A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a widely used technology that encrypts your internet connection in order to keep your online activity private and secure. LibraryVPN is a free and open source software project that allows libraries to host a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for their patrons. LibraryVPN protects the online privacy, security, and intellectual freedom of library patrons, extending protections to patrons who can’t afford the price of a commercial VPN or who are unsure how to choose a trustworthy and safe VPN provider.
Patrons will download an easy to use client for their Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. They will then connect using their library card to have access to a free, high quality, and secure VPN from a provider that they know that they can trust.
Public libraries get to activily help protect the privacy of their community members and promote intellectual freedom by hosting this software. They will help to protect the economically vulnerable who can’t afford to pay for their own VPN and the less technical who may not know how to safely select a VPN provider.
Protect Intellectual Freedom - Surveillance chills intellectual freedom. When people think they are being watched, they will self censor their activities. LibraryVPN prevents this surveillance to help promote intellectual freedom.
LibraryVPN is built on proven open source solutions including OpenVPN, the gold standard for VPN security. Development for LibraryVPN is lead by The LEAP Encryption Access Project and library technologist from the Lebanon and Westchester library systems. LibraryVPN is based on proven technology which has been used by activist organizations such as riseup.net for years. LibraryVPN builds on these projects by adding an authentication layer using the SIP2 protocol to allow patrons to use their library cards to log into the VPN client.
LibraryVPN was initially funded through a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Our technology is created using open source software which is an essential prerequisite for trusting privacy enhancing technologies like VPN. Libraries are here to stay, and LibraryVPN will always be free to our patrons.
LibraryVPN is currently looking for libraries who are willing to beta test the VPN service. The software can currently be run in three different ways: self-hosted, cloud-hosted, or as SaaS. We will work with you to make any of these options work best for you. We are hoping you’ll participate and allow up to gather user and library feedback on the product so we can continue to improve it. If you’re interested please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter @libraryvpn.