In the United States, minors possess First Amendment rights, which traditionally includes the right to read and receive information anonymously. This means minors have a right to privacy and confidentiality in what they read and view in the library. But for school and public libraries, this has often been a contentious issue. Is a minor mature and responsible enough to have a library card? Should we give parents access to their child's library record so they can pay a fine? Should libraries record and share a minors’ internet browsing habit with their parents? Does a 5 year old have the same right to privacy as a 14 year old? And how does Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) impact how libraries deal with minors’ privacy?
A panel of experts will summarize the laws and ethical statements applicable to minors’ privacy rights, and explore positive and proactive ways that libraries can protect minors’ privacy and confidentiality. Panelists will discuss state and federal laws impacting minors’ privacy, including the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Following this introduction to minors' privacy, school and public librarians will each speak about different approaches, policies, and procedures they use to protect minors' privacy. The panel will focus on ways to address the issues librarians face in crafting policy, procedures, and guidelines that preserve minors' privacy.
Following the panel comments, the audience will have an opportunity to ask all three panel experts questions and discuss ideas for protecting minors’ privacy in particular libraries. At the end of the session, we will provide a list of practical privacy resources for attendees to utilize in their home libraries, to further explore the topic of privacy, and to reference when writing policies that include minors’ privacy rights.
ALA Unit/Subunit: ALA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.