Privacy Policy

Title: Purdue University Fort Wayne Library Privacy Policy
Category: Public
Source: Privacy Policy Group and LOC
Date: 2014-11-24; 2011-10-05; 2002-08-21


The Purdue University Fort Wayne Library defines the right to privacy as the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one's interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf.

The courts have recognized a right of privacy based on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. The state of Indiana guarantees privacy in its constitution and statutory law. Purdue University Fort Wayne Library's privacy policy is intended to comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws, as well as with any Purdue University policies on privacy.

User rights are based in part on what are known in the United States as the five "Fair Information Practice Principles". These five principles outline the rights of Notice, Choice, Access, Data Security and Enforcement.

Our commitment to our users' privacy and confidentiality also has roots in the ethics and practices of librarianship. In accordance with the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics:

We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality
with respect to information sought or received
and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.


This privacy notice applies only to the Purdue University Fort Wayne Library and explains our practices concerning the collection, use, and disclosure of user information.

Other units at Purdue University Fort Wayne and outside websites may collect and use visitor information in different ways. The Library is not responsible for the availability, content, or privacy practices of other University or non-University web sites. Visitors to other web sites should review the privacy notices for those sites.

Privacy policies related to Purdue University Fort Wayne Information Technology Services and other units and functions may be found on the University website at

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy explains our commitment to our users' rights of privacy and confidentiality, the steps this library takes to respect and protect privacy, and how we deal with personally identifiable information that we may collect from our users.

Notice & Openness

Purdue University Fort Wayne Library affirms that our library users have the right of "notice" -- to be informed about the policies governing the amount and retention of personally identifiable information, and about why that information is necessary for the provision of library services.

Purdue University Fort Wayne Library posts publicly and acknowledges openly privacy and information-gathering policies. Whenever policies change, notice of those changes is made publicly available. In all cases involving personally identifiable information, it is our policy to avoid creating unnecessary records, to avoid retaining records not needed for the fulfillment of the mission of the library or the University and to avoid engaging in practices that might place sensitive information on public view.

Information that Purdue University Fort Wayne Library may gather and retain about current and valid library users includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Circulation Information
    This includes all information that identifies a user as borrowing specific materials, including reserve materials.
  • Collection Development and Resource Management
    This includes information regarding the request, purchase, transfer, and related collection management requests linked to individual users or groups of users (e.g., departments).
  • Electronic Access Information
    This includes all information that identifies a user as accessing specific electronic resources, whether library subscription resources or other Web resources.
  • Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery
    This includes all information that identifies a user as requesting specific materials.
  • Library Surveys/Assessment Projects
    This includes any information or data obtained by Purdue University Fort Wayne Library through surveys (group or individual interviews or other means) in support of assessment of services, collections, facilities, resources, etc., or in support of research related to library and information services or resources. Any data collected in the course of research is subject to additional review of privacy and confidentiality protections.
  • Reference/Research Consultations
    This includes any information regarding the identity of library users, the nature of their inquiry, and the resources that they consult. See also the section Use of Third Party Analytics Software.
  • User Registration Information
    This includes any information the library requires users (faculty, staff, students, or others) to provide in order to become eligible to access or borrow materials. Such information includes addresses, telephone numbers, and identification numbers.
  • Other Information
    This includes any identifying information obtained to provide library services or for approved and screened instructional or campus collaborations not previously listed.

Choice & Consent

This policy explains our information practices and the choices users can make about the way Purdue University Fort Wayne Library collects and uses this information.

To provide library services, we must obtain certain information about our users. If users are affiliated with Purdue University Fort Wayne, the library automatically receives personally identifiable information (name, address, e-mail address, status [as student, faculty, staff], identification number, date of birth, etc.) in order to create and update their library account from the Registrar's Office (for students) or Human Resources (for employees). When visiting our library’s web site and using our electronic services, users may choose to provide other information.

Unless we are compelled to do so under the law, Purdue University Fort Wayne Library never uses or shares the personally identifiable information provided to us in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing users an opportunity to prohibit such unrelated uses. Our goal is to collect and retain only the information we need to provide library-related services. Purdue University Fort Wayne Library strives to keep all personally identifiable information confidential and does not sell, license, or disclose personal information without consent unless compelled to do so under the law or as necessary to protect library resources or conduct necessary library operations.

Access by Users

Any user may be asked to provide verification of identity. Users who are not affiliated with Purdue University Fort Wayne will be asked to provide us with at least their name and home address if they wish to check out books or use computers.

