Personal Information Policy

Today's Hours: 8am - 10pm - All service hours

Effective: November 2007


The library adheres to the University's policy on capturing, safeguarding and providing access to personal information of library patrons. This statement outlines the procedures followed by the library with respect to personal information obtained from patrons of the library.


The University of Guelph partners with other academic libraries in Ontario to utilize a shared library services platform. In addition, the University of Guelph is a member of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) and utilizes Scholars Portal (for example: Refworks and RACER for inter-library loans) for the provision of library services. Lastly, it is noted that our Virtual Reference System is supplied and hosted by a non-resident third party vendor.

The Policy

Definition of library patron

Patrons of the University of Guelph Library include all current and former students (alumni), faculty, staff, retirees, community borrowers (i.e. non-affiliated members who have applied for borrowing privileges) and individuals with reciprocal borrowing privileges.

Patron Information

The library collects the following information:

  • Patron biographical information: name, address, employee or student number, program information, email, contact information and patron bar code
  • Patron Requests: Titles or Items for which patrons request holds or recalls, virtual reference requests (full transcripts)
  • Patron Circulations: Items charged out and returned, services accessed
  • Patron Accounts: Fine fees, book replacement and processing charges
  • Patron comments and data collected through program evaluation processes

Purpose, Access & Disclosure

The above information is collected as necessary to provide library services to patrons of the library.

Access to patron information is limited to officers of the University of Guelph who require the information in order to perform the duties of their position. Access to patron information is provided to our TUG partners and to OCUL member institutions in order to provide services to University of Guelph patrons in accordance with the provisions of the TUG partnership agreement and as members of OCUL.

Some incidental data may be collected in the course of using licensed electronic resources such as electronic journals or databases. Use of these data is normally limited to analysis of patterns of usage at a group or aggregate level. Personal information of patrons is not transmitted to any outside organization other than those previously mentioned or if a library patron creates a personal account on a third party's Web site. The collection and use of this data is governed by signed license agreements maintained by the library.

Disclosure to third parties will only occur under one of the following conditions:

  1. with the written consent of the patron
  2. a police officer or officer of the court on the presentation of a court order;

Purging Records

All records, whether electronic or hard copy will be maintained in secure environments until they are purged.

All records will be destroyed once they have met their retention period and have been approved for destruction.

Violations & Complaints

Complaints or concerns about the application of this policy or the use of patron information should be directed in the first instance to the Associate Director, Organizational Services and subsequently to the Protection of Privacy and Access to Information Officer. An alleged violation of this policy or a complaint will be received and investigated by the Associate Director, Organizational Services or the Protection of Privacy and Access to Information Officer in accordance with the University's guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Access to Information.

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: