For immediate release | February 7, 2017

New checklists provide practical steps to protect patron privacy

CHICAGO — The American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) approved seven new "privacy checklists" at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia to help libraries of all types and capacities take practical steps to protect patron privacy. The checklists complement the Library Privacy Guidelines approved by the IFC in 2016. The checklists include:

The IFC's Privacy Subcommittee worked in partnership with the Library Information Technology Association (LITA) Patron Privacy Techonologies Interest Group to develop the checklists, which pair with each of the existing Privacy Guidelines.

"The privacy checklists are a great resource for libraries of all types and sizes," said IFC Privacy Subcommittee Chair Michael Robinson, head of systems at the University of Alaska – Anchorage’s Consortium Library. "They take the theoretical principles around privacy and organize them as practical actions that libraries of any capacity can take to protect their patrons. The large group of volunteers that worked on the checklists exemplify what can be accomplished through collaboration across areas of expertise."

The guidelines are now available online on the ALA website. The IFC Privacy Subcommittee encourages anyone with comments or questions to email its ALA staff liaison, Deborah Caldwell-Stone in the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at

The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, a committee of Council, recommends policies, practices and procedures to safeguard the rights of library users, libraries and librarians, in accordance with the First Amendment and the Library Bill of Rights. The IFC Privacy Subcommittee monitors ongoing privacy developments in libraries, including technology, politics, legislation and social trends, and it proposes actions to the IFC to meet the privacy needs of librarians and library users.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries. OIF supports the work of the Intellectual Freedom Committee and its Privacy Subcommittee. For more information, visit


Deborah Caldwell-Stone

Deputy Director

American Library Association

Office for Intellectual Freedom

800-545-2433, ext. 4224