A introductory collection of articles, resources, and books on the need for inclusive privacy. News and Opinion Honor system allows library patrons to borrow sensitive-topic books Point Reyes Light Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Consumer Groups Urge Congress to Protect
Our collective future depends on our capacity to get organized. How can we build power in our communities to say no? How can we use our role to teach the public about what’s happening with facial recognition tech and more? It’s in our power to not only envision a better world, but to create it. Let’s take back the future together.
Adult Literacy Services are confidential in California. It is a delicate dance honoring and practicing confidentiality for many reasons. I hope to give some food for thought by sharing three experiences I have had as a tutor-learner (student) coordinator for Solano County Library’s Adult Literacy Program.
I’m here to tell you: Poor people value things like privacy too.
Library workers everywhere, whether academic, public, special, or school share a certain pride: the ability to assist anyone who walks through their doors. We take all comers, and we help them in a variety of ways, directly or indirectly. Because young queer users who are questioning or aren’t out may be especially hesitant to approach staff and ask for assistance, below are some things you can do to make sure these users can still find what they’re looking for in your collection without violating their privacy.
Let’s have conversations to find a way to bridge this gap between privacy and reasonable accommodation, not just for our coworkers but also for our clientele.
“I am using my innocence and the trust upheld by my local librarians as a benchmark for best practices in our current privacy standards. So when the next generation of young and mighty Sapphos-to-Be come out or try and find answers to their unknown, they can do so with as much security, safety, and innocence that I was afforded.”
When library school ideals, professional ethics and the reality of managing a school library collide: the author describes how her students are being surveilled when searching for information on school-issued devices and argues that those who have taken an oath to preserve privacy and uphold intellectual freedom, must continue to ask as many questions as possible when administrators collect sensitive student data and offer to help write policies that both protect rights and support safe schools.
Librarians always have good intentions when they create a program, but may not be fully weighing the outcomes for patrons. We make some noise about new work to get people in our doors and engage with the public; to show our solidarity with our patrons. But what if drawing attention to the library isn’t the best strategy to protect the privacy of the very people you want to serve? It’s difficult to know the precise answer.A lot of what we might think about in librarianship about privacy is through the lens of what are more traditional library services, conducting personal research on a computer, borrowing materials, signing up for a computer class or using the library catalog, and through the lens of education and privilege. How do we convey library values to our communities when they are vulnerable?
Over a long timeline of interacting with the same people, library workers can start to develop a running knowledge of a large amount of information about the people that come in all the time. Housing status, health, financial wellbeing, personal issues, and so much more that is casually revealed gets added to the growing body of what is known of the user. This is information has privacy concerns attached to it, and the onus of maintaining the user’s privacy lies with every library worker who inadvertently gains details from incidental revelations from library users.