May 17, 2022

Wisconsin: State Senate Committee Approves Bill Allowing For Police Notification For Overdue Library Materials

UPDATE March 1: The bill discussed in the post below was signed into law by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker yesterday. See coverage here.

From the AP:

The state Senate’s Elections and Local Government unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would create exceptions to privacy laws protecting library users’ identities so libraries could report delinquent borrowers to collection agencies and police. The committee vote clears the way for a full vote on the Senate floor.

The bill’s author, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, a River Falls Republican, said in written testimony to the committee that the proposal would give libraries tools they need to recover their materials and collect fines.


Wisconsin Library Association lobbyist Steven Conway said the bill would help establish uniform procedures for recovering overdue materials. Right now, he said, different municipalities are advising libraries to use different strategies, including assigning a librarian to make calls, referring borrowers to collection agencies and turning to police.

But it’s unclear whether those tactics are legal under borrower privacy protections, Harsdorf aide Alison Zikmund said. The bill clarifies that collection agencies and police are clearly options, she said.

Read the Complete Article

Note: For more on this story see our post from January 6, 2015:
Wisconsin State Legislature Considers Proposal That Would Permit Police Notification For Overdue Library Materials

Read and Track the Bill (SB 466)

Worth Noting: The Wisconsin Library Association is supporting this legislation.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.