Thursday, April 27, 2023

Librarianship and Confidentiality

If there is one profession steeped in the highest level of confidentiality, it is librarianship. While providing library services, librarians uphold a certain standard of privacy and respect for the confidentiality of library users and their information. The librarian-user relationship is one of the utmost trust, and librarians must not breach the confidentiality of library users or divulge the data they use to access library services.

This principle is fundamental to the philosophy of librarianship and is outlined in several ethical codes of conduct by professional organizations such as the American Library Association (ALA). For example, the ALA Code of Ethics lists confidentiality as one of its main principles, bringing attention to librarians' duty to protect the privacy of library users. As such, librarians must not share information regarding library usage or services, even when questioned by authorities or family members, nor share details of user transactions, unless instructed to do so by a court order or other legally binding obligation.

On a practical level, librarians must ensure the confidentiality of library users and guarantee the security of library records. Librarians must protect library data by safeguarding their physical and digital systems and protecting users' confidential information. This includes taking necessary precautions to protect data from unauthorized access and safely disposing of obsolete material. It also includes upholding the privacy expectations of library users by providing a secure environment and limiting access to confidential library data.

The importance of librarian confidentiality goes beyond laws or ethical codes of conduct. Ultimately, it is about giving library users the peace of mind that their personal information is safe with the librarian and that their data will remain confidential. Furthermore, it is about allowing library users to access library resources freely and without fear of judgment or retribution.

In this sense, librarian confidentiality is about ensuring library users feel safe and respected and that the librarian-user relationship is based on the highest level of trust. As librarians, we must ensure that we are upholding the principles of librarian confidentiality and doing our utmost to protect the privacy of library users.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Featured Post

Library Patrons, Not Customers: Upholding the Essence of Public Libraries

Libraries have a vital role in promoting personal and community growth by facilitating learning. However, if people who come to the library ...