Online Privacy and the Librarian: A Selected Bibliography
American Library Association. (2010, May). Online privacy vanishing? Newsletter on Intellectual
Freedom, 59(3), 100-101.
Online Privacy Vanishing is an ALA article which discusses the problems involved in privacy and
technology, particularly technology with social networking. The article states that experts say that even
information that doesn't appear to identify a person online can be gathered and reassembled by
computers to create a much more complete image of a person than most people would expect,
sometimes including the Social Security Number. This article may not be the best choice for younger
students, but might be interesting with older teens or college students after building relationships within
a class or club. It would also be useful in building a case for media education programming.
Gallagher, F. (2011, January/February). Hand in hand: Media literacy and internet safety. Library
Media Connection, 29(4), 16,18.
Hand in Hand: Media Literacy and Internet Safety is a wonderful article with a laundry list of
resources at the end, each and every one worth exploring. Frank Gallagher has made a down-to earth,
common sense argument encouraging education for internet safety and, more importantly,
responsibility over parental controls. A recent article, this presents the idea that internet safety in the
century is less about those who might prey upon youth internet users and more about ethical
mistakes that those youth may make, which can follow them for the rest of their lives on the web. This
was the best article I have read on this topic.
Herring, M. Y. (2010, November). Hacked off in the web. Against the Grain, 40. http://www.against-
Caustic, rude, and overly paranoid, Hacked Off in the Web contains little information that one would
ever want to use in the internet. What it does is begin with some great statistics and make a strong case
for why adults and some teens shouldn't be allowed to go on the internet. I don't agree with this source,
but I can see how some might, and the statistics at the beginning really are very useful in making a case
for media literacy.
Notess, G. R. (2009, July/August). Privacy in the age of the social web. Online, 44(4), 41-43.
Privacy in the Age of the Social Web was a terrifying article that I believe every adult who uses the
internet regularly should read, but is probably too intense for use with teens. This article discusses
many things which can go wrong with private information on the web. The usefulness of this article is
in emphasizing the seriousness of our task as Information Professionals in our role as media educators.
Read the article, or simply go to www.criminaljusticeusa.com/blog/2009/25-surprising-things-that-
google-knows-about-you to see what I mean.
Panter, S. L. (2009, May/June). Teaching elementary students to be safe on the internet. Library Media
Connect, 27(6), 32-33.
In Teaching Elementary Students to be Safe on the Internet, Susan L Panter delivers a practical guide to
teaching internet safety to children K-5. She offers a small selection of useful curriculum tools ,
relevant anecdotes, and applicable, easy to understand rules to help guide young students in learning to
navigate the web safely. The three guidelines she provides are as simple as look both ways before
crossing the street and don't take candy from strangers. They are simple, but they work.
US Census Bureau. (2009). Household internet usage in and outside of the home by selected
characteristics [Table 1153-1154]. Retrieved March 21, 2011, from
The US Census Bureau provides information on a variety of data that is useful in making the case for
media education in public libraries. This particular sheet shows the prevalence of internet connection
in libraries and homes with notes on division between dial-up and broadband.
Yates, K. (2009). Reaching out to young people about online privacy-one kid at a time. Feliciter, 55(3),
This Canadian publication is particularly useful in several ways. First, it has wonderful statistics on YA
perceptions of the internet and media usage, if you live in Canada. It also provides tips and concepts
that are designed to remind YA users to think about their usage. I particularly like “When doing online
surveys or making purchases, question why people want your personal information,” and “Be discreet.
Remember—what you post stays online forever”. While not 100% true, these statements do address
some commonly held beliefs about the internet that can be damaging to users.