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Privacy Policies

Policies regarding how Murray State University Libraries handles private information.

Privacy Policies

Personally Identifiable Information

If you wish to receive borrowing privileges, Murray State University Libraries must obtain certain information about you in order to provide you with a library account. If you are affiliated with Murray State University as an employee or as a student, the University Libraries automatically receives personally identifiable information to create and update your library account from the Registrar’s Office (for students) or Human Resources (for employees) following the guidelines set forth in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

The courts have upheld the right to privacy based on the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. MSU Libraries’ privacy policy is in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, including the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the Kentucky Attorney General’s opinion of 1982, and the American Library Association.

According to the American Library Association:
Librarians must protect each user’s rights to privacy with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired. (ALA Policy Manual, Policy 54.15, no. 3, pg. 237)

The Kentucky Attorney General’s opinion of 1982 declares that registration and circulation records of libraries, although public records, are not subject to the Open Records Law and are therefore not required to be made available for public inspection. A public or private library is not required to allow inspection of its circulation records under the Open Records Law. (OAG 82-149).

This opinion is based on the Kentucky Revised Statues pertaining to the Open Records Law which defines such records as follows:  Public records containing information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. (KRS 61.878 (1)(a)).

Third-party Access

The information utilized by the Murray State Libraries as it pertains to a patron’s personal data as well as that patron’s borrowing record shall remain confidential and not be made available to persons outside the Murray State Libraries. Murray State Libraries affirm that:

  • Information from a patron’s record shall not be divulged to any third party.
  • The name of the borrower or users of an item, system or service shall not be divulged to any third party.

Data Integrity & Security

  • Data Integrity: The data we collect and maintain at the Murray State Libraries must be accurate and secure. We take reasonable steps to assure data integrity, including: using only reputable sources of data; providing our users access to your own personally identifiable data; updating data whenever possible; and utilizing middleware authentication systems that authorize use without requiring personally identifiable information.
  • Tracking Users: We ensure that aggregate, summary data is stripped of personally identifiable information. We do not ask Murray State Libraries visitors or website users to identify themselves or reveal any personal information unless they are borrowing materials, requesting special services, registering for programs or classes, or making remote use from outside the MSU Libraries of those portions of the Murray State Libraries’ web site restricted to registered borrowers under license agreements or other special arrangements. We discourage users from choosing passwords or PINs that could reveal their identity, including social security numbers. We regularly remove cookies, Web history, cached files, or other computer and Internet use records and other software code that is placed on our computers or networks.
  • Staff access to personal data: We permit only authorized Murray State Libraries faculty/staff with assigned confidential passwords and training in FERPA regulations to access personal data stored in the Murray State Libraries’ computer systems for the purpose of performing library work. We will not disclose any personal data we collect from you to any other party except where required by law or to fulfill an individual user's service request. The Murray State Libraries will not sell or lease users' personal information to companies, universities, or individuals.

Enforcement & Redress

Users of the Murray State Libraries who have questions, concerns, or complaints about the University Libraries’ handling of their privacy and confidentiality rights should file written comments with the Dean of University Libraries. We will respond in a timely manner and may conduct a privacy investigation or review of policy and procedures.

Only the Dean of University Libraries is authorized to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers and will confer with the Office of the President and the Murray State General Counsel before determining the proper response. We will not make library records available to any agency of state, federal, or local government unless a subpoena, warrant, court order or other investigatory document is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that shows good cause and is in proper form as determined by the offices listed above. We have trained all Murray State Libraries faculty, staff, student workers, and volunteers to refer any law enforcement inquiries to library administrators.