>Librarians: Privacy Superheroes

>Libraries must be beacons of privacy in an increasingly public world.

Even the small pubic library where I work does it’s part in keeping with our patrons right to privacy. In fact, we take it extraordinarily serious. Everyone who works at the library has undergone extensive training in regards to our privacy policies and all of our staff were required to take online courses in library law/policy. Our LISTEN system allows us access to extremely sensitive patron information, which we never give out, nor do we allow other patrons access to it. Information such as home addresses and email addresses are never used inappropriately (i.e., spam marketing or solicitations).

Another way we protect our patrons is by shredding all documents and labels that contain patron information. This means that every reserve wrapper is shredded almost immediately after it is removed from the book. We also fiercely protect the privacy of our patrons when it comes to what they are reading. I have had friends, husbands, siblings and bosses ask me what ‘so in so’ has out and that information would never cross to the other side of the desk.

The article was quite interesting and I very much agree with the author that libraries need to set the standard in terms of individual privacy and community based.

What do you think? Do you believe that the library goes above and beyond in regards to your privacy? Is there something more that libraries could/should do?

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