How to Learn about Digital Privacy While Creating a Digital Privacy LibGuide 
By Renee Pawlowski

My biggest takeaway from this digital privacy project is that not all of us are experts in the subject, but we can all be safer when we pool resources! Digital privacy is a complex topic, and it can be intimidating to approach when thinking about library policies, vendors, and tools. There is a lot of technology available and there are many opinions about best practices.

One of the great things about LibGuides is we can admit we do not have a subject expertise while finding people out there who do. Contributing to this guide showed me how much room there is for improvement in my own digital privacy habits, and I hope it will be helpful for libraries in this way, as well.

Being invited to collaborate with the Library Freedom Project, Massachusetts Library Association, and Massachusetts Library System to create a digital privacy and technology LibGuide was a wonderful and challenging opportunity. I am a library and information science student (my library legs are still wobbly), and I learned a lot by being able to work on this guide with experienced people in the field.

Diagram describing cyclical experiences learning about digital privacy
Diagram describing cyclical experiences learning about digital privacy

Both libraries and digital trends are constantly changing; it is part of our job to adapt and protect the digital privacy of library users. Privacy and libraries go hand in hand, but what that means for library workers is evolving with technology. Here are some of the resources my fabulous team contributed to the guide, which helped me better understand digital privacy needs in libraries:

Infographic: Visual Guide to Practical Data De-identification
Worksheet: Library Data Risk Assessment
Podcast: Tech Humanist Show: Episode 1 – Dr. Chris Gilliard
Book: “I have nothing to hide” and 20 other myths about surveillance and privacy

I hope this guide is helpful for both library workers and library users. Let’s get out there and learn something new. And then realize we have only scratched the surface of good digital privacy practices. And then do it again!

Author Bio:

Renee Pawlowski is a library student at San Jose State University and a Project Contributor on the digital privacy collaboration of the Library Freedom Project, the Massachusetts Library Association, and the Massachusetts Library System. Find Renee on Twitter @MLISandDreaming