ALA offers tools to assist Libraries assessing privacy practices


Office for Intellectual Freedom


For Immediate Release

May 9, 2007

ALA offers tools to assist libraries assessing privacy practices

(CHICAGO) As part of its effort to support libraries and librarians seeking to improve their protection of library users' privacy, the American Library Association (ALA) is making available new tools to help libraries conduct audits of its privacy policies and procedures.

A privacy audit is a technique for assuring that a library's privacy policies and goals are supported by its practices, thereby protecting library users' confidential information from abuse and protecting the library from liability. A privacy audit can help ensure that procedures employed by the library meet privacy and confidentiality requirements by examining how information about library users and the library's employees is collected, stored, shared, used and destroyed.

Designed to aid in data collection and organization, ALA's privacy audit tools are available on the ALA Web site at . Developed by ALA during its own 2003 privacy audit, each tool is a document template that can be adopted and changed to serve the needs of the individual institution.

Those using the templates are invited to contact ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom at 800-545-2433 x 4223 for additional information and guidance on conducting a privacy audit.

Additional privacy audit resources are available through the California Digital Library’s Systemwide Operations and Planning Advisory Group (SOPAG) at