The UWM Libraries respect the privacy of library users in accordance with Wisconsin Statute §43.30, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), and the following statement in the American Library Association’s document Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights:

“Users have the right to be informed what policies and procedures govern the amount and retention of personally identifiable information, why that information is necessary for the library, and what the user can do to maintain his or her privacy.”

This policy reviews the types of personally identifiable information collected by the UWM Libraries, how this information is used, and how it can be made available to third parties outside the UWM Libraries.

Information We Collect

The following information may be collected by the UWM Libraries about users of its facilities, website, catalog, online resources, services and systems:

  • The browser type, operating system, and the domain and Internet Protocol (IP) address from which the user is connecting.
  • UWM ID number, address, phone number, and e-mail address. These are stored in the Libraries’ system and are attached to any service requests that the user makes.
  • Circulation record, such as checked-out materials, as well as current and historical fines.
  • Personalized catalog settings, such as search preferences, marked items, and saved searches.
  • ILL requests.
  • Questions, including full transcript of a conversation, submitted electronically to the Ask a Librarian service.
  • Activity in public areas of the building may be covered by security video surveillance cameras. Cameras are monitored from stations within the staff offices. The activity captured on the cameras is also recorded and archived.

How This Information Is Used

The UWM Libraries collect library user data to support user services, research to improve those services, the internal operations of the library, and content- and software-providers for which the data was gathered. In many circumstances, the delivery of library services may require the user to provide personal data in order to access a library resource or receive services.

In circumstances when the provision of personal data is not required, the UWM Libraries will offer options as to how much personal data is collected from the user and how it is employed. As feasible, the Libraries will also offer the choice to opt out at a later date and have data deleted.

Library user data that includes personally identifiable information shall be retained in that form only as long as necessary for operational purposes. If user data is to be retained for research purposes, access shall be limited to individuals authorized by the Director of Libraries, per UWM policy.

Access to Your Information

Information Shared with Partners

Library user data sometimes needs to be shared with other libraries and UWM departments. For example:

  • Data regarding UW System Borrowing requests is shared with relevant University of Wisconsin libraries.
  • Live chat questions submitted to the Ask a Librarian service may be shared with other member libraries of the LibAnswers 24/7 Chat Cooperative.
  • When a user authenticates as a UWM user for off-campus access to online library subscriptions, the user’s information, along with the requested resource, is sent to 1Login, UWM’s Single-Sign On system, which is managed by UITS.
  • The user’s library fines are reported to the UWM Department of Enrollment Services, and, if necessary, an external collection agency, which may report the user to a credit bureau if the fines are unpaid.
  • Inappropriate behavior, such as criminal activity or violations of our User Rights and Responsibilities policy, may be reported to the UWM Police Department or the UWM Campus Assessment, Response, and Education (CARE) Coordinating Team.
  • The user’s student ID number may be shared with the UWM Office of Assessment and Institutional Research.

When a user creates an account with or authenticates via a library vendor, how the user’s information is utilized and shared is governed by that vendor’s privacy policy and/or UWM’s contract with that vendor.

Release of Information to Third Parties

In an effort to respect all users’ privacy and in accordance with FERPA and the American Library Association’s Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information About Library Users and Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records, the UWM Libraries maintain a strict policy of not releasing any information about the use of the UWM Libraries to third parties, except as required by law or unless it obtains the user’s permission to do so. The UWM Libraries may disclose certain personally identifiable information to appropriate school officials within UWM who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in viewing such records or their components.

Using Resources Anonymously

Users have the following options if they prefer to use our resources and services anonymously:

  • To access electronic resources, use a public computer on campus that does not require a log in.
  • To ask for assistance, visit the UWM Libraries in person or call a librarian over the phone.
  • To access physical resources in the Libraries’ general collection, use materials in the building without checking them out.


Questions or comments about the UWM Libraries’ privacy policies and procedures may be emailed to or mailed to:

UWM Libraries
Administrative Office
2311 East Hartford Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Revised May 27, 2017