Privacy Tool Kit

Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. Lack of privacy and confidentiality chills users' choices, thereby suppressing access to ideas. The possibility of surveillance, whether direct or through access to records of speech, research and exploration, undermines a democratic society. -  Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

Table of Contents


Privacy and Confidentiality: Library Core Values

  • Privacy and the Law
  • Standard Privacy Principles
  • PII: Personally Identifiable Information

Developing or Revising a Privacy Policy

  • A Privacy Audit
  • Sections to Include in a Privacy Policy

Implementation of Privacy Policies and Procedures

  • Responsibilities of Governance Bodies/Policy Makers
  • Responsibilities of Directors/Supervisors
  • Responsibilities of Staff

Library Privacy Talking Points: Key Messages and Tough Questions

  • Key Messages
  • Tough Questions with Answers

What is ALA Doing

Advocacy at the Local, State & National Levels


Permission is granted to libraries to reproduce the Privacy Tool Kit. Download the updated Privacy Tool kit PDF.  If you have questions about library privacy policies or the Privacy Toolkit, please write the Office for Intellectual Freedom at or call 800-545-2433 x4224.

Revised by the IFC Privacy Subcommittee and approved by the Intellectual Freedom Committee January 2014