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Privacy Statement

The Northeastern University Libraries are committed to protecting the privacy of the Libraries' users in accordance with the American Library Association's Code of Ethics, point III:

"We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought, received and resources consulted, borrowed, or transmitted."

The following discloses the Libraries’ information gathering and dissemination practices:

Information Gathering

The Libraries collect information about visitors and visits for statistical purposes, to administer access to Library materials and services, and to inform users of Library services and programs.

The Libraries' web site uses the Google Analytics Tracking Cookie, a cookie that collects anonymous traffic data. For more information about Google's use of this data, see Google Analytics Terms of Service and the Google Advertising and Privacy FAQ.

The Libraries' web site uses a web service from Mollom BVBA to screen form submissions in order to determine if they are unsolicited commercial or malicious messages ("spam").  For more information about how Mollom BVBA processes this data, see the Mollom Privacy Policy

Use of Information

All data relating to Library users are presented in aggregate form only. The University Libraries maintain the confidentiality of all personal and corporate information. This personal information will be given to the library user him/herself on request and will not be disclosed to outside parties, except when the user specifically opts to allow the Library to retain and display details of his/her borrowing history. Requests by government agents will be referred directly to University legal counsel and information will be given only as the law requires.

The University Libraries comply with Northeastern's Appropriate Use of Computer and Network Resources Policy.


The University Libraries have security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse, or alteration of information.

Related Policies

Sensitive Personal Identifying Information (NU Office of Information Security) includes information about the protection of personal identifying information at Northeastern University.

Policy on Confidentiality of University Records (NU Human Resources Management, Information Technology Services, and Office of the University Registrar) includes information about the security and integrity of confidential University records.

Code of Ethics of the American Library Association

As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.

Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.

We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.

The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.

I. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
II. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
III. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
IV. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders. V. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
VI. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
VII. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

Source: Code of Ethics,  American Library Association.  Adopted at the 1939 Midwinter Meeting by the ALA Council; amended June 30, 1981; June 28, 1995; and January 22, 2008. 

See also: USA Patriot Act information from the American Library Association


If you have questions about this statement or this site, you may contact:

Office of the Dean
Northeastern University Libraries
320 Snell Library
Boston, MA 02115
tel: 617-373-5001

This site is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of other Web sites to which this site is linked.

Revised 21 December 2011

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