Patron Privacy Matters

Posted by InfoLit Learning Community on 12/14/18 10:00 AM


Maybe you’ve considered journey mapping of patron experiences as a way to improve your library’s services. Or you might be conducting other user research as part of your work or for a library school assignment. Either way, patron privacy should be a first concern. Two new resources will be of assistance as you consider how to protect patron data and other sensitive information that you gather.

NYC digital safetyThe first is from NYC Digital Safety, which is a partnership among the New York, Brooklyn, and Queens public library systems; the NYC Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer; and METRO Library Council. Though “Digital Security and Privacy in the Library” was developed with New York libraries as a focus, librarians everywhere can learn much from the advice included. Available at, the publication includes sections on:

  • Digital safety in the library context
  • How information travels across the internet and how it can be intercepted
  • The entities that have vested interest in intercepting your information
  • Securing accounts and devices
  • Connecting to the internet securely
  • Preventing tracking
  • Avoiding spam and malware
  • Minimizing your digital footprint

PrimerAlso just released is the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee's (ReSEC)ACRL Primer for Protecting Sensitive Data in Academic Research." The committee explains that the primer “provides a quick grounding in the whats, whys, and hows of current regulations and practices for protecting sensitive data. It is based on work created in the Netherlands for the General Data Protection Regulation in EU law, but brought into the United States context."

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