McGill Library Privacy Statement

It is a key role of McGill Library to protect patron information and empower patrons to make informed decisions about their actions regarding privacy. The Library is a place where people can search for and share information freely, knowing their personal information is protected and confidential. McGill Library & Archives values and protects your privacy. The purpose of this statement is to help you understand how the Library gathers and uses patron data.


The following outlines the information gathering practices of McGill Library for these websites:, and any other servers running publicly-accessible library services.

The personal information you provide via web forms and email is always kept confidential. Examples of this type of transaction include but are not limited to, registering for a Library workshop, or making a purchase request. This information is used solely for the purposes of delivering the requested service or product, or contacting you should an issue arise. We never collect information for commercial marketing purposes.

If you visit the Library website, read pages, and download information, we automatically collect and store the information usually logged by web servers, including client IP address, request date/time, page requested, and the pages you visit. This information is always collected in aggregate and does not identify you personally.

When you run searches in the Library catalogue via WorldCat Discovery, those searches are collected only in aggregate by our provider, OCLC, meaning that individual searches are not personally identifiable.

We use Google Analytics, a web analysis service, to help analyze how visitors use the Library website and catalogue. Google collects, organizes, and provides visualizations of anonymized data gathered during a user’s browsing session. Data may include navigation patterns (including links clicked and pages visited), region of origin (based on IP), traffic source (ex. referrals), language preference, browser type, and screen size. The tool uses “cookies,” which are text files placed on your computer, to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behaviour information in an anonymous form. The Library uses this information to better understand how visitors use the Library website and to improve services. Searches are not personally identifiable.

Library records

Circulation data about the borrowing and use of materials from the Library’s collection is completely confidential, and in most cases is kept for a maximum of five months. You may request information about your recent borrowing history from the staff at the Library Services Desk. Other records of patron interactions are also confidential, and may include: transactions of fines and fees, and reference transactions (written, phone, or email). The Library data necessary to provide consortium services (i.e. network borrowing) can be accessed by any BCI institution through the shared platform.

Third party resources

McGill Library provides its users with access to many electronic resources (article databases, e-book platforms, etc.) hosted by third parties (external organizations), and it is important to note that these resources may have different policies with respect to data collection and sharing. If you are concerned about the privacy implications of using a third party resource, be sure to read its associated privacy policy.

McGill Privacy Notice

McGill’s central Privacy Notice provides useful information about the use of Google Analytics and Hotjar on McGill websites.


If you have questions or concerns about this statement or any of the procedures and practices described here, please contact the Library’s Digital Initiatives department at: di.library [at]


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