Policy #001 Adopted: December 20, 2016

Policy Statement

The Milwaukee Tool Library champions the protection of personal privacy. Protecting library user privacy and keeping confidential information that identifies individuals or associates individuals with their use of materials, equipment, programs, facilities, and/or staff assistance is an integral principle of the Tool Library. This policy affirms the Tool Library’s commitment to privacy, explains the information that the Tool Library collects, and alerts visitors to facilities and users of remotely accessed services to the privacy choices they face.


  • The Milwaukee Tool Library will keep all such information that it purposefully or inadvertently collects or maintains confidential to the fullest extent permitted by federal state and local law, including the Wisconsin Statute 431, and the USA PATRIOT Act2.
  • To make this policy easy to find, the Tool Library makes it available on the Library’s Website and at every point where personally identifiable information may be requested.
  • Protection of confidentiality extends to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, and received.
  • The Tool Library does not collect personal information about a user when a user visits the Tool Library’s Website, registers for a program, or enrolls for Tool Library services unless the user authorizes the Tool Library to have that information. The user has the option to participate or not participate.
  • Any information the Tool Library user chooses to provide will be used only to provide or improve services, such as information gathered through voluntary user surveys.
  • The Tool Library protects library user account information by placing it on a secure server.


  • To access Tool Library resources, users are required to provide identifying information such as name, birth date and mailing address. This identifying information is retained as long as the user continues to use the resources made available by the Tool Library.
  • A Tool Library user’s record includes current information, items currently checked out or on hold, as well as overdue equipment and fines.
  • The Tool Library does not maintain a history of what a user has previously checked out once books and materials have been returned on time3.
  • When fines accrue on a user’s account, the Tool Library does maintain records of equipment that has been borrowed but returned after the due date, or is still outstanding on the user’s record. When overdue materials are returned and all associated fines are paid, the information associated with the user’s account is deleted.

Email and Web Forms

  • Information provided by a user via email or Web forms will be used only for purposes described at the point of collection (for example on a Web form), such as to send information or provide Tool Library services to the user, update information on the user’s record, or respond to a user’s questions or comments.
  • If contact information is provided, the Tool Library may contact the user to clarify a comment or question, or to learn about the level of user satisfaction with Tool Library services.
  • The Tool Library treats reference questions, regardless of format of transmission (in person, via telephone, fax, email or online) confidentially. Personal identifying information related to these questions is purged on an ongoing basis.
  • Email is not necessarily secure against interception and may be subject to disclosure requirements of Wisconsin Statutes or other legal disclosure requirements.

External Links

  • The Tool Library’s Website may contain links to other sites. The Milwaukee Tool Library is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites, which may be different from the privacy practices described in this policy. The Milwaukee Tool Library encourages users to become familiar with privacy policies of other sites visited, including linked sites.

Working with Law Enforcement

  • Tool Library records will not be made available to any agency of the state, federal or local government except pursuant to such process, order or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigatory power.

1Library records are protected by Wis. Stat. § 43.30(1m)-(5)

2PL 107-56 – Uniting & Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required To Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA Patriot Act) Act of 2001

3Library users may choose to opt in and record their equipment history. By doing so, users choose to give explicit consent to the storage of their equipment history from the opt-in date. Equipment Library personnel will not access or release a user’s equipment history unless required by law to do so. Tool Library users may opt out of this service and delete their equipment history at any time.