Patron Privacy in Libraries

On April 20, 2016, the Derry Public Library hosted a workshop for librarians and trustees on the important topic of Protecting Patron Privacy: Why it’s important, ways to respond to requests for patron info, and ways to protect privacy in your library”.

privacy promo

Featured presenters:

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director, Americans for Civil Liberties of New Hampshire

  • Devon came to New Hampshire from the ACLU’s Washington office, where she worked to stop bias policing, prisoner abuse, privacy violations and free speech infringement. Prior to joining the ACLU, Devon served as Advocacy Counsel at Human Rights First, fighting against U.S. counterterrorism and national security policies that violate human rights.
  • Library Privacy: Rights and Responsibilities under the Law – Devon Chaffee

Krista McLeod, Director of the Nevins Memorial Library, Methuen, MA

  • Krista has served as president, conference chair and in other leadership roles for both the Massachusetts Library Association and the New England Library Association. In 2008 she was inducted into the Massachusetts Library Association Hall of Fame in recognition of her advocacy for public libraries, and she is currently co-chair of the New England Library Leadership Symposium (NELLS) committee.
  • McLeod gave an overview of the history of how US libraries became advocates for intellectual freedom, the impact of the Patriot Act and examples of how she and other librarians have bumped up against  and addressed privacy and confidentiality issues in their libraries.
  • Visit the Massachusetts Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee to schedule a workshop at your library.

A panel of librarians shared real-world solutions to ensuring patron privacy in their libraries. Panelists included:

Julie Perrin, Director of the Jaffrey Public Library, former Director of Stephenson Memorial Library in Greenfield NH (pop: 1,700+ – representing small libraries)

Mark Glisson, Hooksett Public Library (pop: 13,000+ – medium libraries) Information & Technology Services Specialist

Jessica Drouin, Derry Public Library Materials/Technical Specialist, and Meryle Zusman, Communications Coordinator Derry Public Library (pop: 33,100+ – large libraries)

Jessica serves as Chairperson for GMILCS PAC (Patron Access Catalog) group. Her career has spanned many library departments with her current job encompassing library Acquisitions at Derry Public Library and book group facilitator.

Meryle has worked in public libraries for 20 years. Currently, she works as technology liaison at Derry Public Library as well as coordinates the library’s public relations information. Meryle also serves as Chairperson for the GMILCS Technet group.

Some other resources on privacy you might find useful:

Questions and Answers on Privacy and Confidentiality ALA

The Electronic Frontier Foundation : The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world.

Privacy Badger : Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web.

Adblock Plus : Adblock Plus is a free extension that allows you to block annoying ads, disable tracking and block domains known to spread malware.

HTTPS Everywhere : HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.

DuckDuckGo : The search engine that doesn’t track you.

Ninite : Install and update all your programs at once, safely. No toolbars. No clicking next. Just pick your apps and go.

CCleaner : Get rid of unwanted programs, empty trash, clean up history and make your browsing footprint safer.