-- For Immediate Release --
Dear library user,
For the past five years, the Glen Ridge Public Library has offered our card holders access to the online learning platform Lynda.com. During that time, users have logged nearly 20,000 views of various videos to help learn or improve professional and computer skills.
In 2015, Lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn, the professional social networking site. Even under new ownership, the login process remained the same. Users authenticated through the Library’s integrated library system (ILS) which provided secure and private access to the service. However, we have been notified by LinkedIn that Lynda.com will be migrating to a new product, LinkedIn Learning by the end of the year. As a result, LinkedIn will be changing the method by which patrons use to access the service. This change raises significant privacy concerns for our users. In addition to providing their library card number and PIN, users will have to disclose their full name and email address to create a new LinkedIn profile or connect to their existing profile. New users will have their LinkedIn profile set to public by default, allowing their full name to be searched on Google and LinkedIn.
This requirement violates the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights. Our professional ethics have always been grounded in privacy and confidentiality for patrons and the Glen Ridge Public Library upholds these standards in our service to the public each and every day. For a library vendor to create a platform that would automatically compromise a patron’s privacy by creating a publicly searchable profile is reprehensible and something that we can no longer support.
The decision to discontinue access to a product that is well used by our patrons is not taken lightly, but we must stand on the side of protecting our users’ right to privacy. The staff of the Glen Ridge Public Library is currently researching similar services that we hope will provide the same, if not better access to content to help you achieve your personal and professional goals without compromising your privacy. We anticipate Lynda.com access from Glen Ridge Public Library to be available through the end of the year, but if the change occurs earlier you will be notified.
We understand if you are disappointed, angry, or frustrated. We are too. If you wish to share your concerns about the proposed changes in to LinkedIn Learning’s terms of service and voice your support for protecting library users’ privacy rights, communicate with Farhan Syed, Vice President of Client Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.