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Privacy Information


The UMD Libraries respects the privacy of library users in accordance with the American Library Association's document Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

"Users have the right to be informed what policies and procedures govern the amount and retention of personally identifiable information, why that information is necessary for the library, and what the user can do to maintain his or her privacy."

Although the University of Maryland Libraries make every effort to protect the privacy of user circulation records (including books and Internet searches), the Libraries and the Division of Information Technology (DIT) with respect to the use of public Libraries work stations may be obligated to release such information to law enforcement agents in response to a search warrant or subpoena, such as those issued in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1861, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56). That law prohibits library staff from informing you that it received such a request.

Information We Collect and How it is Used

The user information collected by the Libraries is necessary to provide the requested library services (e.g. book or article delivery), to transfer a reference query to a third party, to comply with license agreements to limit certain electronic resources to the UMD community, and to evaluate and assess our chat and email reference services. Individual server use is not made public.

The following services may require the patron to submit personal information: Aleph - online catalog; e-mail / web forms (e.g., Ask a Librarian ) and off-campus access to restricted resources (e.g., licensed databases accessed through Database Finder, interlibrary loan). Three categories of personal information are collected:

  • Data that are automatically collected due to Information Technology systems include your browser type, and the domain and Internet Protocol (IP) address from which and to which you are connecting; the source and destination network ports; the date and time of your visit to the site, and the number of bytes transmitted. URLs are not captured.  OIT retains login/logout data for up to 8 weeks and Internet transaction data for up to 4 weeks.
  • Data that are collected at the user's request to customize library services include personalized settings, such as search preferences on the catalog or in Database Finder, marked items, and saved searches.
  • Data that are collected in the course of the day-to-day business of circulating materials and providing online reference services include your UMD ID number, address, phone number, e-mail address, circulation record, and service requests (e.g., interlibrary loan and reference question).

Circulation records that the University Libraries maintain that contain personally identifiable information about an individual and his/her use of University Libraries facilities may not be inspected or disclosed under the Maryland Public Records Act except by personnel to perform typical Library business.  They may be released in response to a search warrant, subpoena or other legal process.


Cookies are small pieces of data sent by a Web server and stored by the Web browser. Cookies are used to remember information about preferences and pages visited. For example, if a user's name and password were stored as a cookie, it would save that person from entering the same information when accessing the same service subsequent times during the same browser session. Our website utilizes Google Analytics, a service which uses cookies to collect non-personally identifiable information about website usage (see the Google Analytics privacy policy for more information). This data is aggregated and delivered to the Libraries so that we can improve the function and content of our website.  Data typically collected include browser used; web pages requested; referring web page; Network Location; screen resolution; date and time.  One can refuse to accept or disable cookies by adjusting the browser's settings.


UMD Libraries are committed to keeping personally identifiable information that is required to provide services for the shortest amount of time necessary to complete and manage library transactions. Access to personal information is limited to library staff who need it to provide library services.

Our website contains links to external websites and licensed databases. The University Libraries are not responsible for the privacy practices, security, or content of these external websites. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the privacy and security information for any site you visit. While we do whatever we can to protect your privacy, please be aware that information or files transferred via the Internet or stored on Internet-accessible computers may be vulnerable to unscrupulous users. Just as in the investing world, you must protect yourself, please be careful and responsible whenever you are online.


If you have questions or comments about the UMD Libraries privacy policies and procedures, please contact:

Public Services Division Office, McKeldin Library, Room 4119, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Telephone: 301-405-9251. Fax: 301-405-9191

Text adapted with permission of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.