The Library Association of the City University of New York (LACUNY) seeks
proposals for the 2015 LACUNY Institute.
Call for Proposals
Privacy and Surveillance: Library Advocacy for the 21st Century LACUNY Institute 2015
Location: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Keynote Speaker: Rainey Reitman (Activism Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation; Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, Freedom of the Press Foundation)
Historically, librarians have defended patron privacy on the grounds that it is crucial to free speech, freedom of thought, and equal access to information. These core values, which occasionally have led librarians to confrontation with law enforcement, are embedded in our professional ethics. The American Library Association’s Privacy Toolkit demarcates a broad territory for the profession to safeguard: “In libraries, the right to privacy is the right to open
inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others” (Privacy and Confidentiality: Library Core Values).
Nevertheless, patron data can now be scrutinized not just by FBI agents with secret warrants, but also by database and e-book vendors, social media companies, and Internet marketers. The digital nature of today’s information sources has allowed for mass collection of patron data--as demonstrated by the NSA’s covert collection of telephone and Internet records. Our profession has been slow to respond. In this new technological and political landscape, which privacy violations pose a threat to our mission of promoting free speech and free thought? How can librarians convince those in power that patron privacy is crucial to our institutions and our communities? Can we negotiate contracts with vendors that protect reader privacy? How should we talk to our students about these issues, and what can we learn from them about the future of privacy?
The LACUNY Institute seeks proposals that explore all aspects of privacy in libraries, with a special emphasis on academic settings. We welcome proposals from those inside and outside the profession. This year, we will feature two kinds of presentations:
*Paper Presentations* (20 minutes)
The Institute will include several moderated panel presentations, which may be historical, theoretical, legal, or practical in nature. Please include time for questions and discussion.
A few examples include:
• Library Code of Ethics and its relevance today
• Current laws and precedents relating to privacy
• The information economy and user data
• Predictive analytics
• Assessment and student privacy
• The Dark Web
*Lightning Presentations* (10 minutes)
At the close of the Institute, attendees will disperse to a number of simultaneous lightning presentations. These should be highly practical in nature and focused on a single, specific issue. The goal is to provide attendees with concrete steps for action. Please build in substantial time for questions and discussion, and plan to bring handouts or other takeaways.
A few examples include:
• Lesson plans for teaching students about privacy
• How to read vendor contracts and negotiate for privacy rights
• Privacy-protecting alternatives to common tools and websites (e.g., ownCloud, DuckDuckGo)
• Setting up a Tor relay
• Proven steps for promoting privacy initiatives among faculty and administrators
Please submit proposals for paper and lightning presentations, including a 300-500 word abstract, to http://lacuny.org/institute-
Questions may be directed to Jennifer.Poggiali@lehman.cuny.