Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year's Resolution for Publishers and Libraries: Switch to HTTPS

The endorsement list for the Library Digital Privacy Pledge of 2015-2016 is up and ready to add the name of your organization. We added the "-2016" part, because various things took longer than we thought.

Everything takes longer than you think it will. Web development, business, committee meetings, that blog post. Over the past few months, I've talked to all sorts of people about switching to HTTPS. Librarians, publishers, technologists. Library directors, CEOs, executive editors, engineering managers. Everyone wants to do it, but there are difficulties and complications, many of them small and some of them sticky. It's clear that we all have to work together to make this transition happen.

The list will soon get a lot longer, because a lot of people wanted to meet about it at the ALA Midwinter meeting just 1 week away OMG it's so soon! Getting it done is the perfect New Year's resolution for everyone in the world of libraries.

Here's what you can do:

If you're a Publisher...

... you probably know you need to make the switch, if for no other reason than the extra search engine ranking. By the end of the year, don't be surprised if non-secure websites look unprofessional, which is not what a publisher wants to project.

If you're a Librarian...

... you probably recognize the importance of user privacy, but you're at the mercy of your information and automation suppliers. If those publishers and suppliers haven't signed the pledge, go and ask them why not. And where you control a service, make it secure!

If you're a Library Technology Vendor...

... here's your opportunity to be a hero. You can now integrate security and privacy into your web solution without the customer paying for certificates. So what are you waiting for?

If you're a Library user...

... ask your library if their services are secure and private. Ask publishers if their services are immune to eavesdropping and corruption. If those services are delivered without encryption, the answer is NO!

Everything takes longer than you think it will. Until it happens faster than you can imagine. Kids grow up so fast!


  1. Thanks for spelling this out all neatly. I will make this the focus of my Computers in Libraries column this month.

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