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Monday, May 18, 2015

Funds Will Help Librarians Understand, Address Online Security Issues

Brooklyn Public Library has been awarded a $240,729 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant Program. The funds will support a two-year project to help library professionals increase their knowledge of digital and data privacy concerns to better serve the patrons who access BPL’s technological resources.

Brooklyn Public Library will develop a staff training module on digital privacy and data literacy, with workshops for library professionals and other front-line staff at BPL and throughout the Metropolitan New York Library Council’s (METRO) membership community. Other partners are the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute (OTI) and the Data & Society Research Institute (D&S).

“As threats to digital privacy evolve, libraries must also evolve to help patrons understand and manage the challenges inherent in online activities,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda Johnson. “The Library’s new training module will help our staff, and library workers throughout the New York metro area, identify data privacy issues and provide our users with privacy-protecting tools and techniques.”

In the short-term, the training module will focus on:

  • How personal information travels from point to point on the Internet, and whether or how that information is private;
  • Evaluating the quality and reliability of websites;
  • The layers of data transmission in the library’s own public and internal technological infrastructures;
  • Risks that are frequently encountered online, and the potential impacts of such risks on users; and
  • The detection and prevention of privacy intrusions and data profiling.

A companion website, DataPrivacyProject.org, will be created to feature videos edited from the actual trainings, offer downloadable course materials, and serve as a clearinghouse of existing resources. This new online tool will help engage the library community’s interest in digital privacy as well as connect library personnel with technology professionals, including security experts.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders; and to support early career research. It also assists in the professional development of librarians and library staff.

About Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website: www.bklynlibrary.org.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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