Libraries are a wonderful resource for communities. They provide endless volumes of information, a quiet haven in which to study, and educational programs for the public. For many, the local library has also become the place to access computers and the Internet. As a result, libraries have the opportunity to become an information source on how to protect the privacy of our personal information and be secure online. Consider doing the following in honor of Data Privacy Day, January 28, 2011:
Host a series of educational events for your patrons designed to increase awareness about data privacy. Consider programs especially for parents, students, and older adults.
Invite a privacy professional in your area to speak at a brown bag lunch for library employees to educate your employees about the basics of data privacy. Host your own brown bag lunch using educational materials and presentations available at http://www.dataprivacyday.org/.
Actively encourage all parents, patrons, educators and librarians to educate young people about protecting the privacy of their personal information online.
Encourage familiarity with the American Library Association’s (ALA) Resources for Libraries, Choose Privacy Week, and Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, and promote discussions of privacy rights in the digital age, especially reader privacy, among all library employees and users. To this end, view the ALA's Choose Privacy Week Video.
Ensure that all computers used by the library have updated security software (anti-spyware, anti-virus, and firewall), web browsers, and operating systems.
Make sure your library has a copy of Choose Privacy Week Resource Guide, available for only $15 from the ALA. Encourage your library to order more books about data privacy and security for patrons of all ages and to keep these resources updated. Make sure your library has a copy of Privacy and Confidentiality Issues: A Guide for Libraries and Their Lawyers, 98 pages, 2009, soft cover, American Library Association (ALA).
Learn more about privacy and security education at www.dataprivacyday.org and