Protecting your personal information and privacy is important to the Library. We collect, use, and share information obtained from our online visitors only in the following ways:
- We will only collect personal information that you voluntarily provide.
- We will only use the personal information you provide for its intended purpose.
- We will only disclose personal information to a government agency if required by law.
- We will not disclose your personal information to other outside parties without first obtaining your permission.
- We provide a safe online environment for children and follow COPPA principles.
- We have implemented safeguards to protect any information collected.
For more information follow these links:
Types of Information Collected
The Library collects several types of information, although never for commercial marketing use:
- Automatically Collected Information
- Information Collected for Tracking and Customization (Cookies)
- Personal Information
The Library has implemented safeguards to protect this information.
Automatically Collected Information
The Library of Congress strives to provide the best experience for our Web users. To that end, the Library automatically collects and stores the following non-personally identifiable information:
- The name of the domain from which you access the Internet,
- The Internet Protocol address of your Internet provider’s gateway, or in some cases, the computer you are using,
- The date and time you access the Library’s site,
- The URL of the pages you visit and files you download,
- The Internet address of the Web site from which you linked directly to our site,
- Characteristics of your system, and
- Search terms used to come to the site and while on the site (in aggregate only).
This information allows us to improve our Web site design, presentation and system performance. We collect this information from users who read, browse and/or download information from the Library’s Web sites.
Information Collected for Tracking and Customization (Cookies)
The Library may use three types of information collecting tools on its various Web sites: session cookies, persistent cookies and other customization tools. "Cookies" are small files that a Web site transfers to your computer to allow the site to remember specific information. If you do not want cookies to be transferred to your computer, you may choose to opt out of their use by modifying your browser options. While you will still be able to access most features of the Library’s Web sites, certain features may not work as well or may be unavailable to you.
Session cookies do not contain personal information and once you close your browser, the cookies disappear. The Library uses session cookies on our site for technical purposes such as to enable you to more easily navigate throughout the Library’s Web sites. Session cookies only collect non-personally identifiable data.
Persistent cookies store information on your computer for longer periods of time. The Library may use persistent cookies to improve and customize your online experience and remember you between visits. Persistent cookies can “remember” user preferences that you voluntarily provide and can create a more seamless experience. For example, the myLOC.gov site has a “remember me” sign-on option. Choosing to use this option will set a persistent cookie.
Customization tools allow you to voluntarily provide information to personalize and improve your online experience on a particular Web site, such as myLOC.gov. For example, you may choose to build your personal collection of items associated with your online account. This information is saved on our servers.
In order to use certain features of the Library’s Web sites, you may need to submit personal information so we can respond appropriately. We will inform you what information we require and will only use it for the stated purpose. Examples include making a purchase from the Library’s online gift shop, registering at myLOC.gov and participating in the Library’s wikis or blog areas. By providing the information, you are giving consent to the Library to use the information for the stated purpose; if you do not want to provide the information, the feature will not be available to you. For example, you will not be able to personalize your experience on myLOC.gov.
Some of these sites provide games and activities, and occasionally, we collect personally identifiable information in order to complete the one-time game or activity. We do not use the information for any other purpose and delete the information as soon as practical. For example, in our Lifelong Literacy area, children can create an online picture postcard and email it to a friend. In order to send the online postcard, we need both email addresses as well as the child’s first name so that the recipient will know who sent the card. This information is not retained. If the child chooses to post the online postcard in our gallery, we will not post any personally identifying information.
If we become aware that a child under the age of 13 has made a request for information, for example through our Ask a Librarian forms, we will respond to the request and any identifying information will be deleted once we have responded. Similarly, if we become aware that a child under 13 posted personally identifiable information on any of our Web sites, we will also delete that information.
In order to register for a myLOC account, a child under the age of 13 must provide an email address. The child will also have to complete the “parent’s or teacher’s email approval” box so the Library can notify the adult of the registration and our privacy practices. That email will also allow the adult to revoke the child’s account. Like all registered myLOC users, a child can select a “remember me” sign-on option that sets a persistent cookie on the child’s computer. As noted above, this cookie may be removed by modifying the browser.
The Library will disclose information about a child under the age of 13 if it is necessary to protect the child or the site itself, or to respond to law enforcement.
We take children's privacy very seriously, and encourage parents to contact us with any questions or concerns they may have via the Web form at http://www.loc.gov/help/ask-contactus.php. Additionally, if parents want us to delete any collected personally identifiable information about their children under the age of 13, they can also contact us at the Web site address listed above.