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Privacy Policies and Statements

American Library Association Privacy Policies and Statements

The American Library Association has developed policies, guidelines, and resources to assist librarians in preserving privacy and confidentiality for library users.  For the latest privacy resources, see Privacy and Confidentiality.

Basic Statements

Library Bill of Rights (1948, amended 1961, 1980, reaffirmed 1996).

Freedom to Read Statement (1953. rev. 1972, 1991, 2000).

Code of Ethics (rev. 1995).

Freedom to View Statement (1990).

Library Principles for a Networked World

Privacy and Confidentiality Policies and Procedures

Gotham City Public Library Model Staff Directive 1.5 (2006) 

Gotham City Public Library Model Policy 1.1 (2006)

ALA Guidelines for Developing A Library Privacy Policy (2003; rev. 2005)

Developing a Confidentiality Policy [from ALA, Intellectual Freedom Manual, 6th edition, (Chicago, IL: American Library Association, Office for Intellectual Freedom 2002: 347-355.)]

Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (2002)

Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information about Library Users (1991)

Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records   (1971. rev. 1975, 1986)

Privacy Resources for Librarians, Library Users, and Families (last updated 2002)

Resolution on Privacy and Standardized Driver's Licenses and Personal Identification Cards

Resolution on the Retention of Library Usage Records (2006)

Resolution on the Terrorism Information Awareness Program (2003)

RFID in Libraries: Privacy and Confidentiality Guidelines (2006)

See also Privacy and Confidentiality; see also Intellectual Freedom Issues and State Privacy Laws regarding Library Records; see also Privacy Tool Kit (2004, rev. 2005); see also Privacy Audit.  See also these resources:

Policies and Statements about the Infringement of Users' Privacy Rights

USA Patriot Act

Resolution on the USA Patriot Act and Related Measures That Infringe on the Rights of Library Users (January 2003).

State Chapter Resolutions

Resolution on Security and Access to Government Information (June 25, 2003).

Resolution Reaffirming the Principles of Intellectual Freedom in the Aftermath of the Terrorist Attacks (January 23, 2002).

Resolution on the Terrorism Information Awareness Program (June 25, 2003).

The USA Patriot Act in the Library

Confidentiality and Coping with Law Enforcement Inquiries: Guidelines for the Library and its Staff (last updated 2005).

FBI in Your Library

Guidelines for Librarians on the USA PATRIOT Act: What to do before, during and after a "knock at the door?" (January 19, 2002).

Surveillance in America

Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS)

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Originally prepared by Nancy Kranich; updated by Office for Intellectual Freedom
Chair, American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee
September 11, 2003; revised March 23, 2004; revised April 25, 2005; revised May 10, 2007


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