Library VPN brings together two ideas that are both widely accepted in modern library practice.
1. Libraries should work to protect patron privacy
2. Libraries host online services for their patrons
Libraries have long worked to protect patron privacy. Librarian sometimes refer to this as the “Freedom to Read”, but this extends far beyond physical books. We care about people being able to exercise their intellectual freedom when accessing information, regardless of the form that information takes. We know that surveillance can chill intellecual freedom, so we work to protect privacy for our patrons. This is in the American Library Associations values.
Libraries also are a way for communities to access resources which might be out the reach of many in the community. These resources might be academic journal subscriptions, newspapers, or streaming video and e-book subscriptions. As we move increasingly online, this is becoming a bigger part of library services and budgets.
LibraryVPN combines these two ideas. It is a way for a library to host a VPN which normally costs money for its patrons to help them protect their privacy while online.