What Every Librarian Should Know about Electronic Privacy
by Jeannette Woodward
October 2007, 240pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-59158-489-6
$45, £34, 38€, A65
eBook Available: 978-0-313-09719-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Learn about the threats and pitfalls of electronic privacy, and arm yourself with a solid plan to protect the privacy of your patrons.

Library computer users are often novices and may not be aware that even seemingly innocuous information supplied to Web sites can be mined by government agencies, unscrupulous businesses, and criminals. Even the donated computers that libraries accept and pass on to otherwcan reveal confidential information like social security numbers. The recent discovery that online service providers have been supplying vast quantities of data to government agencies without the public’s knowledge dramatically brought this threat to light. This book will help you, as a librarian, understand the threats and pitfalls of electronic privacy and develop a solid plan to protect the privacy of your patrons.


A glossary of terms and acronyms is included.


"This book addresses many forms of privacy invasion and the parties who are responsible for them. It includes an index and glossary of terms and acronyms. . . . No treatment of electronic privacy would be complete without a study of government privacy intrusions; Woodward provides a critical analysis of the U.S. government's track record on privacy invasion, noting how the government's overdependence on technology has led to inefficient and inadequate law enforcement. . . . Every library should have a copy of this book. It is an excellent guide to the kinds of privacy intrusion that libraries and those who frequent them experience and how to avoid them."—College & Research Libraries, May 1, 2008

"Jeannette Woodward outlines the chief threats and explains why it's the library's responsibility to protect its users. She also provides a step-by-step approach to formulating a policy and making computers more secure. . . . The idea that it's part of our mission to save people from the lions, tigers, and bears lurking online is overwhelming, but this book helps put thejob in the realm of the possible."—American Libraries, April 1, 2008

"Woodward reminds us that now is not the time to rest on our laurels, and she provides us with some of the tools and information we need to guard our patrons from furtive criminals and spying. . . . Woodward's book is well written and gives clear explanation of complicated topics . . . . What Every Librarian Should Know about Electronic Privacy is highly recommended for public and academic libraries, and strongly encouraged for library school curriculums."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, December 1, 2008

"This is an extremely interesting book which is bound to stimulate discussion within the profession."—The Electronic Library, August 13, 2009

"Jeannette Woodward has written several books on diverse aspects of librarianship and technology, so it is no surprise that What Every Librarian Should Know about Electronic Privacy is effectively written. . . . This is an interesting and readable book that many librarians could benefit from reading – both as professionals and as private internet users."—Library Hi Tech, October 9, 2009

"...this is a fluent and engaging work, with a tangible passion for librarianship and a real sympathy for the needs of patrons. It is thoroughly researched and displays a clear understanding of issues relating to electronic privacy in relation to libraries...a highly readable and clearly delivered introduction to a subject which merits the attention of practitioners in all spheres."—Library Review, June 2, 2010
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