Case Studies

Below are example scenarios that could use library advocates. These are based on real world examples and represent public, academic, and school libraries.

  1. At a public library, the Library Foundation wants access to user data in ILS records. They want to send mailers to all library users and have asked library staff to provide them with all the PII from the Library’s ILS.
  2. A caregiver or teacher asks a library worker about gaining access to a child’s library use records. The caregiver explains that their child is a minor and so therefore they should be allowed to see their records. Or, the teacher is seeing a child fall behind and wants to make sure they are using the library to do the work they say they are doing.
  3. A university wants the library to use proctoring software that uses facial recognition for testing students. At the same time, the American Library Association passed a resolution in opposition to facial recognition software in libraries. How do you persuade governing bodies to not use this software?
  4. The Library Board is over the moon about a particular vendor. They love their latest products and know many users would use it. The vendor does not meet the library’s privacy requirements, but the Board insists that “no one cares about privacy.”



Pick a scenario #1-4. Use this guide to figure out how you would talk about, and advocate for, privacy in one of these scenarios.