Here’s a shout out for the ALA’s Privacy Revolution. It’s off to a real good start, for it:
- Puts its cause right out there.
- Says important stuff clearly and concisely.
- Makes good resources readily accessible.
- Works with allies.
- Issues a call to action.
Its focus is privacy and freedom, although this campaign also lights the way ahead for libraries. By urging people to organize through their local libraries, it helps re-establish them as vital centers for community and democracy beyond a time (and let’s pray it comes soon) when their contributions to job search and affordable recreation are not so desperately needed.
To me, this is the winning approach for public library advocacy. We need to truly develop public libraries, in bold ways. I’ve put a few ideas out there in my town election election/library/school dream and being better than free. There are lots more. The true success of our advocacy efforts will be when we render our current forms of advocacy obsolete — when we develop our libraries into stronger centers serving the public good — when they become such a ubiquitous part of public life that people casually say “oh yeah, that’s a library thing”.
The public library mission supports this, and I would argue it is necessary for survival. Like the U.S. Constitution, the library mission sets boundaries sufficient for order and stability yet flexible enough to endure change. The contemporary mission covers everything from storytime and bookmobiles to intellectual freedom and much more. Which brings me back to the Privacy Revolution …
I’m a technologist by trade and have grown increasingly concerned about privacy and freedom. As this campaign notes, most people do not know how extensively their transactions, conversations and physical movements are tracked. “New technologies give us unprecedented access to information. They also facilitate surveillance, with the power to collect and mine personal information“.
It’s a risk to us all, so join the Privacy Revolution and then urge your family and friends to do the same.
After that, check out The Onion’s video satire about Google’s Opt-Out village. It made me laugh and sent a chill up my spine at the same time.
12/9/2009 – I checked in again on The Privacy Revolution and posted another assessment, About Those Awful Websites.