Library Freedom Institute

Introducing an privacy-focused collaborative program between New York University and Library Freedom Project.

Applying to LFI

Library Freedom Institute (LFI) is a privacy-focused six-month program for librarians to teach them the skills necessary to thrive as privacy advocates; from educating community members to influencing public policy. Below is all the information you need to apply.

  • Course Curriculum

    Library Freedom Institute is a six-month course consisting of readings, online forum discussion, required weekly real-time lectures, one in-person weekend in NYC, and assignments. During the course, you'll be taught by our staff and special guest lecturers how to:

    1. Approach members of your community regarding privacy concerns and teach privacy-related community workshops.
    2. Teach your own train-the-trainer workshops to other librarians in your region.
    3. Install, use, and troubleshoot privacy software.
    4. Use your new role as a Privacy Advocate to influence policy and infrastructure.
  • Program Timeline

    Dates for the upcoming LFI Cohort have not been finalized. We appreciate your patience as we tweak the dates below.

    Applications Open: December 10, 2018

    Applications Close: February 15, 2019

    Applicants Notified: March 2019

    LFI cohort 2 begins: May 20, 2019

    LFI cohort 2 NYC Weekend: July 27 - 28 2019

    LFI Cohort 1 Ends: October 2019

  • Application Questions

    Please submit your responses in a common document format (LibreOffice/OpenOffice, MS Office, PDF). Responses to all of the questions should be 2-5 pages and can be in a narrative format as long as all questions are answered. Please be sure to also complete the "Requirements" section on this page.

    Why are you applying to Library Freedom Institute?

    Why are you the right person to participate in Library Freedom Institute?

    How do surveillance and privacy issues affect the community where you work?

    In your opinion, what is the most important current issue or event related to surveillance and privacy?

    What is your gender identity? (Asked to ensure gender diversity)

    What is your race or ethnic identity? (Asked to ensure racial diversity)

    If accepted to Library Freedom Institute, are there particular days and times of the week that you would be available for 1-2 hours of online discussion in real time?

    If we were to offer a shorter version of this course (four months) at a later date, would you be more interested in the shorter time commitment?

    Will it be possible for you to pay for NYC travel costs up front and be reimbursed (please note that answering 'no' will not preclude you from participation, we just need this information in advance)?

  • Requirements

    In addition to the Application Questions, please also include:

    A current resume or CV

    Names and contact information for two references

    A signed statement from a director or immediate supervisor committing five hours of your week to Library Freedom Institute

    Please send application materials to by February 15, 2019.

  • Is Library Freedom Institute only for public librarians?

    Our priority is for public librarians and other librarians who work in diverse communities, but we welcome applications from librarians who do not meet these criteria if you think you'd still be a good fit.

  • Is Library Freedom Institute only for librarians in the United States?

    Again, it's a priority but not an absolute requirement.

  • Do I need a really need a letter from a direct supervisor, or can someone else substitute for this part of the application?

    We developed this requirement primarily to make sure that each participant would have adequate time to devote to this course. A secondary reason was to assure our funder (IMLS) that many course participants had institutional buy-in. We will certainly consider applicants who can make a case for having enough time to devote to our coursework (and would be an added bonus if a library administrator were to express institutional support for this training (even if they couldn't actually allocate paid hours to it).

  • When are the weekly class lectures held?

    We ask applicants to submit their weekly availability in the application materials. When we select our next LFI cohort, we'll choose a weekly lecture time based on the times that work for that group.

Have Questions?

If you have questions about the Library Freedom Institute or on how to apply for our next cohort, don't wait- the deadline is coming up fast, so get in touch!


The Library Freedom Institute wouldn't be possible without the generous funding of our friends at the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

  • “DHS (Department of Homeland Security) fought to stop libraries from using privacy technology, but @LibraryFreedom beat them. Librarians are badass.”
    Edward Snowden
    Board Chairman, Freedom of the Press Foundation