A Library Privacy Primer

June 24, 2019

With her colleague Kathleen Ross, head of technical services at St. John Fisher College’s Lavery Library, Greco presented “Library Confidentiality: Your Privacy is Our Business,” a comprehensive primer on privacy and libraries, at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. In the first of many audience engagement moments, Ross and … Continue reading A Library Privacy Primer


Data Collection and Privacy

September 4, 2018

It’s an example of learning analytics, the use of data to understand and optimize learning and learning environments. The general concept isn’t new—the university’s announcement noted that student retention has been studied for more than 30 years—but the amount of data that is easy to generate with card swipes has exploded in recent years. And … Continue reading Data Collection and Privacy


In Practice by Meredith Farkas

We Can, But Should We?

March 1, 2018

In K–12 and academic libraries, this is becoming increasingly possible with learning analytics systems that aggregate student data to make trends visible. The systems also allow advisors, instructors, and other stakeholders to use the trend data to identify a student at risk based on specific characteristics or behaviors. They allow educators to intervene, often before … Continue reading We Can, But Should We?


Legal Issues

February 11, 2018

These were some of the questions addressed at the “Legal Issues in Public Libraries Forum” at the American Library Association’s 2018 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits on Sunday. The session, sponsored by the Public Library Association, brought together lawyers and librarians for a frank, casual conversation on some of the most contentious issues popping up at … Continue reading Legal Issues



The Future of Data Privacy

February 10, 2018

Some corporations, Ayala said, are laboriously setting up two different privacy systems, one for Europe and another for the US. However, the major players are unifying their rules to comply with the GDPR, “which is an indicator that European trends are starting to become global trends. Facebook and Google just rolled out new privacy centers … Continue reading The Future of Data Privacy



Joseph Janes

Facts through Fresh Eyes

June 1, 2017

The course also covers things you’re less likely to find in Libraryland on a regular basis: design thinking, user experience, interface design, accessibility, data science, visualization techniques, information assurance, and cybersecurity. As an exercise, I gave students several excerpts from the World Almanac, ranging from birthstones to home-run leaders to statistics on homeschooled students and … Continue reading Facts through Fresh Eyes


Dewey Decibel Episode 14

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Protecting Our Privacy

May 31, 2017

AL Associate Editor and host Phil Morehart talks with Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, about privacy concerns that affect libraries. Next, Phil discusses the right to be forgotten—legislation that forces online search engines to remove personal information flagged by petitioners—with Jim Neal, university librarian emeritus … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Protecting Our Privacy


State delegations at ALA's 43rd annual National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2017.

Advocacy in Critical Times

May 3, 2017

The number of attendees was the highest in 10 years, spurred by the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget that would eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the agency that distributes federal funding to state library agencies and other grant programs. As ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels said in his opening statement … Continue reading Advocacy in Critical Times


10 Tech Trends

Top Library Tech Trends

May 1, 2017

American Libraries spoke to library tech leaders—members of the Library and Information Technology Association’s popular Top Tech Trends panel from the 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits—to get the apps, devices, software, and best practices that you can adopt for your library right now and in the near future. 1. Take patrons on a virtual tour … Continue reading Top Library Tech Trends