The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and of the press. This requires the corresponding right to hear what is spoken and read what is written, free from fear of intrusion, intimidation, or reprisal. Confidentiality is essential to protect the exercise of these rights from invasions of privacy.
The Kenosha Public Library is an impartial resource providing information on all points of view, available to all persons regardless of age, race, religion, national origin, social or political views, economic status, or any other characteristic. This role must not be compromised by an erosion of the privacy rights of our library users.
The Kenosha Public Library protects the privacy of library users under the rules established by Wisconsin State Statute 43.30. Confidentiality extends to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired, and includes database search records, reference interviews, interlibrary loan records, and all other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.
Records of library use captured by surveillance devices may be shared with law enforcement under the following conditions:
(a) Upon the request of a law enforcement officer who is investigating criminal conduct alleged to have occurred at a library supported in whole or in part by public funds, the library shall disclose to the law enforcement officer all records pertinent to the alleged criminal conduct that were produced by a surveillance device under the control of the library.
(b) If a library requests the assistance of a law enforcement officer, and the director of the library determines that records produced by a surveillance device under the control of the library may assist the law enforcement officer to render the requested assistance, the library may disclose the records to the law enforcement officer.
The Kenosha Public Library recognizes that law enforcement agencies and officers may occasionally believe that library records contain information which would be helpful to the investigation of criminal activity. If there is a reasonable basis to believe such records, other than records produced by a library surveillance device, are necessary to the progress of an investigation or prosecution, our judicial system provides the mechanism for seeking release of such confidential records. The issuance of a court order, following a showing of good cause based on specific facts by a court of competent jurisdiction, is required for release of such information, except for records produced by a Library surveillance device.
In accordance with Wisconsin law, custodial parents or guardians of children under age 16 may, upon request, review library records pertaining to their children’s use of the Library’s documents or other materials, resources, or services. Custodial parents and guardians must certify that the requester is the custodial parent or guardian of the child whose records have been requested before the Library will provide those records to the parent or guardian.