OCLC Privacy Policy

Respecting your rights while staying in touch



About OCLC

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. ("OCLC") is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs. The following policy describes how we collect and use information we receive from visitors to our site. OCLC is committed to protecting end-user privacy online. If a user submitting personal information is suspected of being younger than 13 years of age, OCLC will delete this information from its records in accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (15 U.S. Code, 6501 et seq). Some products may contain additional privacy provisions in their terms and conditions.

How and What Information is Collected

(1) Personally identifiable information

  1. Personally identifiable information may be collected in conjunction with necessary processes. This information may include, but are not limited to: (1) First and last name, (2) Address, (3) ZIP/Postal Code, (4) Email address, (5) Telephone number, (6) Affiliated library information, or (7) Credit card numbers and other billing information.

(2) IP Address

  1. The OCLC web site logs IP addresses for system administration purposes. Your IP address can help us diagnose service problems and provide session statistics.

(3) Cookies

  1. OCLC uses a common feature of Web sites known as a cookie to store your member ID and state information about where you are in the site, as well as to track current and past activity. OCLC does not store any of your personal information in cookies. A cookie is simply a small data file that the Web site writes to your browser. A cookie can't read any other data off your hard drive, pass on a virus, or read cookie files created by other sites. You can refuse cookies by turning them off in your browser, however, the OCLC web site's functionality may be affected.

(4) Registration

  1. In order to take advantage of some features of the site, you must register and create a member account. An OCLC online registration form may require you to provide information such as your name, email address, a User Name, and a password.

(5) Usage and Circulation Records

  1. Any information collected may be used to analyze usage, evaluate service effectiveness and provide training material, and to facilitate library research.

(6) Questions, Comments, and Entries to Open Forums and Reviews

  1. We encourage you to provide personal information ONLY in fields specifically designed for such information such as registration and log-on.
  2. Comments and entries to forums and reviews are posted in real time. Consequently, your entire submission may appear in an open forum or review. Please be aware that any personal information you include within this entry field will be available to the public. OCLC will make reasonable attempts to remove personal information included in submissions.

Why Information is Collected

The majority of the information we collect is analyzed so that we can improve your OCLC experience. This information is not shared outside of OCLC except as described in this policy. If necessary, we will use your information to contact you. Except as permitted by this policy, OCLC does not send unsolicited e-mails

The purposes for collecting information and contacting you are:

(1) Registration
(2) Fulfilling requests and orders for OCLC products, programs and services
(3) Customer service and support
(4) Providing information and answering questions related to the use and purchase of services.
(5) Providing updates on goods and services and notification of special offers
(6) Delivering newsletters
(7) Providing notification of service expiration dates.
(8) Facilitating participation in an OCLC Open Forum or Review
(9) Compiling aggregate statistical and academic analysis

(1) Sometimes OCLC may identify a new purpose outside of the stated purposes listed above and it will provide notification or, if the purpose involves the use of sensitive information, it will seek your consent to use and disclose personal information for that purpose.

(2) Your information will not be used for reasons beyond the scope of the stated purposes and OCLC will never willfully disclose personally identifiable information to a third party outside of the stated purposes unless:

  1. You have violated the Terms of Use or another applicable Agreement, or
  2. We are required to do so by law, or
  3. We provide notification to you

Third Parties

At times, OCLC partners with third parties to complete the stated purposes, and the third parties may require use of personally identifiable information. For instance, information must be disclosed to process orders through the online store, interact with Regional Service Providers, and to market products or services to you. We have taken reasonable steps to ensure the protection of your information, and to prevent the loss, misuse, or alteration of that information.

OCLC uses a third party service for the management and delivery of its opt-in e-mail communication. Their privacy policy can be found at http://www.whatcounts.com/company/privacy.html. Information related to the delivery and effectiveness of e-mail communications, such as aggregate open and click-through rates, are provided to and used by OCLC to help deliver the best content to the subscriber.

We currently contract with online partners to help manage and optimize our Internet business and communications. We use the services of a marketing company to help us measure the effectiveness of our advertising and how visitors use our site. To do this, we use Web beacons and cookies provided by our marketing company on this site. The type of information we collect includes pages visited, searches conducted, items selected, and library sites visited. By supplementing our records, this information helps us learn things like what pages are most attractive to our visitors, which designs are most effective for delivering visitors to libraries, and what kinds of marketing efforts our visitors respond to most positively. Although our marketing company manages the information coming from our site on our behalf, we control how that data may and may not be used. If you do not want to help us learn how to improve our site, offers and marketing strategy, you can opt out of our ability to analyze such data by visiting http://www.omniture.com/privacy/2o7.

This web site contains links to other sites. Such links do not imply OCLC's endorsement or guarantee of the products, information or recommendations provided by any third party site. Please be aware that OCLC is not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our end-users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Opt-Out Features

(1) To tell us you don't want to receive communication from OCLC, such as email newsletter announcing new features or content, opt out at registration, if available, or send an email to privacy@oclc.org

(2) You can decline to provide personal information to us or opt out at anytime. However, this may limit your ability to utilize the services on the web site.


We have put in place reasonable measures to protect the personal information contained in our databases. Measures are in place to prevent unauthorized access and maintain appropriate use and accuracy. Furthermore, data that is transmitted in association with our online store is encrypted and is secured by SSL.

Your password is a component of our security system. As such, it is your responsibility to protect it. Do not share your password with any third parties. If your password has been compromised for any reason, you should change it immediately.

Access to Information

OCLC provides links in their e-mail communications and web pages for managing the information that is sent. If you have questions about the information collected about yourself, would like to update or make changes to your information, or are concerned that your information is inaccurate or incomplete please contact privacy@oclc.org. We make a reasonable effort to ensure that information contained in our database is accurate and, when necessary, current.

Contact and Notice

From time to time, we may update this privacy policy. We will notify you about material changes in the way we treat personal information by placing notice on our site. We encourage you to periodically check back and review this policy so that you always will know what information we collect, how we use it and to whom we disclose it.

If you have any questions regarding our policies, please contact privacy@oclc.org or write to:

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated
Customer Service, ATTN: Privacy
6565 Kilgour Place
Dublin, Ohio 43017-3395

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