General Talking Points

Now that you have a good idea of the “who,” below are high level messages and conversation starters. It’s helpful to have some talking points that have already been gathered by and for the library community. Consider these as you think about the empathy map exercise you just did. 

  • Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought and free association.
  • Privacy is a human right.
  • Lack of privacy and confidentiality discourages individuals’ choices about what they read or view, thereby suppressing access to ideas and how they learn in the world. 
  • Libraries are a cornerstone of democracy and help ensure Americans are able to read, research, and think freely.
  • The possibility of surveillance, whether direct or through access to records of speech, research and exploration, undermines a democratic society.
  • Systems reflect the biases of their creators and biases the ways data is collected and used. 
  • The library community recognizes that children and youth have the same rights to privacy as adults.
  • Most states have statutes declaring library records as confidential documents. The two remaining states, Hawaii and Kentucky, have opinions issued by their attorneys general finding library records to be confidential documents.
  • Librarians have a responsibility to protect the privacy of our users while responding to national security concerns within the framework of the law.
  • It’s an equity issue -- individuals should have the ability to give consent to be surveilled or not. This type of permission should not be held by only the privileged few.



Would these talking points be useful for your group or person you are trying to talk with? Which ones might resonate or not? Why? Alternatively, think about your audience. What other talking points can you think of that might resonate more with your audience? Write your thoughts below.