Creating a Library Privacy Policy by Focusing on Patron Interactions

  • Shandra MorehouseEmail author
  • Jessica Vitak
  • Mega Subramaniam
  • Yuting Liao
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12051)


As sensitive transactions continue to move online, public libraries are becoming a critical resource to patrons without access to the internet. This paper shares insights on how library staff negotiate privacy risks when working with patrons handling sensitive and private information. Based on findings from an analysis of library policies on technology use, as well as focus groups and participatory design sessions with library staff from around the United States, we categorize primary risks patrons face when using library computers to complete information tasks requiring submission of sensitive information, as well as how library staff navigate the tensions between their professional values and privacy concerns. We conclude the paper with a discussion of how these findings are informing our development of a framework that library staff can use to navigate privacy risks patrons face.


Libraries Information needs Privacy Security Information policy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shandra Morehouse
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jessica Vitak
    • 1
  • Mega Subramaniam
    • 1
  • Yuting Liao
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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