Brooklyn, Queens, and New York Public Libraries Launch a New Digital Privacy Initiative

by William Marden Chair, ALA-IFC Privacy Subcommittee The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library are teaming up with the Metropolitan New York Library Council to bring digital privacy and data-security information to New York City’s 8.5 million residents. With support from the NYC Mayor’s Office, the project will train the city’s front-line librarians to be able to answer questions about internet privacy and...

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Piwik is an alternative to Google Analytics

By Adam Chandler Cornell University Libraries Director, Automation, User Experience, and Post-Cataloging Services Like many other libraries, Cornell University Library uses Google Analytics (GA) to track website usage. GA, designed to support Google’s primary revenue stream, advertising, has many strengths, especially the fact that it does not cost money. However, given our tradition in libraries to protect reader privacy, a compelling...

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Choosing Privacy for Public Computers in Libraries

By Matt Beckstrom Systems Manager Librarian, Lewis & Clark Library, Helena, MT Author, Protecting Patron Privacy:Safe Practices for Public Computers Most of us offer some kind of public computers for our patrons, and obviously privacy is a concern. What should we be doing for our patrons when it comes to privacy on public computers? What steps can we take? First of all, we have to remember that we have to work around the fact that privacy is...

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A Toolkit to Audit Your Library’s Privacy Practices

by Sarah Houghton Director, San Rafael Public Library (California) In this brave new world do you find yourself wondering how to ensure that your library is protecting your users’ privacy to the best of your ability? Not sure where to start? Check out the Library Patron Privacy Checklists, a joint effort from LITA’s Patron Privacy Interest Group and the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee. No matter what kind...

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Negotiating Contracts with Vendors for Privacy

by Eric Stroshane Library Development Manager North Dakota State Library In the wake of the 2013 Snowden revelations and the March 2017 Congressional resolution to eschew the FCC’s privacy rules, we’ve seen online privacy initiatives gain significant traction while garnering widespread attention and accolades. Efforts like Reset the Net and the non-profit Let’s Encrypt have ushered in an era of far greater and more evenly distributed...

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De-identification and Patron Data

De-identification and Patron Data

by Becky Yoose Library Applications and Systems Manager The Seattle Public Library Libraries and library vendors contain multitudes of data1 : item circulation, patron information, computer sessions, program attendance, website logs, and searches, just to name a few. Data plays a critical role in analysis and assessment of collections, operations, and services; however, the privacy of the patron must be taken into consideration in using any...

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