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An Infopeople Online Learning Course

February 16th, 2021 12:00 PM
March 15th, 2021 4:30 PM
Fee per learner $200.00

Becky YooseCourse Instructor: Becky Yoose

The relationship status between privacy and libraries is “It’s Complicated.” Privacy is a basic patron right and a core tenet in professional ethics and standards. Libraries market themselves as protectors and advocates of privacy. However, the reality of how libraries use patron data complicates the library’s ability to be privacy protector and advocate, and in some cases contradicts these roles. Libraries need patron data for their library to function and to survive in a world that ties performance to budgets and resources, but how can libraries be good data privacy stewards while meeting operational needs in this complicated data reality?

This course provides the foundational knowledge around libraries, data, and privacy for learners who are new to libraries or who want a place to start their library privacy journey:

  • We will start with the connection between privacy and libraries, and the various factors that influence (and complicate) libraries’ relationship with patron data.
  • The course navigates through the patron data lifecycle, how common library practices can put patron privacy at risk at each stage, and how learners can reduce those risks.
  • Finally, the course will dive into how to protect patron privacy through various parts of library operations, from privacy policies/procedures and patron services to working with vendors and staff working from home.
  • The course will also touch on communication strategies around privacy for both library workers and patrons.

Course Description: This four-week course will include two interactive online sessions:

  • February 18, 2021 at 10 AM Pacific, 11 AM Mountain, Noon Central, 1 PM Eastern
  • March 4, 2021 at 10 AM Pacific, 11 AM Mountain, Noon Central, 1 PM Eastern

The online sessions will be recorded for those who cannot attend during the scheduled time.

In addition to the scheduled sessions, the instructor will provide resources and guidance that will help you build a foundational understanding of this important topic. During the course, you will participate in discussion forums, with an opportunity to share your experiences and questions, alongside others who are interested in learning library data privacy fundamentals. Through assignments, you will apply the concepts to your own library and community.

Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:

  • Week 1: Libraries, Data, and Privacy
    • The history of privacy in libraries and the current challenges facing libraries in use of patron data
    • How legal regulation, industry standards, and data analytical practices affect patron data privacy
  • Week 2: Protecting Patron Data in Library Operations
    • Data privacy risks in the patron data lifecycle and risk mitigation strategies
    • Privacy and confidentiality policies and related procedures
    • Strategies to protect patron privacy in vendor selection and contracting processes
  • Week 3: Patron Privacy Considerations and Communications
    • Identify and address data privacy concerns and issues for specific patron groups
    • Communicate the value of patron privacy to library staff, administration, and Board members
    • Create programming, training, and communications around privacy for patrons
  • Week 4: Practicing Data Privacy at Your Library
    • Plan and implement a data inventory
    • Create an action plan for addressing key privacy issues and professional development at the library

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2 hours per week, for a total of eight course hours.

Who Should Take This Course: Library staff, volunteers, students, and administration who are either new to the library field or who want to strengthen their foundational knowledge around library data privacy. Learners from all library types are welcome, though the primary focus of the course will be public and academic libraries. This course will cover some basic technical topics around data privacy, but will not extensively cover information security topics and strategies.

Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:

After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for one more week, and the course material will stay up for an additional week after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.

Are you a member of ARSL? If so, you may be able to sign up for a free seat in this course. Limit is four free seats per course. Make your request here and if a free seat is available you will be notified.

Keywords: privacy and confidentiality