Privacy and Security for Library Systems

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Library Technology Reports, May/June 2016 (52:4)

Libraries have a long tradition of taking extraordinary measures to ensure the privacy of those who use their facilities and access their materials. And since most libraries offer considerable content and services through the web, the extent to which a patron's use of these services might be vulnerable to exposure stands out as a topic of critical interest. Having surveyed vendors, large public libraries, and Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member institutions, Breeding covers the current state of patron privacy in interacting with the library's web-based systems. He discusses such important topics as

  • key technologies and techniques for protecting patron privacy, focusing on encryption, the storage of data, the catalog, and discovery systems;
  • the many ways patron data and behavior may be captured in the absence of preventive measures; and
  • data from library implementations, including methodology, observations, and related projects and resources.

Marshall Breeding

Marshall Breeding is an independent consultant, speaker, and author. He is the creator and editor of Library Technology Guides ( and the online directory of libraries. He is the editor for Smart Libraries Newsletter, published by ALA TechSource, and has authored the annual Library Systems Report, published in American Libraries since 2014. He has also edited and authored several books, articles, and book chapters; was formerly the director for innovative technology and research for the Vanderbilt University Library; and regularly teaches workshops and gives presentations both throughout the United States and internationally at library conferences.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication and how you can subscribe here.