Ask a Librarian Privacy Policy - Ask Us


All University of Illinois libraries and units who participate in chat reference respect the privacy of our patrons. This policy is intended to let users know what information is collected by the chat service and how it is used.

The Library Privacy Policy consists of the following:

What information is collected by our chat service?
All chats are logged by either our LibChat software (for the main chat service) or by our text software (currently Google Voice) for the texting service. In addition, the library keeps a staff-use-only database of all of the logs collected by LibChat and our texting service.

What is the information used for?
The information is used to help analyze the amount and types of questions we are being asked. This helps determine appropriate staffing levels, and aids in training librarians and graduate students for the service. We do not use information collected through chat or texting for commercial purposes, including marketing. We value your privacy and would never resell any patron information.

Who has access to this information?
The information collected by the library is only accessible to librarians and staff associated with the Ask A Librarian project.

Who does the library share the information with?
Statistics generated from chat logs, as well as excerpts from transcripts, may be used for reports or publications. However, information about specific individuals (e.g. IP address, email, names, phone numbers, etc.) that might be included as part of a chat transcript will never be shared outside of the University of Illinois library system.

What choices to users have about the collection, use, and distribution of their information?
Any patron that wants to have a record of the their chat deleted may email to request the deletion of their chat transcript from the University of Illinois Library database. Users will need to know the date and exact time their chat started, as well as their IP address in order to be sure the exact chat can be found.