7 Guides in 7 Days:
Day 5 – Privacy Audits

Privacy, Privacy Education

By the IFC Privacy Subcommittee

Data Privacy Day is on January 28. It’s a great reminder (or nudge) to spruce up your library privacy practices. We’ve got the perfect tools to get you started (and with minimal effort), too. We’ll be sharing 7 privacy field guides in 7 days.

What are the Privacy Field Guides?

The Institute of Museum and Library Services, in partnership with the American Library Association, sponsored the creation of the Privacy Field Guides. They contain practical, hands-on exercises for you to create a more privacy-focused library. They are designed for academic, public, and school libraries of all types. Any library worker can benefit from using the guides, and we know you will find at least one action you personally can take to improve library privacy.

There are currently 7 guides available for free via printable PDFs or an interactive website. You can also buy the book version. We’ll be highlighting one per day with you. We’ll go over the following:

  • Where can you find it?
  • Who’s it for?
  • What’s covered?
  • Why should you check it out?

Day 5 – Privacy Audits

Where can you find it?

The printable PDF is available in the privacy section of the ALA website. It’s also available on the interactive website.

Who’s it for?

How well is your institution meeting its privacy goals? How secure is your user data? What personal information are you providing to vendors? A privacy audit can help answer those questions.

The “Privacy Audit” field guide can help you get started. A privacy audit is a systematic review of all aspects of patron privacy in your library – find out where you are doing well and where you need improvement.

What’s covered?

  • Understanding what a privacy audit is
  • Guidelines and checklists for building your audit
  • Performing the audit
  • How to use the results of your audit

Why should you check it out?

The exercises help you take action. A privacy audit is a lot of work, but this guide helps you break it down into smaller tasks. To get started, use the Core Questions in “Building the Audit Framework.”

What’s next?

On Day 6, we’ll share details about the “Privacy Policies” field guide.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee‘s Privacy Subcommittee monitors ongoing privacy developments in technology (in cooperation with the Library Information Technology Association (LITA)), politics and legislation (in cooperation with the Committee on Legislation (COL)), as well as social and cultural trends that impact individual privacy and confidentiality, both in libraries and the wider world.   It is charged with identifying privacy needs and resources for librarians and library users; proposing action on resolutions, policies, and guidelines addressing privacy, confidentiality, and data security; developing educational, informational, and promotional projects addressing privacy, confidentiality, and data security issues; and collaborating with other member groups and organizations within and without ALA on matters within its charge.

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