For immediate release | March 7, 2016

Choose Privacy Week 2016 webinar focuses on raising privacy awareness in your library

CHICAGO — Is your library preparing to observe Choose Privacy Week 2016? Join the ALA's IFC Privacy Subcommittee and the Office for Intellectual Freedom for a free webinar that will offer solid guidance on developing privacy programming that will educate and engage your library users and provide an update on current privacy issues confronting libraries today.

The webinar will take place at noon Eastern/11 a.m. Central/10 a.m. Mountain/9 a.m. Pacific on Thursday, March 24, 2016.

It will feature three speakers:

· Erin Berman of the San Jose Public Library will discuss the process of transforming a broad, intimidating topic like online privacy into a learning opportunity that is personal, approachable, actionable and reusable. Learn about SJPL's Virtual Privacy Lab and how this free online resource can help you and your patrons build personalized toolkits for optimizing online privacy.

· Michael Zimmer, Ph.D. of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee will discuss how to use films and documentaries on privacy and surveillance to increase awareness among patrons and spark conversations on controversial technologies and practices. He’ll also provide ideas on finding guest speakers in your community to help guide discussions for your patrons.

· Jamie LaRue, the new director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, will discuss his perspective on privacy and libraries and provide a scan of the most pressing privacy issues confronting libraries today.

The webinar will also offer brief introductions to resources on students' and minors' privacy and a guide to free and low-cost print and online resources that can support your library's observance of Choose Privacy Week. Online registration is available via this link:

Choose Privacy Week is the American Library Association's annual, week-long event that promotes the importance of individual privacy rights. Choose Privacy Week, May 1 – 7, 2016, also celebrates libraries and librarians' unique role in protecting privacy in the library and in society as a whole. For more information on Choose Privacy Week, visit

Speaker biographies:

Erin Berman is the innovations manager at San Jose Public Library (SJPL). She was chosen as one of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Emerging Leaders in 2014 and is currently the Chair of the Fundraising Committee for the ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Berman has driven many new technology initiatives, including the design of a mobile makerspace, building the framework for the Library's STEAMstacks programming, and advocating for privacy literacy through the construction of the Virtual Privacy Lab.

Michael Zimmer, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the School of Information Studies and director of the Center for Information Policy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jamie LaRue is the director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. From 1990 to 2014, he was director of the Douglas County (Colorado) Libraries, widely known as one of the most successful and innovative public libraries in the nation. He then served as CEO of LaRue & Associates, with an active career in writing, speaking and consulting. author of the award-winning book "The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges" (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), He is a frequent presenter for library associations, regional workshops and library staff days.

The ALA-IFC Privacy Subcommittee monitors ongoing privacy developments in libraries, including technology, politics, legislation and social trends and 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 and with educating librarians and the general 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

(312) 280-4224