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Libraries OptOut of LinkedIn

Privacy is the foundation upon which our libraries were built and the reason libraries are such a trusted part of every community

Libraries OptOut of LinkedIn

Privacy is the foundation upon which our libraries were built and the reason libraries are such a trusted part of every community

Privacy is the foundation upon which our libraries were built and the reason libraries are such a trusted part of every community. - Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

Libraries are one of the most trusted institutions in our country. It is this deep-seated trust that enables us to serve our communities. Our commitment to privacy is why all library users, including our undocumented, unhoused, and marginalized users, continue to feel safe within our walls or when accessing library resources online. The ability to access information without being tracked or monitored or required to publicly expose personally identifiable information (PII) makes libraries a safe haven in an era of pervasive surveillance. Libraries must continue to ensure our users have unmonitored access to information through the services we provide in the library and online.

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Recently a popular online resource, LyndaLibrary, told librarians that it would be transitioning to LinkedIn Learning. As part of that migration, users will be required to create or connect a LinkedIn profile. Library users would have their full name publicly searchable on Google and the LinkedIn platform. Samantha Lee dives into all the details of the migration on the Office of Intellectual Freedom blog. This requirement violates the American Library Association’s (ALA) Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights

Upon hearing of these proposed changes, Erin Berman, Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee visited the LinkedIn headquarters in San Francisco and met with their product team. She exchanged abundant emails with their staff, trying to find a workable solution that met the ethical requirements of libraries. Unfortunately, LinkedIn is unwavering in its decision to press forward with these changes. The California State Library is advising libraries not to continue offering LinkedIn Learning to users in its current state and ALA has asked LinkedIn to reconsider its new terms of service. Libraries across the country have decried the requirement to disclose PII and subject users to LinkedIn’s privacy policy, which authorizes LinkedIn Learning to use, share, and track users’ activities.

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Libraries will not sit idly by while the privacy rights of users are stripped away. The libraries listed here cannot recommend the migration or use of LinkedIn Learning until these privacy issues are addressed. We stand united in ensuring libraries continue to be safe harbors for all and trusted institutions in our communities. Join the growing list of libraries who refuse to sacrifice privacy in exchange for access to information. 

  • Alameda County Library
  • Bethpage Public Library
  • Brainerd Public Library
  • Brooklyn Public Library 
  • Central New York Library Resources Council
  • Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library
  • Corvallis-Benton County Public Library
  • Cragin Memorial Library
  • Cyrenius H. Booth Library
  • Darien Library
  • Deschutes Public Library
  • Fairfield Public Library
  • Flatirons Library Consortium
  • Fresno County Public Library
  • Hayward Public Library
  • High Plains Library District
  • Kelso Public Library
  • Lake Oswego Public Library
  • Library Freedom Project
  • Metropolitan New York Library Council
  • Montclair Public Library
  • Monterey County Free Libraries
  • Nathan Littauer Hospital Library
  • Newport News Public Library
  • Northeast Kansas Library System
  • Oakland Public Library
  • OC Public Libraries
  • Pikes Peak Library District 
  • Plainville Public Library
  • Prescott Public Library
  • The Richards Library
  • San José Public Library
  • Santa Barbara Public Library
  • Simsbury Public Library
  • Somerset County Library System of New Jersey
  • Southern Adirondack Library System
  • Southington Public Library
  • Stafford Library
  • State Library of California
  • Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library
  • Teton County Library
  • Vermont Mutual Aid Society 
  • West Haven Library

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