Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Privacy Notice: Home

How the library keeps and handles the data that it has about you.

Library Privacy Notice

How we use information about you

Privacy notices explain what personal information or “data” an organisation holds about you, and how that data is stored, used and kept safe. Personal data is any information, held in any form, that relates to you as an identifiable individual.

In this notice “we” means the University of Essex Library Services and “you” means users of Library Services.

Please also see the separate University privacy notices for students and staff and employees. We also have a notice for visitors to our website and the University website.

Who we are

The University of Essex is an exempt charity, and our registered address is Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ.

The University of Essex is registered as a Data Controller with the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Registration Number: Z699129X

Your information

Why we use your data – and our legal basis for doing so

When we collect data we need both a purpose (i.e. a reason) and a legal basis. There are several legal bases allowed, and we rely on four of those when looking after your information.

Public Task

We only use your personal information where it is necessary to perform our public tasks by providing and maintaining the library service under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 (Art 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation ‘GDPR’).

For example, to manage borrowing and use of materials owned by the Library.

Legal compliance

As a library services provider we have various legal obligations that we need to comply with, and we may need to collect, use, or share your personal information as part of that.

For example, we are required to protect the copyright of the materials we hold.

Legitimate interests

From time to time, we may need to use your data to pursue our legitimate interests. For example, we may request additional data to process purchase requests or for document delivery.


Consent and special category data

Some personal data is considered to require particular care – this is known as “special category data”. We ask your consent to share some special category data with us. You do not need to declare any disability to us, or any health or sexuality issues that may affect your study, but we are unable to support you fully and to comply with our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 if you do not share this information with us.

We sometimes use data about individual's disability in order to ensure that we are supporting the specific needs of individual students and providing a fair and equal environment for all.

Consent and marketing

We also ask your consent for some types of communication with you.

What type of information we collect about you

  • Your identity, including your contact details.
  • Details about which course of study you are on, your level and stage of study.

Where the data we hold comes from

The University collects data directly from you at the point of offering you a contract (Registration).

We continue to collect data about you, such as borrowing records, while you study with us.

Who we share your data with

Internally, access to information is restricted to those who need it in order to carry out their role. This will include your personal tutor and other staff who teach you, as well as the professional services staff who support related activity such as wellbeing advisors who may require information to be shared to assist equal access to library materials.

We share your data when an external company provides us with a software system that holds or uses your data. Such sharing will always be carried out under contract, as part of which we will specify that your data must be kept safely, used only under our instructions in accordance with data protection law, and not be used for the contracting company’s own purposes.

If you are based at Southend campus we share your name and contact details with Southend Borough Council for use of the shared library service at The Forum. The sharing of data is governed by a data sharing agreement (currently under review) between Southend Borough Council, South Essex College and the University of Essex.

We may share some information if required to do so by the police or other law enforcement authorities, including the Home Office.

Where we keep your data and how long we keep it for

We do not generally transfer your data outside of the UK.

We retain data for 90 days exceptions to this include:

  • Copyright legislation requires us to keep requests for loans from the British Library, or other libraries, for 7 years.
  • Purchase suggestions are kept for as long as necessary to fulfil the requested purchase.
  • Your library record and associated data is kept whilst you are registered student, member of staff or continue as an alumni member of the library.

Your personal data and your rights

The law gives you a right to:

  • ask us to provide you with copies of information we hold about you
  • have your data be corrected if it is inaccurate, out of date or incomplete
  • have your personal data deleted, in some circumstances
  • withdraw any consent you have given us to use your data
  • lodge a complaint with the Office of the Information Commissioner

You can see some of the data we keep about you, through your library record.

If you wish to exercise any of your rights, please speak to library services via our chat or enquiry point.

If you have questions about your rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer at This is also the contact for any complaints you may have about the way we use your personal data. You do have a right to complain to the Office of the Information Commissioner, but do please talk to us first as it is often the fastest way to fix things for you.

Contact us

Data Protection Officer

Telephone: 01206 874853