MFIPPA and Ontario Public Libraries

What are the privacy responsibilities of  public libraries? For a library visitor, privacy essentially means the right to be able to read any book or access any reference material without fear of having the subject matter made known to others. Can someone obtain a list of the books you have borrowed? If you use a computer at a library, does anyone later check to see which Web sites you visited? This publication looks at some common questions library users and library staff may have about privacy rights and what libraries can do to protect privacy. Public library boards are institutions governed by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). This Act specifies how organizations such as libraries may collect, use, retain, disclose and dispose of personal information. Public libraries are also governed by the Public Libraries Act, which establishes specific operating rules. “Personal information” encompasses a wide range of information. It is defined in MFIPPA, in part, as “recorded information about an identifiable individual.” This could include, in the library context, information on a patron’s borrowing habits, as well as information related to one’s computer use, including sign-up sheets and information on any Internet use. INFORMATION AND PRIVACY COMMISSIONER/ONTARIO December 2002 ANN CAVOUKIAN, Ph.D. COMMISSIONER Q: Why do libraries need to collect the personal information of library users? A: Libraries require this information in order to provide library service. Personal information is collected under the authority of the Public Libraries Act for the administration of library operations. An example of this is a library collecting your name and address when you apply for a library card.... read more

The importance of keeping a beat: Researchers link ability to keep a beat to reading, language skills

The importance of keeping a beat: Researchers link ability to keep a beat to reading, language skills “A study in The Journal of Neuroscience by Dr. Nina Kraus shows a relationship between neural response consistency and ability to keep a beat. Dr. Kraus’ lab, shown here, investigates the neurobiology underlying speech, music, and learning. Credit: Dr. Nina Kraus. The findings of a Northwestern University study of more than 100 high school students lend proof to the surprising link between music, rhythmic abilities and language skills. The study—the first to provide biological evidence linking the ability to keep a beat to the neural encoding of speech sounds—has significant implications for reading, according to Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory. Previous investigations found a link between reading ability and beat-keeping, says Kraus in a study published in the Sept. 18 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Previous research has established a link between reading ability and neural responseconsistency. “By directly linking auditory responses with beat-keeping ability, we have closed the triangle,” Kraus says. The study demonstrates that accurate beat-keeping involves synchronization between the parts of the brain responsible for hearing as well as movement. Where previous research investigations focused on the motor half of the equation, Kraus and co-author Adam Tierney focused on the auditory component. Because hearing sounds of speech and associating them with the letters comprising written words is crucial to learning to read, the Northwestern researchers reasoned that the association between reading and beat synchronization likely has a common basis in the auditory system.” Stephen  ... read more

PLA published three new books in its Quick Reads for Busy Librarians series in 2018

Three new ‘Quick Reads’ books published PLA published three new books in its Quick Reads for Busy Librarians series in 2018. The Quick Reads series features publications under 100 pages long and covering topics deemed essential to modern public library workers. Taking Care of Business in the 21st Century focuses on library service to entrepreneurs and “solopreneurs” — individuals who operate a business completely on their own. PLA 2018: Ten Essential Programs consists of ten essays highlighting educational programs that took place at the PLA 2018 Conference in Philadelphia, Penn. Teaching Early Literacy to Teen Parents contains practical, tried, and tested advice for any public library to get started or to improve teen parent programming. All three books are available free of charge to PLA personal members in good standing and can be accessed through the PLA Member Library (ALA Connect login... read more