American University of Beirut

Users’ Privacy and Confidentiality

​​​​​​​​​Last edited October, 2016​​​​​​​

Policy Statement

AUB libraries strive to respect and protect the privacy of its users in compliance with the ALA document on Privacy in libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, the IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom and AUB’s institutional policies related to information privacy and Lebanese laws concerning privacy.

This policy applies to all the libraries’ resources and services, regardless of their format and means of delivery.

Users’ Rights of Privacy and Confidentiality

  • The AUB libraries supports the American Library Association Code of Ethics, specifically principle III, stating that “each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted, is to be honored.”
  • The AUB libraries supports IFLA’s Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom​, which states “Library users shall have the right to personal privacy and anonymity. Librarians and other library staff shall not disclose the identity of users or the materials they use to a third party.”
  • Library records, in any format related to an individual user’s use of the library and its resources, are confidential and may not be disclosed by the library employees to other parties.
  • Any request for disclosure of such information is handled by the AUB Legal services.

Staff will not reveal the names of individual borrowers or their borrowing history.

Collection Development
Purchase orders linked to users are deemed confidential and should not be shared with people outside the scope of work.

​Cataloging and Metadata Services
Rush book asked to be processed as priority by a Library user is deemed to remain confidential.

Contracts and Licenses
Contracts, licenses, arrangements, and agreements that the libraries enter with users, suppliers, and fellow institutions should protect the identity of individual users and the information they use. Such agreements should be safeguarded in a secure place and should not be shared with people outside the scope of work.

Electronic Resources
​Information and data obtained from using electronic resources, such as public computers, databases, and the Internet may be aggregated for reporting on materials’ usage and will be stored for a certain amount of time. Information will remain confidential and will not be shared with other parties.

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery
Requests for interlibrary loan and document delivery services are confidential. Staff are discouraged from including a user's name on a request submitted to a supplier unless deemed necessary. If individually identifying information is needed, identification numbers rather than users’ names, should be taken to maintain confidentiality.  Records of all filled requests must be kept for the current year and the three past calendar years to comply with auditing, archiving and other regulations.

Library Surveys
Private information collected by the libraries upon a survey or service assessment is considered confidential and will not be revealed to other parties or used beyond the scope of the survey.

Reference/ Research Co​nsultations
Any information regarding the identity of library users, nature and topic of their inquiry, and the resources that they have consulted with and without the help of a librarian are considered confidential.

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We take data privacy seriously and adhere to all applicable data privacy laws and regulations.
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