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Library Privacy Notice: Home

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

The University respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This statement explains what information we gather when you use the library website and informs you how this information is used and protected. 

The data we collect about you
Personal data, or personal information, means any information about you from which you can be identified. We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you, this includes:

  • Identity Data includes first name, last name, username or University ID.
  • Contact Data includes email address, address or telephone number.
  • Marketing Data includes your preferences in receiving marketing from us.

How is your personal data collected?
We collect data from you when you use the library website (see our Library website privacy notice), our discovery systems, or self-service machines.
In using any our discovery systems, there will some data which is stored and used depending on the service being accessed. 
A list is provided below of the key tools used by the library with links to each of their specific privacy policies:

Please note: it is in your legitimate interest to use databases and e-resources provided by 3rd parties. However, please be aware that if you choose to use the added functionality of external sites, for example to create personalised lists of resources, they will have different privacy notices.  We strongly advise that you read any privacy notice from such 3rd parties before engaging with their services.

How we use your personal data  
We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances: 

  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
  • Where it is necessary for performing a task in the public interest, or in the exercise of official authority.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.

Disclosures of your personal data
We do not share your personal data with anyone outside of the University.

How long will you use my personal data for?
We will only retain your personal data for up 90 days from collection except: 

  • 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 fulfill the requested purchase.
  • Your library record is kept whilst you are registered student, member of staff or continue as an alumni member of the library.
  • Newcomers Only - Data will be kept until the provided material is no longer used in a public space. If you wish for these details and your content to come down, please get in touch with the library.

In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you. 

You will only receive ‘marketing’ communications from us if you have requested information from us or if you provided us with your details when you entered a competition or registered for a promotion and you have explicitly stated you want to receive such information from us. If you would like to be removed from this list at any time please contact

Cookies are small text files stored on your computer, they relate to a specific site, and can be used to enhance the site's functionality. You can control the use of cookies on your computer by adjusting your web browser preferences, however, restricting cookies for a site may interfere with some of the functionality of that site. For more information about cookies please see  

Google Analytics
We use Google Analytics to help understand how our site is used. For this to work, cookies are used and information about your use of our site, including your IP address, may be transmitted to, and stored by, Google. This information is subject to Google's Privacy Policy. Google provide a browser plug-in which allows you to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites.   

Your legal rights
You have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal data.
  • Request correction of your personal data.
  • Request erasure of your personal data.
  • Object to processing of your personal data.
  • Request restriction of processing your personal data.
  • Request transfer of your personal data.
  • Right to withdraw consent.

The University of Essex is the ‘data controller’ and responsible for your personal data.

Contact details:
The University of Essex
Data Protection Officer
University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 87 4853
You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues ( We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.