LITA affirms the ALA Code of Ethics Principle III:
"We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted."
“The Library Bill of Rights affirms the ethical imperative to provide unrestricted access to information and to guard against impediments to open inquiry. Article IV states: ‘Libraries should cooperate with ALL persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas.’ When users recognize or fear that their privacy or confidentiality is compromised, true freedom of inquiry no longer exists.”
“A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.”
Recognizing that policies can only do so much to protect the privacy of library users, LITA advises library staff to:
- Review state and local laws relating to the confidentiality of library records.
- Record personally identifiable information (PII) only when necessary to provide library service or access to collections.
- Eliminate personally identifiable information (PII) when it is no longer needed for operational purposes.
- Make library user confidentiality a key consideration when selecting library software and systems.
Established in 1966, the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of nearly 2,700 systems librarians, library technologists, library administrators, library schools, vendors, and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. LITA is a division of the American Library Association. Follow us on our Blog, Facebook, or Twitter.