SPEC Kit 304: Social Software in Libraries · 109
site, which includes compliance with the provisions of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The Library
is exploring the use of social software through its pilot projects best practices related to privacy policy when
communicating on non-Library-hosted sites will evolve as the Library learns more.”
“Until now, most social software usage has been on an individual/ad hoc basis or used internally.”
“Users can post comments to blogs anonymously all applications are opt-in (not required).”
“We are evaluating each application for security weakness, and we post information on our site about use of
“We are still thinking about this and have not yet implemented anything that involves reduced privacy for
users, but I’m sure we’ll be discussing it when we do more in this area.”
“We haven’t experienced problems. However, we share in the campus concern regarding regulated
information and its sharing.”
“We treat our chat/IM logs like our circulation records we are storing them locally and they are private. We
use them only for statistics and training.”
User Awareness
“Making sure that users are informed of issues and making sure that they can opt out.”
“Many users are not comfortable with listing details about themselves, e.g., birthdays. Students are especially
fearful that faculty will see their information on social networking sites and make judgments based on
photos, comments, etc., listed there. We are attempting to educate users about privacy issues, e.g., how to
limit their profiles to display only the information they want to show.”
“Teaching users on what the ramifications are of sharing personal information in online environments.”
“To some degree, our younger patrons do not always understand the implications of posting information to
publicly available locations.”
“Various levels of concern among the units each implementing their own services. Some have posted
information (or linked to others) information about social software and best privacy practices.”
“Young people clearly have little thought of the permanency and applications of the information they place
out for general access. Libraries, conversely, have a long tradition of protecting the personal and intellectual
privacy of our users. As the software we are using at this point poses little erosion of the users’ privacy, we’re
not yet having to take measures.”
Not a Problem
“For the most part, we have introduced social software on a trial/experimental basis and are moderating
“Generally we are concerned (of course), but we haven’t had any specific instances where we thought user
privacy was compromised.”
“Library staff adhere to the privacy policy of the library. Blog comments are allowed to be anonymous.”
“Yes, there are some concerns and these are discussed but so far the general feeling is that people are being
careful about how much private information they divulge on social sites.”
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