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In June 2016, the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee released a set of Library Privacy Guidelines, a set of seven library service-specific guidelines “intended to assist librarians, libraries, schools and vendors to develop best practices for online privacy and data management and security.”

From then until January 2017, a 40+ person group of volunteers from the LITA Patron Privacy Interest Group and the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee (led by myself and Mike Robinson) was busy at work creating a practical set of checklists to help libraries of all sizes, types, and staffing expertise to audit and improve their privacy practices.

These checklists match up with the seven library service areas of the guidelines and are tiered into priority actions within each checklist–actions that we think all libraries can take all the way up to “ideal scenario” privacy practices that are dependent on staff expertise and available resources. The checklists were approved at the ALA Midwinter Conference and are ready for prime time.

So therefore,  I give you this huge group of talented and genius volunteers’ labor of love: The Library Privacy Checklists.

I am going to be working in my own library starting this week to conduct a privacy audit of our practices and begin improving what we can. I cannot overstate how much I hope that each and every library of every size and every type will use these checklists as a way to safeguard our users’ information to the very best of our ability. It’s our job. It’s our responsibility. And for some of us, it’s our passion.

Go forth and protect.


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