Privacy Policy

What is the Gottesman Libraries’ approach to privacy?

The Gottesman Libraries gathers information on visitors to its website and mobile app (“Teachers College Library”) primarily to improve the performance of the site and the experience of visitors. We take all possible steps to minimize the intrusiveness of any data gathering and to disclose fully all policies and practices regarding the collection, management, and use of such information. In addition, we provide visitors with the opportunity to control the personally identifiable information provided to the Gottesman Libraries’ website and app and to modify that information when necessary.


What information is collected by the Gottesman Libraries?

Patrons using our Gottesman Libraries site and app are required to log in using their Columbia University credentials (CUNI and password). As visitors browse the Gottesman Libraries’ website and app, each page that an individual visits is recorded in a database along with the date and time. We use this information in aggregate form to evaluate and improve the Library website and app. At no time will we disclose to third parties any one person's pattern of website browsing. However, we reserve the right to disclose aggregate browsing statistics to interested third parties.


What organization is collecting the information?

The Gottesman Libraries is the main library of Teachers College of Columbia University. All information gathered by the Library website and app is the property of the Trustees of Teachers College.


How is the information used?

Information gathered by our web servers is used to understand the patterns of usage on our site and to allow us to make improvements to provide better service to our visitors. Personally identifiable information, required during login, is used to verify the identity of individuals accessing library resources.


With whom is the information shared?

Information gathered on visitors to the Gottesman Libraries website and app is currently held exclusively by the Library itself. In the future, we may share aggregate information on the traffic on our site with sponsoring organizations. If we receive requests for individually identifiable information on the users of our site, we will only release such information after seeking and obtaining the permission of individual users. We intend to give visitors to our site control over the ways in which the information they provide is used.


What choices are available to you regarding collection, use and distribution of the information?

Off-campus visitors to the website and app who do not log in are limited in the resources they may search and access. No personal information is collected from such anonymous users other than standard server information such as their referring IP address and other "header" information. Such anonymous users have no need, and therefore, no opportunity to alter information.


What security procedures are in place to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information under the Library’s control?

Information on visitors to the Gottesman Libraries’ website and app remains on the web server and is accessible only to the Library staff members charged with particular tasks requiring such information. For instance, site traffic information is used by the staff member responsible for preparing periodic site traffic reports, and individual email information is used by the staff member responsible for issuing the periodic email newsletter. Backup copies of user information are maintained by Teachers College computing staff through routine backup procedures for the entire Gottesman Libraries website.


How can you modify or correct any inaccuracies in the information?

If you are a member of the TC community and want to modify your CUNI information (including updating your email preferences), navigate to CUIT’s service desk at Manage My UNI.