Data Integrity & Security

The data we collect and maintain at the library must be accurate and secure. Although no method can guarantee the complete security of data, we take steps to protect the privacy and accuracy of user data in the following ways:

  • Data Integrity
    We take reasonable steps to assure data integrity, including using only reputable sources of data, providing our users access to their own personal data, updating data whenever possible, destroying untimely data or converting it to anonymous form.
  • Data Retention
    We regularly review and purge personally identifiable information once it is no longer needed. Information that is regularly reviewed for purging includes, but is not limited to, personally identifiable information on library resource use, material circulation history, and reference consultations.
    The Purdue University Fort Wayne Library is committed to investing in appropriate technology to protect the security of personally identifiable information while it is in the library's custody. The Purdue University Fort Wayne Library follows university policy for the retention of data, and access to data is restricted to a small number of authorized university computing personnel. 
  • Electronic Resources that Require User Login
    The data collected from transactions with electronic databases or other library resources does not link personally identifiable user information with searches completed, records viewed, or resources to which the user connected.
  • Security Measures
    Our security measures involve both managerial and technical policies and procedures to protect against loss and the unauthorized access, destruction, use, or disclosure of the data. Our managerial measures include internal organizational procedures that limit access to data and prohibit those individuals with access from utilizing the data for unauthorized purposes.
  • Staff Access to Personal Data
    We permit only authorized Library staff with assigned confidential passwords to access personal data stored in the Library's computer system for the purpose of performing library work or for approved and screened instructional or campus collaborations. The Library will not disclose any personal data collected from users to any other party except where required by law, to report a suspected violation of law or University policy, or to fulfill an individual's request to see their own information.

    We do not sell or lease users' personal information to commercial enterprises, organizations or individuals.

Enforcement & Redress

The Purdue University Fort Wayne Library will not make library records available to any agency of state, federal, or local government unless required to do so under law or to report a suspected violation of the law. Nor will we share data on individuals with other parties including faculty, staff (including library staff except in the performance of their assigned duties), parents, students, campus security, and law enforcement personnel, except as required by law or University policy or as needed to perform our University duties.

Library staff who are approached by a law enforcement official with any request or court order to examine or obtain the library records of any library user will state that the library has a written privacy policy. In accordance with Purdue Policy Disclosure of University Records in Connection with the "Access to Public Records" Act and in Response to Third-Party Subpoenas (VIII.A.3), the staff member will immediately direct the agent to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Financial and Administrative Affairs. Library staff will also notify the Library Dean (or other designated person) of the request or court order to examine or obtain the library records.
Purdue's legal counsel will review the order and advise the library staff.

We conduct privacy audits in order to ensure that all library programs and services are enforcing our privacy policy. Library users who have questions, concerns, or complaints about the library's handing of their personally identifiable data should file written comments with the Library Dean. We will respond in a timely manner and may conduct an investigation or review our policy and procedures.

Use of Third Party Analytics Software

Web site developers and owners review usage data to evaluate and improve the content, organization, and design of their web pages. This usage data is provided by traditional packaged software and by third-party services. Purdue University Fort Wayne Library uses third party analytics software from reputable organizations that have strong privacy policies.

Web sites provided by the Purdue University Fort Wayne Library may use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"). Google Analytics uses cookies and/or anonymous identifiers to track how visitors use web pages. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google. Google will provide the Purdue University Fort Wayne Library with aggregated, non-personally identifiable data about your website visits. Additionally, Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. Please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of the Purdue University Fort Wayne Library websites and linked electronic resources.

The Purdue University Fort Wayne Library may also use Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting, which can include information from third-party cookies or identifiers on your device. You may opt-out of Demographics and Interest Reporting by adjusting ad settings on your device, browser, or app, or by any other means such as the Network Advertising Initiative's consumer opt-out.

The Purdue University Fort Wayne Library uses all data from Google Analytics and other third-party software providers in the aggregate and does not associate use of any web page or any resource with a particular computer or a particular user.

By using the Purdue University Fort Wayne Library's websites, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google and/or other providers of usage data in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Privacy Policy: For Further Information

Purdue University Fort Wayne

Information Technology Services Policies and Procedures
(includes employees, students, data handling)

Purdue University

Privacy for Electronic Information (VII.B.2)

American Library Association (ALA)

Code of Ethics

Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

Confidentiality and Coping with Law Enforcement Inquiries:
Guidelines for the Library and its Staff