ZSR and Your Privacy

Our privacy policy, in plain English.


In order to provide access to some library collections and services, the ZSR Library maintains records of user data, and may gather further information in the course of providing services. Some of this is personal information – information which identifies you individually, like your name, email address, or phone number. To safeguard your privacy, we make these promises:

  • You have the right to know what information we store, how we store it, and what our policies are for using it (this document).
  • We do not sell or share your private data with third parties unless required by law. That includes what items you check out, what resources you use or request, or what topics you research.
  • As much as possible, we do not ask for personal information in order to access library resources.
  • When we must record your personal information to use library resources, we secure or delete data that connects you and the record of what resources you used.
  • We use tools, including browser cookies, to assess how our web sites are used. We monitor only aggregate data and do not track individual use of any site.
  • Server logs are securely stored and can only be accessed by authorized Library staff. Private information from WFU directories is only used as needed by authorized Library staff.
  • We periodically review our privacy policies and audit our privacy practices to make sure we are living up to our promises and doing our best to protect your private data. When we make changes, we will update this document.

ZSR links to outside web sites for some library content and resources. Non-ZSR sites have their own privacy policies, and we encourage you to familiarize yourself with those policies.

Information We Gather and How We Use It

Library Patron Database
In order to check out books and other circulating items, the Library maintains a database of current library patrons. This contains names, addresses, and other contact information. When you check material out, there is a circulation record – a temporary link from your record in this database to information about the items you have borrowed. Unless you owe fines or other problems occur, this link is deleted when you return the items. For DVDs, hardware checked out from the Bridge, and some other media, we retain the link to your personal information up to 24 hours while we confirm the items are in good condition.The Library’s patron database resides on servers maintained by our catalog software vendor, Ex Libris Ltd. Patron database information is encrypted before being sent to Ex Libris. We recommend that you read their privacy policy.
Student Records
When you take LIB100 or other WFU classes taught by ZSR staff and faculty, your homework and grades have the same privacy protections as with any other WFU course.When you participate in ZSRx or other library instruction that is not part of WFU coursework, the privacy of your work is governed by this document.
Interlibrary Loan, Rush, and Other Notify Requests
Books waiting for pick-up have paper slips identifying the book and the borrower. These books are kept in a staff-only work space, and after checkout the paper slips are securely shredded.
Book Donations and Sales
Correspondence regarding book sales or donations is stored securely. Print correspondence and email are securely stored and accessible only by appropriate staff.
Library Public Workstations
The Library provides computers for public use, without requiring a login. We do not record private data of anyone using these workstations. Please note that it is possible to save files on these workstations, and that files you save may include your private data. We strongly recommend that you delete saved files from public computers before leaving the workstation. Saved files are automatically deleted when the computer reboots. Reboots happen at least daily, and you are welcome to reboot the computer when you are done using it.
Web Server Logs
Most web services, including those run by the Library, log data about each page request. In addition to data like time and date of each request and network address, this data can include private information like search terms and items downloaded. In some cases, the network address used by your computer can be used to identify you (this is not the case on the WFU campus, but may be the case for off-campus connections). We protect this data by allowing only authorized staff to access web logs, and only for appropriate purposes.Please note that off-campus users need to login to access many commercially licensed library resources. Logs for this service are maintained by the Carpenter Library at the WFU School of Medicine and subject to their privacy policies.
“My Account” Features
Many library services include a way to store search results, preferences and settings, or other data from one search session to another. These may be called “My Account”, “Bookbag” or similar names. When these features require you to login with an individual account, they connect your private data to information about your research. The Library maintains the “Your Account” feature in the online catalog, which stores search results and also connects to information about your current checkouts and fines. Access to this information is available only to the appropriate library staff and would be used only to troubleshoot problems with the service. We do not monitor any library user’s saved searches.
Secure Web Sites
Wherever possible, the Library uses encryption to secure its web sites. Secure web sites protect your private data during transmission, and minimize the amount of data visible to third-party vendors. Many web browsers will indicate that a web site is secure with a padlock icon in the address bar.
Occuspace / Waitz
As of Fall 2022, the Library is using a set of sensors from occuspace.io to detect how many people are using some of our public study spaces. These sensors detect the number and signal strength of wifi and bluetooth connections in the room in order to estimate the number of people there. Information gathered includes the MAC addresses of wireless devices, which may identify the device, but all MAC addresses are irreversibly encrypted before being recorded. No personally identifying information is gathered or transmitted over the network.
Law Enforcement Requests
Law enforcement agencies working with valid court orders or search warrant may require access to private information held by the library. This may include material currently checked out to a library patron, but not any history of past checkouts. In the very rare event the Library is served with such an order or warrant, only the Dean of Libraries is authorized to grant access to any private information.