May 20, 2022

Commentary: “Libraries Guarantee Patrons’ Privacy. That’s Why LinkedIn’s Policy is So Troubling”

From a Commentary by Greg Lucas, State Librarian of California and Erin Berman, Division Director at Alameda County Library and Chair of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee Published by CalMatters:

One of the reasons communities place so much trust in their libraries is the privacy and confidentiality provided to everyone who uses their services.

Ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of library users is fundamental to the operation of all libraries. Everywhere. It is an article of faith among librarians.

Like many other states, California has placed these protections into law:

“All patron use records of any library which is in whole or in part supported by public funds shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed by a public agency, or private actor that maintains or stores patron use records on behalf of a public agency, to any person, local agency, or state agency.”


Under the new LinkedIn Learning policy, library users would be required to create a personal, publicly searchable, profile and agree to LinkedIn’s user agreement and privacy policy before being able to use LinkedIn Learning.

Read the Complete Commentary (559 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.