Our Commitment to You

One of the cornerstones of librarianship is respect for the privacy of library users. George Mason University Libraries recognize the importance of protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of the information you share with us when you use our websites or other library services. On this page you will find our policy on collecting, disclosing, maintaining, protecting and using your personal information.

What kinds of information do you collect? 

When you use this website, our web server collects technical information from your web browser, including:

  • browser type
  • internet address
  • operating system type
  • web address of the page from which you linked to our site

We also use Google Analytics, which uses cookies, for statistical analysis related to your browsing behavior on the Libraries' websites. In some cases our web server may use browser cookies or other technologies to maintain session and preference information.

How do you use this information?

Information that we automatically collect via this website is used internally for the following:

  • improving the usability of our website
  • technical troubleshooting
  • tracking aggregate statistical trends

Do you collect my personal information?

We do not collect any personally identifiable information, such as your:

  • age
  • address
  • gender
  • ID numbers
  • name
  • phone number

But what about personal information I submit via a web form or an e-mail message?

We interact with our library users regularly and receive personal information via email messages, chat sessions, web forms and other communications. If you submit personal information via one of these platforms, we:

  • use your information for the purpose for which you submitted it only
  • will not use your personal information for any other purpose
  • will not combine your personal information with the other types of information we collect
  • do not disclose to third parties any information that could be used to identify you or your use of George Mason University Libraries resources, except as required by law or appropriate law enforcement procedures

What about the personal information in my online library account?

George Mason University Libraries maintains personally identifiable information in the online accounts of valid library users. For example:

  • We receive personal information from the Registrar's Office (for students) and from Human Resources (for employees) in order to create and update the library accounts of users affiliated with George Mason University.
  • We obtain personal information about you in order to create your library account. We will maintain the confidentiality of all information we seek or receive and of the materials you consult, borrow or acquire — such as information related to circulation records; database search records; Document Delivery Services/InterLibrary Loan (ILL) records; George Mason University Libraries facilities, materials or services and reference interviews.
  • We collect and store personal information you submit via the Libraries' web-based management tools — such as forms related to asking reference questions, requesting and renewing books and saving search histories or resource preferences. We use this information to maintain your library account and to provide services to you. We do not make this information available to any other entity outside the Libraries, except as required by law or appropriate law enforcement procedures.

Can I disable cookies and other tracking technologies?

Yes. You can disable cookies and other web technologies in your browser preference settings. However, please keep in mind that doing so may mean some features of this website will not function properly.

What are the privacy practices of the third-party tools you use?

Our website contains links to websites and licensed databases that George Mason University Libraries does not maintain or support. We use third-party tools for some of our library services (such as online chatting with a librarian and searching for materials via specialized widgets). Please note that George Mason University Libraries is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these third parties. We encourage you to read the policies associated with these third-party tools before using the tools. 

Is my information secure?

In general, Internet transactions are not secure because they often are not encrypted. In some cases, however, transactions on our website occur using a SSL (Secure Socket Layer protocol) connection. This provides increased security to the information as it is transmitted. Only authorized library staff with assigned passwords may access personally identifiable information stored in George Mason University Libraries' computer systems, and they may do this for the purpose of performing library work only. We use industry-standard security measures to protect any personal information that you may provide to us. However, we cannot guarantee that your submissions to our website, any content residing on our servers or any transmissions from our server will be completely secure.

How will I know if your privacy policy changes?

We will post any substantial changes in this privacy policy at least 30 days prior to the change taking effect. Any information collected under this current policy will remain bound by the terms of this privacy policy. After the changes take effect, all new information we collect, if any, will be subject to the revised privacy policy.

How can I contact you?

If you have questions about this policy or feel that we have acted in violation of this policy, please contact the webmaster.

Any other information I need to know?