New: Privacy Field Guides

Submitted by Erin Berman : Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee

Privacy is a core value of librarianship, yet it often feels like an overwhelming and onerous undertaking. Library workers repeatedly say that there is a lack of practical how-to guides for making concrete privacy changes in the library. To address the concerns voiced by library workers, Bonnie Tijerina and Erin Berman partnered to create the Privacy Field Guides. Sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the American Library Association, written by privacy experts and reviewed by librarians in the field, these guides were designed to work in school, public, and academic libraries. These guides are now complete and the creators would like to send physical copies to any community and junior colleges who are interested (while supplies last)! All you need to do is fill out this form and we will ship them to you.

The complete set of guides is now available for download on ALA’s Privacy Resource Center. A fully interactive companion site to the guides is slated to be released in February where library workers can view additional resources and complete the guide activities. Later this year the guides will also be available for purchase as a workbook through ALA editions, so stay tuned! 

There are seven guides covering topics important to library workers.

  1. How To Talk About Privacy covers privacy talking points, creating an elevator speech, and how to build a persuasive argument
  2. Non-Tech Privacy looks at space design, user surveillance, information printed on paper, and self-service options.
  3. Digital Security Basics walks through creating strong passwords and phrases, multi-factor authentication, phishing, and the importance of staff and user training.
  4. Data Lifecycles introduces readers to each area of the user data lifecycle and gives tips and exercises to learn more about what your library may be doing.
  5. Privacy Policies introduces the read to privacy policies, how to read one and how to write one for a library.
  6. Privacy Audits helps libraries ensure their procedures are in line with their promises of privacy and confidentiality by offering an audit framework and providing resources to perform the audit and tell the audit story.
  7. Vendors and Privacy helps the reader evaluate vendor privacy and understand who in their organization controls decisions to buy and negotiate with vendors.

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