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Confidentiality of Washington University Library Records

Consistent with federal and state law and university policy, the Washington University Libraries treat as confidential all records that identify the library material borrowed, used, or requested by an individual, and all other records identifying individual library users (collectively "library records"). Except as specified below, the Libraries will not release library records.

Library records may be released in these circumstances:

  1. The individual identified in a library record may request a copy of that record from full-time circulation staff. If the records are readily available and do not identify any other individual, circulation staff may provide the individual with copies of his/her own library records.
  2. If it appears to a member of the faculty or administration that a student may have violated School or University academic integrity policies, that member of the faculty or administration may request library records relevant to determining whether such a violation has occurred by contacting the Judicial Administrator or a school's Academic Integrity Officer (collectively, "academic integrity officers"). If an academic integrity officer determines that certain library records are likely to be relevant to determining whether the student has violated academic integrity rules, the officer shall ask the Head of Access to provide specified records. With the authorization of an academic integrity officer, the Head of Access shall make the records available to the requesting member of the faculty or administration. The library records shall remain confidential and may be used only in connection with the academic integrity inquiry.
  3. Upon receipt of a court order, the Libraries must produce library records as directed by the court. Unless otherwise precluded by law, the Libraries will inform library users that their records have been accessed.

All requests for library records shall be directed to the Head of Access (or other individual designated by the Dean). Items may be recalled if they are needed by others. When an item is needed urgently, full-time circulation staff shall, upon special request, inform the borrower that another patron or library unit needs the material.

Approved March 2003; revised November 2004