Drexel hosts Librarians from Temple and UPenn to Discuss Privacy in the Digital Age

Drexel hosts Librarians from Temple and UPenn to Discuss Privacy in the Digital Age
Jenny James Lee
May 15, 2015

Library professionals from Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University gathered at Drexel’s Library Learning Terrace on Friday, May 8, 2015 for their 11th collaborative gathering. Each year professionals from Drexel’s Libraries join their local peers to discuss current trends or issues affecting the profession.

At this year’s gathering, eighty local library professionals welcomed Todd Carpenter, the executive director of the National Information Standards Organization [NISO], who presented on NISO’s Patron Privacy in Digital Library & Information Systems Initiative, funded by a grant from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.

Carpenter led a discussion on privacy, identity theft and security of data. Recent revisions to the American Library Associations’ [ALA] Intellectual Freedom Manual strengthened professional principles to protect and defend patron privacy – the right of library clients to search, access, and read whatever they want without anyone else knowing. In our increasingly digital and inter-connected world, librarians are balancing the need to develop and deliver relevant, high-quality library and information services at reasonable costs against the need to protect library patrons’ right to privacy.

NISO’s Patron Privacy initiative will build a consensus framework to support patron privacy in digital library and information systems. The project “will support a series of community discussions on how libraries, publishers and information systems providers can build better privacy protection into their operations and the subsequent formulation of a framework document on the privacy of patron data in these systems.” Carpenter’s presentation can be seen on SlideShare.

After the presentation, the discussion continued with presentations from Temple and Drexel librarians on their current efforts to protect patron privacy while also seeking to assess services and instruction efforts.