The world is rapidly digitising in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in preparation for the “new normal”. Many people work from home using commercial online tools and platforms, schools and universities employ distance learning solutions, libraries have increased their remote services, and contact tracing and exposure notification technologies are being developed and launched. The data privacy implications of these issues are multiple and complex.

Libraries traditionally value and work to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of their users as part of their commitment to intellectual freedom. As such, the pandemic has raised important questions that libraries around the world are working hard to address.

To explore these challenges and the possible solutions, this webinar will focus on:

  • Library privacy protections in the “new normal”. Library services needed to adapt during the pandemic – from online programming during lockdown to footfall counters and temperature checks as they have re-opened, and beyond. What are the key privacy considerations, and how should libraries adapt their practices to protect users’ privacy and confidentiality?
  • Finding the balance: libraries clearly should do all they can to protect the health of users and staff alike. Yet how to find the balance when these steps have implications on privacy? What can libraries do to address the tensions between contact tracing, screening, and confidentiality?
  • Helping users protect themselves – building trust in the online world. Rapid digitisation has exacerbated existing digital divides, brought about an increase in cybercrime, and placed heavier demands on people who are less comfortable with their digital skills. What digital skills and competencies do communities need to ensure equitable and safe access to online information in the “new normal”? And how can libraries – longstanding providers of equitable learning opportunities – help communities develop these skills?


  • Prof. Yasuyo Inoue – Professor at Dokkyo University, Saitama, Japan; working on Public Librarianship and School Librarianship courses. Had been a member of Intellectual Freedom committee of Japan Library Association and IFLA FAIFE, now an IFLA FAIFE Expert Advisor.
  • Prof. Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe – Affiliate Professor of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, USA; co-secretary general of the UNESCO-GAPMIL program.
  • Ellen Tise – Chair of the FAIFE Advisory Committee and IFLA President 2009-2011. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • Moderator – Jonathan Hernandez Perez, IFLA Governing Board member 2019-2021. Researcher at Instituto de Investigaciones Bibilotecologicas, Mexico.

Language: English

Target Audience: Library and information professionals and policy-makers interested in privacy issues and intellectual freedom.

Save the date and join the webinar on 30 September, 14:00 – 15:00 CEST (12:00 – 13:00 UTC)
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Privacy and Data Protection

Please note the event will be recorded. Please review the IFLA Data Protection Policy and the Zoom Privacy Statement prior to attending.

If you have any additional questions about data protection or privacy, please contact IFLA at


For questions about the webinar content or access needs (for example visual impairment, dyslexia, deafness, language, etc.) please contact so we can work together towards an excellent event experience.