Listening at the Library: Surveillance in the Stacks Gets Smart

Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Virtual Event

Dr. Miriam Sweeney, School of Library & Information Studies, The University of Alabama 

This webinar explores key privacy issues associated with emerging technologies in library services and programming. Building on a recent study about smart voice assistant integration in libraries, Sweeney identifies important questions about patron data collection, management, and use across the lifecycle of smart technologies. Tracing these concerns raises important questions for libraries about the need for pro-active engagement with data privacy in advance of technology adoption, and lays the ground work for libraries to set a broader professional agenda for data privacy that places community safety and tech accountability at the center of library services.

Miriam E. Sweeney is an associate professor in the school of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. She is a critical digital media and information scholar who studies anthropomorphic design, virtual assistants, voice interfaces, and AI through the lenses of race, gender, and sexuality. 


This webinar series is part of the launch of GSLIS' new Information Equity, Diverse Communities, and Critical Librarianship Track. For Spring 2021, the webinar series will feature Library and Information Science Scholars discussing contemporary conversations on race, gender, sexuality, class, and information equality.

Event Type

Lectures / Presentations


College of Arts and Sciences, Harrington School of Communication and Media


Contact Person

Dr. Melissa Villa-Nicholas

Contact Email

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