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Privacy and confidentiality are fundamental values of libraries and are vital to the preservation of academic freedom. According to the American Library Association, “all people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. When users recognize or fear that their privacy or confidentiality is compromised, true freedom of inquiry no longer exists” (ALA, 2006). The University of South Carolina Libraries respects the confidentiality of patron records and communications in all formats in compliance with federal and state law, and with university data privacy policies.

The following policy describes how University Libraries collects and uses the personally identifiable information (PII) of patrons (university-affiliated and guests) while providing library services.