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Library To Celebrate Choose Privacy Week

Each year on May 1, librarians, library users and privacy advocates come together to observe Choose Privacy Week – an annual event promoting the importance of individual privacy rights. The Central Virginia Regional Library is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of users because they believe that freedom of speech is meaningless without the freedom to read.

There are many reasons library users might want their privacy and confidentiality protected. Perhaps they have been diagnosed with a disease and want to learn more about it before they tell their children. They may be suffering from domestic or child abuse and want to find out how to get help. They may be researching their rights before deciding to blow the whistle on illegal activity at work. Or perhaps they’re planning a special vacation as a surprise gift for a loved one.

Privacy isn’t about protecting people who are doing bad things. It’s about giving users the power to decide for themselves who will know about their reading and research interests. If a user chooses to share her reading list with others, then that’s fine; but we can’t assume everyone wants that.

Librarians feel a professional responsibility to protect the right to search for information free from surveillance. Privacy has long been the cornerstone of library services in America, because the freedom to read and receive ideas anonymously is at the heart of individual liberty in a democracy. Libraries defend that freedom every day.

Come to the library May 1-7 and learn what you can do to protect your privacy, including tips on protecting your identity online. For more information visit http://chooseprivacyweek.org.