Privacy Statement

This privacy statement explains the procedures followed by AskMN in collecting information regarding use of this service. Use of this service is your agreement to the Privacy Statement. We treat our customers with respect and expect the same in return. If you use abusive language or deliberately waste librarian effort in a way that denies service to others, we will end the session.

  • We protect the privacy of your question. However, people who make threats or use offensive language forfeit their privacy.
  • Threats are taken seriously. If you tell us that you plan to do something illegal, you can expect there to be serious consequences.
  • We contact schools and internet service providers to report violations.

Below we describe what information we request and how it is used:


A name is not required but is helpful so we can be friendly. Feel free to use any name you like, within reason.

Email Address

Question on Any Topic Queue

An email address is required for use in the Question on Any Topic queue so we can better serve patrons.

College Research Queue

An email address is not required to use the College Research queue. If one is provided, it will be used only in the provision of service from this site. No email addresses will be sold or given to any other entities. 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

In the course of clarifying the request for information the Librarian may ask for information regarding purpose (for instance, is this for a homework assignment?), or reading or grade level. Such incidental information will be used to identify appropriate resources only.

Online Privacy Statement

Read the online privacy statement for more information about the types of data we collect while you use this site.

For more information regarding privacy, please see our software's Terms of Service. As librarians, we fight for your privacy every day; please see our code of ethics.