • Your patron account (associated with items that you borrow) is active until one year past its expiration date. It includes your legal name, preferred name, address, phone number, email, Loyola ID, barcode, and university affiliation, as well as a record of any fines you have paid. We retain records of items you have borrowed only while those items are loan. We then purge the records within 24 hours after you return the items.
  • Information about items that you borrow is completely confidential, and we will not share it with anyone. You will receive loan confirmations via e-mail, which include title and author information for any items you borrow.
  • Our online catalog has optional features available to users who sign in to their account, including saving item records, saving searches, and viewing search history. We do not offer a service to track your borrowing history through your account.
  • The Libraries offer select ebook titles through Libby, which retains records of your borrowing history and overall activity by default. You can choose to disable both features, and information on how to do so is available here.
  • We track any item purchase requests that you make within Alma (our library management system) and Gobi (the vendor platform we use for book ordering). We also retain records of these requests on internal servers, secure network drives, and Loyola University Chicago email accounts. We indefinitely keep this information. Any purchase request-related is not accessible to the public, and we destroy any physical records of the request (including paper hold slips) after you borrow the item.

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery

Your patron account for ILLiad, our Interlibrary Loan and document delivery system, includes your name, address, phone number, email, Loyola ID, barcode, and university affiliation. For any requests that you place through interlibrary loan and document delivery services, we store the request information (including item names) in the ILLiad database hosted at Loyola and record it in a shared email account. We perpetually retain these records.

Third-Party Services

The Libraries contract with many third-party companies to help provide our services, including research and learning management, ebooks, electronic resources, and digital collections. These vendors must comply with ITS data security policies. Most third-party services require only limited personal information if you are accessing them from a computer on campus but will still collect session data (such as resources that you access and search logs).

Many third-party company through which we contract offer additional services you can optionally access with a personal account. Important exceptions include EndNote Web, MRI, the New York Times Website academic license, SciFinder Scholar, SimplyAnalytics, PrivCo, and RefWorks, all of which require that you register with your Loyola email address. Using these services requires adhering to their privacy and security policies. Examples of specific policies include the following:

Access to Your Information by You and Others

If you have concerns or questions regarding information that we have collected about you, please contact us at Comments & Suggestions. In certain cases, we can purge information that we would normally retain perpetually. While we may use information that we collect for internal assessment purposes, we normally will not use it outside of the Libraries without informed consent. An exception is in cases where we are using aggregate data for reporting purposes, including our annual reports and external assessment and accreditation surveys.

In the event of any law enforcement-related request for your information, we will refer the request to the appropriate Loyola University Chicago authorities.

Last update: 06-11-2024

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