WRLC Services Privacy Statement

The Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) maintains the WRLC Services systems on behalf of the participating universities in order to provide eligible users with access to borrowing, online resources, and other library services. This privacy policy applies to electronic or paper records of your personal information which are provided by you or by your university to enable your use of the WRLC services system, or generated by your use of the WRLC services system.

WRLC’s Commitment to Confidentiality

WRLC and the participating universities are committed to maintaining the confidentiality and security of your personal information related to your use of the WRLC services system. The WRLC services system only requires you to provide personal information when that information is necessary to enable the WRLC services system or library staff to provide you with the requested service.

Your Personal Information in WRLC Services

WRLC Services includes several different systems which use personal information in different ways. WRLC Services subsystems use or generate two different categories of personal information about you: patron registration data and patron activity data.

1. Patron registration data identifies eligible users (students, faculty, staff, and others) who are authorized to use the WRLC services system to borrow or access library materials. Your patron registration data (also known as your patron record) includes:

  • Personal information which may include any or all of the following: name, telephone number(s), address(es), email address(es)
  • Personal identifiers as provided by your home university, which may include any or all of these: university-assigned student or employee number, university netid, campus ID card number
  • Home university and status (undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty, staff, etc)

2. Patron activity data consists of information stored in the WRLC services system about your actual use of WRLC services, and can include any or all of the following:

  • List of library items currently checked out to you
  • List of library items you are currently requesting to borrow
  • Amount of library fines/fees you currently owe, items for which fines/fees are owed, and total amount of fines/fees paid by you
  • “Saved searches” of the library catalog(s) or other online databases which you may have defined so that you may submit the same search or query at a later time
  • Records of individual library items from the library catalog(s) or other online databases which you may have saved for later use

How Your Personal Information is Protected

WRLC and the participating libraries consider your patron registration data and patron activity data to be confidential personal information. Access to your personal information which is maintained in the WRLC services system is restricted by password control to authorized staff of the participating libraries, or to you based on your unique patron ID and name. WRLC will not provide or disclose your personal information to any individuals or organizations other than staff of the participating universities performing their job duties, except as required by law.

The WRLC services system maintains patron activity data only as long as necessary to provide the related service and to maintain appropriate records of library materials. Examples of system features which are designed to protect your privacy include:

  • The description of an item you checked out is deleted from your record immediately upon return of the item.
  • The history of your searches in the library catalog(s) or other online databases is erased at the end of your WRLC services session.

NOTE: Most online databases available through the WRLC services system are operated by third-party vendors through license agreements with WRLC and/or your library. The WRLC services system does not automatically transfer your personal information to these third-party vendors. However, third-party systems may request additional information from you in order to provide services to you. These systems are outside of WRLC’s control and are not covered by WRLC’s privacy policy.

How Your Personal Information is Collected

Personal information provided by the participating universities

The participating universities provide patron registration data for eligible users to WRLC in the form of electronic files from the university’s student and employee records systems. Some patron records are entered individually into the system by library staff, using information provided by the patron.

The majority of the personal information provided by the universities to WRLC is “directory information” (such as name, address, telephone number) as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Under FERPA, universities may provide directory information to other organizations such as WRLC so that they may provide contracted services.

WRLC does not receive, store or use Social Security Numbers for students, faculty, and staff.

Personal information collected by the WRLC services system

The WRLC services system collects the following personal data directly from you as necessary for certain activities:

  • Your unique personal identifier(s) (as assigned by the home university) and your last name, which are used to verify that you are an eligible user
  • Your email address, which is used to send library notices and notifications about loan requests

Non-personal information collected and stored automatically

The WRLC services system collects some non-personal information automatically, including:

  • the internet address (IP address) from which you accessed WRLC services
  • the date and time you accessed WRLC services
  • the URL accessed (i.e. the resource)

This information is used for network capacity planning and for system security to identify unauthorized attempts to access WRLC systems or licensed resources.

WRLC does not automatically and routinely link individual patron identifiers to usage of individual resources, but we may turn on user tracking logs temporarily at the request of a member university in order to identify possible abuse of license agreements (such as mass downloading of pages from licensed resources). NOTE: When you use the WRLC services system you are bound by the WRLC System Appropriate Use Policy (On Campus Access Only) and also by the appropriate use policy of your home university.


WRLC web sites and many of the online services operated by other vendors which are available through the WRLC services system use cookies for authentication and session management. Cookies are small text files passed from a web site to your browser which stores them on your computer. WRLC cookies contain no information which identifies you personally, and cannot damage user files or read information from your computer. Each time you get a page from the web site that created the cookie, your browser will return the cookie with the request. The web site can verify that the cookie contains the identifier of an active session so that you do not need to be authenticated to the site again. If you disable cookies in your browser, you may not be able to login to a WRLC web site or access some of the databases on the WRLC services menu. If you are concerned about cookie usage, most browsers allow you to choose which cookies to accept instead of rejecting all cookies. Check your browser's documentation and help files for more in formation about its cookie features.

How To View Or Change Your Personal Information

To view your personal information, go to  the WRLC Libraries Catalog and select your university. Click "Sign In" in the upper-right corner. You will be asked to login with your university credentials.

To change or correct your patron registration data (such as your address), you must notify the appropriate office at your home university. This is to insure the consistency and integrity of your registration data by having a single authoritative source. Corrected information will be forwarded by the home university to WRLC as part of the ongoing update process.

How To Contact Us

For questions about your patron registration data or your patron activity data, contact your home library. For questions about privacy issues related to use of the WRLC services systems, please contact WRLC.


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