Your Privacy and the OHSU Library


This policy describes your privacy and confidentiality rights and responsibilities, the steps the OHSU Library takes to respect and protect your privacy when you use library resources, and how we manage the personally identifiable information we collect. This policy is maintained by Library Administration in collaboration with all Library departments. 

General Policy

The OHSU Library is committed to protecting your privacy to the greatest extent possible. We abide by state and federal law and comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and all other relevant legal requirements. The Library follows best practices to ensure each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted. 

Personal Information Held at OHSU

In order to provide services such as access to articles, books, and historical collections and reference consultations, the OHSU Library collects personally identifiable information (PII) from and about individuals, and their interactions with our systems. PII is confidential and access is used only by Library staff who need the information to provide or evaluate services, and to other OHSU units which may be consulted by the Library in troubleshooting problems, analyzing the use of resources, and improving services.  

PII is never used by the OHSU Library for commercial purposes, and will not be revealed to any third party except by such process, order, or subpoena authorized by law and only after clearance from the OHSU Legal Department according to national, state, and local laws and OHSU policies

OHSU Library uses the following practices to protect PII: 

  • Restrict the amount of PII we collect.
  • Remove PII by deidentifying or deleting data wherever feasible when it is no longer needed for services or assessment. 
  • Limit the use of PII to staff performing work which requires it.
  • Ensure PII is stored securely.

Information Gathered by OHSU Library and External Entities

OHSU Library links to many external electronic resources and web sites. Once you follow a link, you are subject to the privacy policy of the external site. While the Library actively considers privacy-related issues in our agreements with third party vendors, especially for databases and online journals, we are not able to ensure that the privacy practices of those web sites follow the Library’s privacy policy or commitments to keeping your PII secure and confidential. 

The OHSU Library uses data collected by software packages and third-party services to understand how resources are being used and to evaluate the effectiveness of the organization and design of the information we provide.  Currently, the Library uses aggregated data from Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. We do not associate use of any web page or any resource with a particular computer or a particular user.  By using the OHSU Library web site, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google (Google Privacy) and other providers of usage data.  

Many website browsers use cookies. If you refuse the use of cookies on your browser, you may not be able to use the full functionality of OHSU Library web sites and linked electronic resources.

Policy reviewed and approved by OHSU Library leadership
Last reviewed: 3 September 2021