Privacy Statement

The University Libraries respect user privacy and will collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us, such as by submitting a question, requesting an item, or otherwise ‘doing business’ with the Libraries.

Although we try to protect the privacy of user records (including books and Internet searches), the Libraries may be obligated to release such information to law enforcement agents in accordance with state or federal law. Unless otherwise precluded by law, the Libraries will inform library users that their records have been accessed. Please see Confidentiality of Washington University Library Records for more information.

The following discloses the information gathering and dissemination practices of the University Libraries for the listed websites and any other servers running publicly-accessible library services:

Information Collected and Stored Automatically

We gather and store certain information about your visit to our website automatically, even if you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store the information usually logged by web servers, such as: the Internet domain and IP address; type of browser and operating system used to access our site; date and time you access our site; pages you visit; and, if you linked to our website from another website, the address of that website.

We are also implementing Google Analytics and Site Improve to help analyze how users use the site. The tools use “cookies,” which are text files placed on your computer, to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behavior information in an anonymous form. The information generated by the cookies about your use of the website (including your IP address) is transmitted to these tools. This information is then used to evaluate visitors’ use of the website and to compile statistical reports on website activity for Washington University Libraries.

We will never (and will not allow any third party to) use the statistical analytics tool to track or collect any personally identifiable information of visitors to our site. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. Neither we nor Google will link, or seek to link, an IP address with the identity of a computer user. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifiable information from any source unless you explicitly submit that information (see below).

We use this information to help us make our site more useful to our primary users, the current students, faculty, and staff of Washington University.

If You Send Us Personal Information

If you choose to provide us with personal information as in an email to one of our online email boxes, or by filling out a form with your personal information and submitting it to us through our website, we use that information to respond to your message and to help us get you the information you have requested. We do not collect personal information from such communications for any purpose other than to respond to you. We do not collect information for commercial marketing.

Doing Business with the Libraries

In order for current Washington University students, faculty, and staff to ‘do business’ with the Libraries – that is, check out materials and/or access off-campus resources via the proxy server – the Libraries maintain a patron database. Your record in this database contains your name; address; phone number; WUSTL Key username; University ID number; a designator that indicates whether you are a student, faculty, or staff member; and your email address. It also contains information as to which items you have currently checked out and if you owe any fines. The Libraries use the information in your patron record only to allow you to ‘do business’ with us.


We also keep information about you if you use ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan), on Your record in this database contains your name; address; phone number; University ID number; your status with the University (student, faculty, or staff); your email address; and your WUSTL key. It also contains information about the ILL requests you have made, including the status of each request. Again, the Libraries use the information in your ILLiad record only to allow you to ‘do business’ with us.


If you are a Washington University instructor, staff member, or student using Ares (electronic reserves), you have an account that contains your name, WUSTL key, email address, and sometimes your mailing address. Ares is available only in the University community or to people with valid library accounts. Your name is shown on Ares to those who have the password to any of your courses with materials on Ares. You have access to this information using WUSTL key and password.

For instructors, students enrolled in their class will see the faculty member’s name when they access course materials for the duration of the course only. At the end of the course, the materials are removed and the course is gone from the student’s Ares account.

For students, the instructor will see their name associated with the course for its duration. Students cannot view the entire student roster in Ares.

Information about the course, including course materials and student enrollment, remains on the Ares server and available to library staff after the course has ended.

Links to Other Sites

This site contains many links to other sites, primarily databases and electronic journals which the Libraries have licensed for the use of Washington University students, faculty, and staff. Washington University Libraries are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites. Once you link to another site (any URL that does not begin with any of the server names listed above, outside of *, you are subject to the privacy policy of the new site – which may differ from the Libraries’ policy.

Site Security

To guard against unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and promote the correct use of information, we have put in place physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

However, while we consider these measures reasonable, no assurance can be given that they will always and in all cases prevent or protect against invalid access or improper activity, and any expectation or warranty of unassailable site security is expressly disclaimed.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this website, please contact us.