For over three years the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association has been focused on the issue of libraries and privacy awareness, thanks to a grant from the Open Society Foundations. We are very proud of our achievements thus far. Our experience has convinced us to focus our efforts in 2011 on developing strategies for how best to deliver the privacy message to young people. The future of privacy advocacy and protections in the United States really depends on young people’s awareness of the long-term importance of personal privacy protections (particularly regarding use of the Internet and social media), and how government surveillance of citizens’ activities poses a chilling threat to our nation’s future. Libraries are ideal places for youth to learn about privacy and see it in action, given our long history of protecting the freedom to read.
In March, 2011, the Office for Intellectual Freedom held a Privacy and Youth Conference to identify how to best to reach young people with messages about privacy. Participants included students, librarians, educators, academics, and public policy professionals. This site collects the articles, discussions, and reflections produced by the participants in that conference.