Patron Privacy Policy

Main Content

Morris Library respects our users’ privacy. We have developed this privacy statement in an effort to inform you of the personal information we collect; how we use, protect, and release it; and how you are entitled to access it. This privacy statement applies to the websites we administer, the email you send us, and electronic services we provide.

Morris Library is committed to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. We adhere to the State of Illinois’ Library Records Confidentiality Act (75 ILCS 70).

When you visit our website to read or download information, we do not collect personal information about you. In particular, we do not use cookies to collect or store personal information. However, we often need to use your personal information to respond to your queries or requests for service. You may be asked to provide your name, email, phone number, and other personal information in online forms, through emails, or other methods we use to manage requests from our users. This might also involve redirecting your personal information to another person or department better suited to meet your needs.

Data Integrity and 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 patron data. The library uses an internal database (i.e., Integrated Library System or ILS) for ordering, organizing, and tracking use of library resources. This system also has a public interface (i.e., Online Public Access Catalog or OPAC) so library users can search our resources. Morris Library is committed to investing in appropriate technology to protect the security of personal information while it is in the library's custody.

  • Services that Require User Login: Use of the full resources of the World Wide Web and of the full power of some subscription databases requires that a user log on to the workstation, either with an SIU network ID and password or with a guest account. Data connecting users to specific machines is collected, in accordance with University policy, and stored with very limited access by staff (see Staff Access to Personal Data). Users of electronic resources that require authorization for their use are also asked to log in when they connect from outside the university IP address ranges. The data kept from these transactions does not include information linking the user to the resources to which the user connected or about searches completed and records viewed.
  • Cookies: Cookies are used to store session information. These cookies are session cookies and are removed when the user exits the catalog and closes the browser. The library catalog and some licensed databases also use cookies to remember information and provide services while the user is online. Users must have cookies enabled to use these resources. Users of Morris Library computers can disable cookies during their usage. Cookies, web history, and cached files are removed when a user closes a browser or logs off a machine.
  • 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. Our technical security measures to prevent unauthorized access include encryption in the transmission and storage of data; limits on access through use of passwords; and storage of data on secure servers or computers that are inaccessible from a modem or network connection.
  • 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. Morris 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 user's service request. We do not sell or lease users' personal information to commercial enterprises, organizations, or individuals.

Information that Morris Library May Gather and Retain about Library Patrons Includes:

  • Circulation Services: This includes patron records within the library’s ILS, which contain names, dawg tag numbers, home addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses supplied to us by the Registrar and by Human Resources. Interlibrary Loan account profiles may also contain a patron’s self-reported major. This also includes any information the library requires patrons to provide in order to become eligible to access or borrow materials, including names, home addresses, telephone numbers, and dawg tag numbers. If an item can only be checked out manually, we keep the manual checkout forms until the item is returned and the forms are then shredded. Morris Library maintains records of circulation transactions only until the borrowed items are returned. Fines accrued for lost or overdue books are kept for record keeping purposes and only until the patron’s record is purged. The library does not maintain histories of patrons’ previously borrowed items.
  • Collection Development: This includes information regarding the request and purchase of materials, which may be linked to individual patrons or groups (e.g., departments).
  • Computer Workstation Usage: Patrons using computers in Morris Library must follow the SIU Carbondale Acceptable Use Policy and the Morris Library User Conduct Policy for Computers. Login information is gathered and stored by a campus system managed by the Office of Information Technology. Guest patrons are required to obtain a guest pass from the Circulation Desk, which requires photo identification.
  • Credit Courses: This includes student information related to credit-bearing courses taught by Morris Library faculty such as dawg tags, home addresses, and grades. This information is maintained in password-protected software (SalukiNet, Desire2Learn, faculty email) or on the instructor’s password-protected computer.
  • Electronic Resources: This includes information such as network IDs and IP addresses that could identify a patron accessing Morris Library’s online resources (i.e., library databases, electronic course reserves). Morris Library’s website contains links to outside websites and databases that are not created or maintained by SIU Carbondale. You may reach these services via our website, but you are subject to the individual privacy policies of those third parties. We encourage users of these services to familiarize themselves with those privacy policies before using the service. Morris Library also uses Google Analytics to track web traffic on our website. For more information, please refer to the Google Analytics’ website and Google’s Privacy Policy.
  • Library Administration: This includes information related to student hiring, payment for specialized library services, and library donations. Information related to library donations are subject to the SIU Foundation’s Information Access and Privacy Policy (.pdf format). All other information or data collected is subject to the procedures outlined for security by the SIU Carbondale Records Management Retention Policy (.pdf format) which meet the requirements of the Illinois State Records Act and State Records Commission Rules.
  • Library Assessment Projects: This includes any information or data obtained through surveys, focus groups, or other means, in support of the assessment of Morris Library’s services, collections, facilities, and resources. Any data collected in the course of library assessment projects are subject to additional review of privacy and confidentiality protections by SIU Carbondale’s Office of Sponsored Projects Administration.
  • Information Services: This includes information collected when a patron comes to the Information Desk with a reference question, visits a librarian for research help, or attends a class or workshop on library resources. We keep a record of each interaction between Information Services staff and a patron, but only collect personal information, such as name, email, phone number, if a follow-up is needed. In the case of chat reference questions, we retain a log of the entire chat conversation, removing any user identifier or IP address. In the case of email reference questions, we retain any personal information provided by the patron, such as name, email, phone number, until the question is resolved. Until purged, patron information is password-protected and available for review only by our staff. During library workshops we may collect dawg tag numbers with a card-swipe machine that is used across campus. This information is stored by a campus system managed by the Office of Information Technology. If the workshop requires registration and/or payment, we collect personal information provided by patrons in the registration and/or payment process.
  • SIU Press: This includes personal and financial information related to book ordering done by individuals and institutions. Book ordering is through the Chicago Distribution Center, a distribution and fulfillment operation that serves numerous university presses and publishing companies, which maintains its own policies.
  • Special Collections Research Center: This includes patron information we request on a number of paper and online forms. These include Researcher Request Forms, Permission to Publish Forms, Permission to Exhibit Forms, Duplication Request Forms, and Donor Forms. Information collected includes name, address, phone number, status, institutional affiliation, research interests/purpose, specifics of the request, and/or an agreement for collection donation. Only staff have access to these forms. Some archival materials held by the Special Collections Research Center may include personal information. This information is redacted in accordance with good archival practice, and records are checked for sensitive information before being given to researchers.
  • Other Information Required to Provide Library Services: This includes any personal information obtained to provide library services not previously listed.

Relevant Links


If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact the Dean of Library Affairs.

Adopted 12/02/15

Morris Library received permission from Milner Library at Illinois State University to adapt their patron privacy policy.