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Tufts University Library Privacy Policy

Download the full policy (PDF version).


This policy establishes the confidentiality of library user data that identifies the user of library resources, and the acceptable use of that data at Tufts University.


All members of the Tufts Community.

Policy Statement

Library User Data Definition

Library user data is data related to library usage by individuals, which the Tufts University Libraries create, exchange, use, and manage in order to provide a wide range of library services as part of the Libraries' normal course of business. This data includes, but is not limited to, circulation records, inter-library loan records, submitted reference questions and correspondence, and database and website log data. Library user data is a type of institutional data as defined by the Information Stewardship Policy.

Library User Data Confidentiality and Acceptable Use

Library user data is classified as Level B: Confidential Institutional Data as defined by the Information Classification and Handling Policy. De-identified library user data is considered Level C Administrative Institutional Data and is not covered by this policy.


The University Libraries are the information managers of library user data as defined by the Information Roles and Responsibilities Policy. Library staff are responsible for complying with this policy.

Review Entities

University Library Council

University Counsel

Approval Date

December 16, 2003; revision approved February 19, 2013

Effective Date

December 16, 2003; revision effective May 31, 2013

Executive Sponsor

Mary Y. Lee, Associate Provost

Policy Manager

University Library Council

Responsible Offices

Digital Collections and Archives

Ginn Library

Hirsh Health Sciences Library

Lilly Music Library

Tisch Library

University Library Technology Services

Webster Family Library


The University reserves the right to change this policy from time to time. Proposed changes will normally be developed by the policy managers with appropriate stakeholders. The review entities have sole authority to approve changes to these guidelines.

Review Cycle

Annually or as needed.



Related Policies and Documents

Information Stewardship Policy

Information Classification and Handling Policy

Information Roles and Responsibilities Policy

Business Conduct Policy

American Library Association Code of Ethics

Society of American Archivists Code of Ethics for Archivists

1 The Information Stewardship Policy notes, "Tufts University and members of the University community are expected to responsibly manage and use information in support of research, teaching, service, and administration. … The privacy of the personal information of University community members and clients should be protected." The Confidentiality section of the Business Conduct Policy states, "It is the responsibility of all Tufts employees to respect the highest level of privacy for their colleagues and other members of the Tufts community. Disclosure and discussion of confidential information obtained from University, school, or department records, either during or after employment with Tufts, is impermissible unless such disclosure is a normal requirement of an employee's position and has been so authorized." The American Library Association Code of Ethics declares, "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." The SAA Code of Ethics for Archivists says, "Archivists respect all users' rights to privacy by maintaining the confidentiality of their research and protecting any personal information collected about the users in accordance with their institutions' policies."

Ginn Health Sciences Music TARC Tisch Veterinary