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University of Pennsylvania Library Website Privacy Policy

General Statement
The University of Pennsylvania Library (Library) is committed to providing access to services and information online in a manner that respects your privacy. In fact, we subscribe to important privacy protections found in the American Library Association's Code of Ethics.
This statement explains the Library's policy regarding the use of information collected online. It does not apply to information collected by the Library offline.
We collect information from you to try to best meet your needs to access Library information and resources. We collect the minimum amount of information required to process your request. We do not sell personal information to any third party.
We do not share personal information unless required to do so by law. We do use non-identifiable information from each visitor to the Library's Website in order to analyze patterns of use and to improve the site's functionality.
The Information We Collect
Information Collected and Stored Automatically:
The Library's Website does collect personal information in Web server log files, which include IP addresses, URLs, access times, and in some cases, PennKeys (see Authorization Information below). Server logs are occasionally used for analysis, and then only to track trends such as the number and frequency of visitors to the Library's Website and its individual pages. In the process of analysis, personal information contained in the log is stripped of elements that can reveal an individual's identity. The sole purpose of any analysis derived from logs or similar records is to improve the Library's operations for its clientele.
Information Voluntarily Provided by You:
There are three general situations in which we collect personally identifiable information from you:
*Authorization Information
The Library requires you to enter your PennKey identification in order to use several services, including the Library's subscription databases and ejournals. This identification allows us to authorize your access to these resources.
*Contact Information to Respond to Your Requests
You may provide personal information, such as email address or phone number, that will enable us to notify you when certain information, materials or services become available. For example, we ask for personal information to effectively respond to your requests for material from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan or Borrow Direct.
*Opt-In to Web Personalization Tools
The Library offers, only with your affirmative (opt-in) consent, a service that allows us to track your visits online and offer you information that, based on your visits, we believe you would be interested in. This service enables us to enhance your site visits through the use of personalization tools. Personalization tools remember your subject interests and inform you of new material when you visit the Library Web. You may discontinue these services at any time and we will discard personal information collected as part of this program.
Using our authentication system requires us to place a "cookie," on a user's computer. A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user's hard drive containing information about the user. Cookies enable us to track and target the interests of our users and to provide persistent authorization for services.
How We Use Information
The Library only uses your personal information for the specific purpose you authorize and as required by law.
Our Commitment to Data Security
To keep data safe (i.e. prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy and ensure the correct use of information) we have put in place standard protocols for data security. These protocols include the appropriate physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
Other Laws
The Library complies with all relevant laws regarding confidential handling of library records. These include, for example
*USA Patriot Act (Pub L. no. 107-56(2001))1
These three items, taken together, generally afford privacy protection to the data described above, but also allow for disclosure in the event of authorized law enforcement investigations and limited additional situations.
Links to Other Websites
The Library's Website contains links to other Websites operated by third parties. The Library is not responsible for the privacy practices or policies of such third-party Websites, and this policy does not apply to those sites.
How to Contact Us
If you would like to contact us for any reason regarding our privacy practices, please email us at the following address:
Changes to this Privacy Policy
We will notify you of changes to the University of Pennsylvania Library's Website Privacy Policy by posting an updated policy on this page with a notification link to this page from our home page.
Reviewed by the University's Chief Privacy Officer and approved by Administrative Council
1 For additional information regarding the Patriot Act and its impact on libraries, see