2008 Midwinter Meeting Minutes

RUSA Reference Services Section

Ethical and Legal Issues in Reference Discussion Group

Courtyard Downtown, Salon II

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

January 12, 2008, 1:30 p.m.



Our topic was the “Library Patron and Privacy in the Age of Library 2.0 and the Patriot Act”.


We discussed various aspects of privacy in regards to library patrons. For example:


Ø      Library Management Systems and patron data retention.

Ø      Myspace or Facebook

Ø      Patron Privacy Policies

Ø      Privacy Audits – one library was in the process of compiling the information needed to conduct a Privacy Audit.

Ø      Privacy and Security Cameras

Ø      Roaming Reference

Ø      Teaching patrons about internet safety

Ø      Virtual Reference Services





Patron’s and Privacy in the age of the Library/Web 2.0: Selected Bibliography


Adams, Helen, Robert Bocher, Carol Gordon, and Elizabeth Barry-Kessler. Privacy in the 21st Century:

                Issues for Public, School, and Academic Libraries. Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2005.


Coble, Katherine. "Hermitage Branch Library Violates Patrons' Privacy Rights." [Weblog entry.] Just

Another Pretty Farce.  03 March, 2006.  (http://mycropht.blogspot.com/2006/03/hermitage-branch-library-violates.html). 10 Dec 2007.


Corrado, Edward. "Privacy and Library 2.0: How Do They Conflict?" Sailing into the Future - Charting our

Destiny : Proceedings of the Thirteenth National Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries, March 29-April 1, 2007, Baltimore, Maryland. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2007.


Minow, Mary, and Tomas Lipinski. The Library's Legal Answer Book. Chicago: American Library

                Association, 2003. (Chapter 5: Library Records and Privacy)


Pace, Andrew. The Ultimate Digital Library: Where the New Information Players Meet. Chicago:

American Library Association, 2003. (Chapter 7: First Principles: Patron Privacy, Anonymity and Confidentiality)


Sauers, Michael. "Protecting Patron Privacy on Public PCs." WebJunction. 03 Sep. 2004. OCLC Online

Computer Library Center. 10 Dec 2007 <http://www.webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=7531>.


Schulte, Brigid. "Library Policy Hurts Privacy, Patron Says: Shirlington's Response Fails to Assuage

Fears." washingtonpost.com September 20, 2007 VA03. 12/10/2007 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/19/AR200709....


Woodward, Jeannette. What Every Librarian Should Know about Electronic Privacy. Westport: Libraries

                Unlimited, 2007.