Magazine article American Libraries

ALA Approves New Privacy Guidelines

Magazine article American Libraries

ALA Approves New Privacy Guidelines

Article excerpt

The American Library Association's (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) has approved four new guidelines that outline strategies and best practices for protecting patron privacy in the digital environment. The guidelines address online privacy and data security and are intended to assist librarians, libraries, schools, and vendors in developing policies and procedures that safeguard library users' data.

The IFC Privacy Subcommittee developed the documents with input from ALA committees, divisions, interest groups, and roundtables with an interest in privacy.

"The guidelines are a good start for mapping out the areas where libraries need to work with service providers and other partners to safeguard patron privacy in the digital age," said Michael Robinson, chair of the ALA-IFC Privacy Subcommittee and head of systems at the University of Alaska-Anchorage/Alaska Pacific University Consortium Library at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, in an August 1 statement. "The next challenge will be to provide resources and training to help libraries put the principles outlined in these documents into practice."

The guidelines include privacy best practices for public-access computers and networks, library websites, online public-access catalogs, discovery services, library management systems, and data exchange between networked devices and services. …

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