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Privacy Policy Accordion Item

Tips to Communicate Your Library Privacy Policy

As libraries continue to be a public access point for new technologies, the importance of patron privacy grows. Increasingly, libraries are developing policies around protecting patron privacy, as well as the limits of library staff in patron-technology interactions. It is important to ensure that patrons know how their privacy is being protected while using library technology and websites. However, possibly more important is empowering patrons to protect their own privacy while using publicly accessible technologies within the library. Through our library privacy policy framework, we hope to give library staff the tools for protecting patron privacy. But we also want to stress the importance of communicating these policies with patrons. Besides providing easy access to policies on the library system website, there are a number of ways library staff can communicate their library privacy policies, including but not limited to:

  • Verbally alerting patrons to specific privacy policies when addressing an individual question/concern;
  • Publicly posting privacy policies, preferably in the same location as library computers;
  • Providing handouts with a summary of library privacy policies at various locations throughout the building;
  • Creating an easily accessible link on the library homepage to navigate to library privacy policies;
  • Sharing information about library privacy policies on social media and in email blasts; and,
  • Providing written policies in English and the other languages commonly spoken by your patrons.

While the above is not an exhaustive list, it provides a starting point for communicating with patrons about evolving library privacy policies.


The examples used in this framework were chosen to highlight various ways library systems in the U.S. are addressing the risks associated with patron data and technology use. Their inclusion does not denote an endorsement from the Safe Data | Safe Families project.