Private and Confidential

We take your privacy very seriously. As librarians, we fight for your privacy every day. Our  code of ethics states:

III. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

When using Ask-WA, the information you provide to us will never get into the wrong hands. For the purpose of convenience, we do request certain information. This is what we ask for and how we use it:


Providing a name is not required, but it is helpful so that we can be friendly. If you prefer, you may use a pseudonym, though you should not use a name that is lewd or inappropriate.

Email Address

Providing an email address is not required, but can be very helpful. If you do provide an email address, it will only be used to provide you services related to the question you are asking. We will not share your email address with any third party; you will not receive any spam as a result of providing us with your email address.

You may want to provide your email address so that:

  • We can send you a transcript of your session for your reference.
  • We can follow up on an incomplete session.
  • Your library can follow up with you by providing additional helpful information and resources.


When you ask a question, the details about your inquiry will not be shared outside the service. In most cases, the only people who will see your question will be you, the librarian you chat with, and a librarian at your local library. Your question may be shared with a professional subject specialist if a librarian deems that helpful;
in an academic institution, your question may be forwarded to a faculty member for the best answer. We will always check with you before transferring your question.

If your question is used for training or demonstration purposes, the transcript will be cleaned up, and all personal and identifying information will be removed.


Transcripts may be used:

  • To email the user as a record of the session, and a reminder of the information
    and resources provided.
  • To monitor and improve the overall quality of the service.
  • To develop aggregated statistical data for reporting on the number of requests received, the number of requests completed, and the average length of sessions.

We will remove identifying information from transcripts shared with outside entities for the above purposes.

Additional Information

While clarifying your request for information, a librarian may ask about the purpose of the information (for instance, is this for a homework assignment?), or reading or grade level. Such incidental information is used to identify appropriate resources only.