Confidentiality of User Records

As stipulated by Arizona Revised Statute 41-1354 as well as the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, the ASU Library protects each user's right to privacy with respect to information sought or received and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired. This includes borrower registration information and records of: circulation transactions; materials requested and/or used; and questions asked of library employees, regardless of means (in person, over the phone and email). Student information is further protected as required by ASU Student Affairs Policy STA 105-01: Release of Student Information and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 United States Code §1232g, as amended. (also referred to as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA)

A.R.S. 41-1354. Privacy of user records; exceptions; violation; classification



Except as provided in subsection B, a library system supported by public monies shall not allow disclosure of any record or other information which identifies a user of library services as requesting or obtaining specific materials or services or as otherwise using the library.

Records may be disclosed:
  1. If necessary for the reasonable operation of the library.
  2. On written consent of the user.
  3. On receipt of a court order.
  4. If required by law.

Any person who knowingly discloses any record or other information in violation of this section.


Supplemental Information on Confidentiality

The investigations and news stories of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks focused attention on public access to the Internet as well as the wealth of information sources and services that libraries provide. The following organization issued statements addressing the library profession's response to these concerns:

American Library Association:

As an ARL member library, the ASU Library endorses this statement.

Sometimes library documents and/or records are requested for use in criminal investigations and legal actions, including pre-trial research and resolution. The ASU Library will not provide such information, unless subpoenaed by court order or required by law.

Individuals appearing within the ASU Library to serve a subpoena should be directed first to the office of the University Librarian, which will then refer them to the ASU General Counsel. The subpoena is served to that office--not directly to the Library or its staff. General Counsel will review it and forward the request to the office of the University Librarian, which will direct and monitor the response.

To safeguard the confidentiality of library users’ records, ASU Library maintains no record of what has been borrowed by an individual once the items have been returned.  Library users are encouraged to regularly monitor their reading history lists, with the understanding that the Library cannot recreate the history once deleted.

Any questions regarding ASU Library's policy regarding user confidentiality should be referred to the office of the University Librarian.