A Hard Lesson

May 29, 2007

I have received a lot of email from friends, former co-workers and colleagues about this. I really don’t have much to say about what happened. I received the same letter that the other 89,852 people received. I don’t know the details of what, why, when, how, and who; and I am certain that I don’t want to know more than what is written in the letter and what is posted on the university website.

All I can say is that I feel this is very unfortunate. There is a lot of good work happening in that library. The librarians teach many classes, do charity work for the university and the community and the library is gradually implementing new and innovative services for patrons. Unfortunately, until this dies down, no one is going to remember or hear about any of these things.

I also think that this incident is a chilling reality check for other libraries. Something like this can ruin any goodwill or credibility that the organization has within and outside the institution. We ask our patrons to trust us with private, personal information; whether it be their name and address, or their circualtion history. The take home lesson from an incident like this is to take a hard look at our IT security and ensure that this doesn’t happen at another library.

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