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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Mellon Selected for First Library Freedom Institute

The Library Freedom Institute (LFI) is a syndicate of librarians, technologists, attorneys, and private advocates dedicated to eliminating mass surveillance from communities across the country. The organization recently announced the first cohort of librarians from across the nation who will participate in a collaborative program with New York University. Ally Mellon, Information Services Director at the Mississippi Library Commission, was chosen to participate in this innovative program that aims to turn librarians into Privacy Advocates. With over 70 applicants, Mellon was one of only 14 who were selected.

By teaching librarians about surveillance threats, as well as privacy rights and responsibilities, the Library Freedom Project hopes to create a privacy-centric paradigm shift in libraries and the communities they serve. Over a six-month course, Mellon will learn from LFI staff and guest trainers how to lead privacy-focused computer classes including how to install privacy software, and how to approach members of the community about privacy concerns.

Lectures, class discussion, and assignments will require about five hours of commitment per week. There will be an intensive two-day training in New York City in August. “I'm incredibly honored to be chosen to be a part of this first cohort,” stated Ms. Mellon. “I'm excited to learn more about best practices in privacy and digital security and I can't wait to share what I learn with libraries throughout the state of Mississippi!” The program is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and will begin in June.

The Mississippi Library Commission supports innovative programs and initiatives to strengthen and enhance library services for all Mississippians. The agency is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, with additional funding provided through the Institute of Museum and Library Services under provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), offering leadership in library services, advocacy, and training for library professionals.
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