42 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 297 2019 science programs, and the academic community (including academic journals, such as RLI) are also increasingly engaged in this topic. In addition, various external grant-making organizations are funding privacy projects. In 2017, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded a grant to the Center for Information Policy Research at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in partnership with Data & Society, ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, and The New York Public Library. The grant made it possible to host a series of meetings, including a national forum in May 2018 to explore what privacy means in the digital world. The grant investigators identified a set of common themes that summarized the growing need and challenges to maintain libraries’ commitments to patron privacy.5 Other recent grant awards have focused on training public librarians to become privacy leaders at their institutions. Funded by IMLS, New York University and Library Freedom Project have launched the Library Freedom Institute, a six-month train-the-trainers course for librarians.6 The participants spend time each week learning how to install and use privacy software, educate communities on privacy practices, promote privacy as a design principle within their libraries, and advocate for privacy-first policies and legislation. In what is perhaps the largest, most-encompassing library-privacy initiative in the country, the three major New York City library systems—New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library— joined together to create the NYC Digital Safety: Privacy & Security training program in 2018.7 The ongoing program trains New York City’s front-line librarians in preparing them to answer questions from New Yorkers about how to safely navigate the world of digital information. As the project’s manager, Davis Erin Anderson, noted during the program’s launch: Libraries are on the forefront of creating privacy-related training and procedures to help safeguard personal information.
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