Assessing Contracts

To assist librarians in evaluating the privacy provisions (or lack thereof) in contract language, the project created an interactive rubric for evaluating how platforms meet or exceed patron privacy needs based on a consensus of library patron data privacy standards, guidelines, and practices as described in the following resources:

Download the rubric (PDF, 7 MB)

A glossary and example contract language page  are available to assist the evaluation process.

The project will publish a white paper in December with details about the rubric creation process and additional guidance in evaluating vendor contracts and privacy policies using the rubric.

The Vendor Contract and Privacy Rubric and related resources were developed by LDH Consulting Services as a component of the Licensing Privacy project led by Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe. This project was made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Upcoming Webinar –  Registration:

Licensing Privacy: The Vendor Contract and Policy Rubric
November 17, 2021, 1:00-2:00 PM Central Time
Presenter: Becky Yoose, LDH Consulting Services
Facilitator: Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Many libraries seeking to protect user privacy find navigating vendor contracts and policies frustrating. Contract language can be opaque and obfuscate potential risks to users’ privacy, making it difficult for libraries to determine the level of privacy protection, or lack thereof, for patrons. Contract language can be opaque and obfuscate potential privacy risks. Libraries are often part of a procurement team, working with others in the institution who might not fully understand the priority importance of preserving privacy, and encounter barriers when advocating for privacy-conscientious vendor contract language

In this latest webinar from the Mellon-supported Licensing Privacy project, attendees will learn about the project’s newest tool, the Vendor Contract and Policy Rubric. We will discuss how attendees and their libraries can use the rubric to evaluate how well vendor platforms follow library privacy guidelines, standards, and best practices. In addition, the webinar will discuss practical ways to use the rubric in advocating for privacy during vendor selection and contract negotiation. A companion report will be published following the webinar.

The Licensing Privacy project, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aims to improve how academic libraries leverage licensing terms to advocate for patron privacy. The project goal is to effect change in third-party platform practices to align them with library values of privacy, confidentiality, and respect for user control over their usage data. Future webinars will focus on understanding authentication and authorization frameworks and best practices in handling user data.

Please register to attend and/or receive a link to the recording when available. Additional information about the Licensing Privacy project is available at:

Please contact PI Lisa Hinchliffe (  if you have any questions or suggestions.