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IF Action Plan: Make It Private!

Friday, September 30, 2022 6:15 PM | Heather Perkinson (Administrator)


Make it Private

With the recent uptick in personal attacks on educators and librarians, MASL strongly recommends that everyone take a minute to do a privacy audit. Here are three quick actions you can take to protect your – and your students’ – privacy:

Turn off checkout history in your library management system.

ALA’s Library Bill of Rights states that, “All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.”

Per the ALA Library Privacy Checklist for Students in K-12 Schools, a priority action should be to “configure circulation software to delete students’ borrowing history and retain only necessary records.”

In addition to the important protection of patron privacy, this will protect checkout history and keep it private even in the event of a Freedom of Information Act request. This will also give librarians an opportunity to help students find creative ways to help students keep track of their own reading via a book diary or reading log. Students might enjoy keeping a google slides reading log (courtesy York Middle School Library).

If you have Destiny, you will have to have administrator access to Destiny or ask an administrator to make this change for you. This brief video explains how to make this quick fix.

Per the Maine State Library, Minerva network libraries all use Sierra for circulation, which does not allow for keeping a checkout history.

For Alexandria users, this video (skip to 5:55) will show you how to make sure “keep history for all patrons” is turned off.

Strip personal information from your school/work website.

To avoid personal attacks, consider deleting your photograph on your school library website. If you must list a phone number, delete your private/internal extension and only list the main school number.

If you have an “about me” section on your library website, it is better to only list things you like, e.g., I love to read historical fiction and I love to garden, and skip the personal information. Don’t list where you live or details about your family. 

Do a privacy update on all your social media accounts

Check your social media accounts – facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. and tighten up your privacy settings. Make it harder for non-friends to find you.

Simple Online Security for Social Media Accounts

Privacy on Social Media | This is How You Protect Your Socials

Tips for protecting your social media privacy | Norton

-MASL Intellectual Freedom Committee: Karen Silverman, Abigail Thompson, Kerrie Lattari






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