Privacy policy

The staff of DeWitt Library is committed to protecting the privacy of its patrons which is vital to preserving academic and intellectual freedom at Northwestern College. To that end, the staff adheres to the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association which states, “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.” In accordance with the Bill of Rights and the courts’ subsequent interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, librarians and staff at Northwestern College will not identify the information services or resources used or requested by patrons, regardless of format or means of delivery, unless otherwise required by law. 


The privacy of all DeWitt Library patrons is paramount. The library will not divulge borrowing records, including patron names, items checked out, and items requested.

Interlibrary Loan

Neither will the library release items requested, checked out, or checked in via interlibrary loan. All interlibrary loan transactions are confidential between the borrower, lending library, and receiving library.

Reference Consultations

Reference services are also confidential. Any information gathered about the patron, including name and nature of the request, during a reference consultation will not be used outside of the library. If used inside the library, the staff will ensure that any information that is communicated is held in confidentiality. Any anonymized data will be used solely for the purposes of service evaluation and management.

Security Cameras

In an attempt to create a safe and secure environment for library staff, patrons, and collections, video cameras have been placed at selected locations in the DeWitt Learning Commons to observe and record visible activities of persons within the library. Cameras are not placed in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms. Video records may be used to identify persons responsible for activities disruptive to library operations or harmful to the library collection or facility.