Privacy Policies and Practices with Cloud-Based Services in Public Libraries: An Exploratory Case of BiblioCommons

Katie Chamberlain Kritikos, Michael Zimmer


Public libraries are increasingly turning to cloud-based and Library 2.0 solutions to provide patrons more user-focused, interactive, and social platforms from which to explore and use library resources.  These platforms – such as BiblioCommons – often rely on the collection and aggregation of patron data, and have the potential to disrupt longstanding ethical norms within librarianship dedicated to protecting patron privacy.  This article reports on the results of a pilot research study investigating how libraries are implementing third-party cloud computing services, how these implementations might impact patron privacy, and how libraries are responding to these concerns.  The results of this research provide insights to guide the development of a set of best practices for future implementations of cloud-based Library 2.0 platforms in public library settings.

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