ALA welcomes LinkedIn Learning’s changes to terms of service

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/26/2020


Deborah Caldwell-Stone


Office for Intellectual Freedom

American Library Association

(312) 280-4224

CHICAGO – After conversations with the American Library Association (ALA) and other industry leaders, LinkedIn Learning — formerly, a platform used by libraries to provide online learning opportunities to library users —announced today that it has made changes to its terms of service.

Under LinkedIn Learning’s revised terms, a library cardholder will no longer need to create a LinkedIn profile in order to access LinkedIn Learning. Additionally, users will need no longer need to provide an email address to use the service; they will be able to sign on with a library card number and PIN.

 “We are pleased that LinkedIn Learning heard our concerns and responded with a solution that preserves library users’ privacy,” said ALA President Wanda Kay Brown. “Their previously announced plans to require users to disclose personally identifiable information, such as full name and email address, were contrary to ALA policies addressing library users’ privacy, and may have violated some states’ library confidentiality laws. We thank them for listening and doing the right thing.”

ALA has long affirmed that the protection of library users’ privacy and confidentiality rights are necessary for intellectual freedom and are fundamental to the ethical practice of librarianship. ALA’s Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations maintain that all library users have the right to access library resources without disclosing their personally identifiable information (PII) to third parties, and to be free from unreasonable intrusion into, or surveillance of, their lawful library use.

ALA encourages library vendors to respect the privacy and confidentiality of library users, observe the law, and conform to the professional statements of ethics that protect library users’ privacy, including the ALA Code of Ethics, ALA’s Library Privacy Guidelines for Vendors  and the NISO Consensus Principles on Users’ Digital Privacy in Library, Publisher, and Software-Provider Systems.