As so much of life has been ‘closed down’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many libraries have begun to reach out to their users directly over the phone. These calls, sometimes referred to as wellness checks, come from our professional tradition of service and a genuine concern for the well-being of the users we have come to know so well and care for so deeply. This desire for checking in on our users can come into conflict with our ethical charge to protect user privacy and confidentiality regarding library use. Before jumping into action, take time to think about the purpose of the calls and how they will be done. The guidelines below were developed to help libraries consider if, and how, staff can make calls to users.
We are aiming to create a robust resource where library workers can learn more about privacy-related topics and hear about the amazing work happening at libraries across the country.
Beginning this week, the American Library Association’s “Choose Privacy” website has a new look and a new URL — chooseprivacyeveryday.org — which emphasizes the importance of preserving patron privacy and data security in today’s libraries every day of the year.
By Neil Richards Have you looked at your Google or Bing search history recently? You should. When you do, you’ll find a list of all the questions you’ve asked your digital assistant. Maybe you asked who won Super Bowl XX
Choose Privacy Week, May 1 – 7, 2014, will feature conversations about protecting privacy rights all year long, both inside and outside the library. “Librarians are staunch defenders of library users’ privacy, even as new technologies and a growing use