General statement

The Johns Hopkins Libraries (Libraries) recognize the confidentiality of information sought or received, and resources consulted, borrowed, or acquired by a library user and are committed to providing access to services and information online in a manner that respects privacy. The Johns Hopkins Libraries Privacy Policy (Policy) follows privacy protections established by the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Privacy Statement for Websites and Mobile Applications and adheres to the principles of American Library Association’s Code of Ethics and the Academic Freedom at Johns Hopkins Policy.

Personal information

The Libraries collect information in order to meet the needs of users to find and access library resources and services. In the context of this Policy, at times personal information or data may be collected or stored to provide services and to satisfy legal or administrative purposes. The libraries do not collect information pertaining to your age, gender, race, or ethnicity.

The types of personal information that may be collected include, but are not limited to:

  • Your name
  • Email address
  • Mailing address
  • Hopkins ID
  • Affiliation, such as your school and whether you are faculty, student, or some other class of user
  • The internet (IP) address of your computer
  • Other information logged by our web servers, such as browser types, operating systems, dates and times, and referring URLs

In practice, the Libraries collect personal information online from the following sources (Not every type of personal data listed above is collected by these sources):

  • Library websites
  • Computer systems used to manage requests for books and other library materials, circulation, fines, and other library patron account activities
  • Forms used to request services, such as room reservations and workshops
  • Computers provided by the Libraries
  • Card swipes at certain building entrances
  • Library-provided applications you install in your browser, such as RefWorks

Functions that require personal information

The systems listed in the previous section may be locally managed, such as our website, or managed by third parties. The latter includes firms that provide Johns Hopkins with services under contract or license, for example publishers, content aggregators, and software platforms, like the vendors that manage BorrowDirect, inter-library loan, and course reserve system.

Johns Hopkins Libraries websites may use cookies and may capture and temporarily store session data in server logs and analytics systems. This data may include all or part of your internet IP address, browser type, device type, operating system, referring URL, web pages visited, language preference, timestamps, and other usage data. If you do not want information collected through the use of cookies, most browsers allow you to automatically decline cookies or be given the choice of declining or accepting a particular cookie (or cookies) from a particular website. If, however, you do not accept cookies, you may experience some inconvenience in your use of the Libraries’ websites.

Use of personal information


The Libraries do not sell personal information or data, and reject its use by licensors for promotional purposes. Library users may elect to disclose their personal information to receive added services from third-party contractors, once authenticated as valid users of the contracted service.

The Libraries do not disclose personal information to third parties unless required by contract or to comply with applicable laws and regulations. Please note that the Libraries may be obligated to release such information to federal law enforcement agents in response to a search warrant or subpoena issued in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1861, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56). Subpoenas served pursuant to this law may require Hopkins Libraries to produce information about a library patron to law enforcement authorities without notifying the patron it has done so.

Analysis of Personal Information

The Libraries may analyze some personal data in order to improve services and user experience, and to ensure service continuity and security. Our analytical activities use only aggregated and anonymized forms of personal information based on processes that strip away personally identifiable data and reduce or synthesize those data to prevent re-identification. The purposes of this data includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Perform analyses and identify usage trends in order to improve service and design
  • Improve our understanding of your needs so the Libraries can deliver content that is relevant and interesting to you
  • Improve efficiency and verify that business processes function in compliance with legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements
  • Monitor for fraudulent use of library resources or compromises of library systems security and user privacy
  • Monitor and evaluate the performance and availability of library services and mitigate threats

The Libraries may use Google Analytics and other analytic tools to collect and assess information about the use of services. You can learn about Google’s practices by going to Google Privacy & Terms Website and opt out by downloading the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Contact Us – How to contact the Libraries with privacy concerns

If you would like to contact us for any reason regarding our privacy practices, please email the library at:

Last Update: January 1, 2021