Why Patron Privacy Matters and How You Can Protect It
- Why privacy matters, even if you have nothing to hide (ethical foundation for protecting (patron privacy).
- What does the law require? (legal foundation for protecting patron privacy)
- Typical threats to library patron privacy (library patrons, fund-raising efforts, First Amendment“audits,” requests from law enforcement, self-service hold shelves, vendors, etc.)
- What you can do to protect privacy? (practical advice about writing policy and procedures,training staff and board members, educating patrons, modifying library operations, using privacy screens, etc.)
- Where to get help? Intellectual Freedom Manual, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom website (free resources), Sample handouts and procedures (free resources)
Professor Trina Magi is a reference and instruction librarian at Howe Memorial Library, University of Vermont. Trina has spoken and written widely about privacy and libraries and was editor of the 9th edition of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Manual and assistant editor of the 10th edition. She has led or been a member of intellectual freedom committees at the state, regional, and national levels, and played a leadership role in raising awareness about the privacy implications of the USA PATRIOT Act, working with then-Congressman Bernie Sanders to introduce the Freedom to Read Protection Act. She has received several awards for her efforts, including ALA’s Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award, NELA’s ProQuest/SIRS Intellectual Freedom Award, and the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award.