For those who utilize Lynda as a vendor

Lynda’s Privacy Problem

Would you be willing to not renew your library contract with Lynda following these changes?

If LinkedIn already owned Lynda, why are we pretending that data wasn’t already being shared? I’m all for discontinuing the use of the service but the canary in the coalmine has been dead a while.

This, though, is a fantastic example of why library administration actually need to read the ToS of what they sign, I’m willing to bet an alarmingly small number do.

1 Like

Yeah, when LinkedIn bought Lynda they def were taking all the info they could get on what library card number had what digital behavior. The difference is that now they are requiring an email address and first and last name to go with library card number and linking that to the patron’s LinkedIn account. I guess the main difference is the change from semi-anonymous to not anonymous at all.

1 Like

I heard from a few librarians that they protested this to their admins and got ignored. Anyone else know about anything like that?

I am about to protest about it to my Director, and I can almost guarantee that I will get ignored sooo I guess I’ll know about it. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I wonder if we might try to organize some thoughts about why this is bad, and try to publicize it in some way? I guarantee that Library Journal would print it.

1 Like

That’s cool! I would def be into it.

1 Like

oh. oh. Can it be titled “Lynda, Listen?” Re:


Another librarian just sent this out to all librarians in our system and admin, so I’ll try to keep track of the responses.

I’m trying to think of the best angle for a story on this. The OIF piece is great at detailing the problem, but I think there’s another angle – that librarians ARE pushing back against this and getting nowhere.

So I think we need to do some information gathering. Have folks already talked to their Lynda reps about these privacy issues? What happened? Can we ask our networks if they’ve done this?

I reached out to our Lynda rep (Julie Palmer) asking if she read the OIF piece and asked her how much patrons will be required to share in order to get a Lynda library account. Julie’s response:

We were just on a phone call with the Blog’s author, answering her questions and addressing her concerns.

The Patrons have a choice to share all that they want or very little. The login flow for the LinkedIn Learning for Library is not the same login flow that a Corporate organizations staff would go through. We ask them for the same information that lyndaLibrary asked: First and last name and email address. The Library Card number is encrypted in the back-end system and we do not store the PIN numbers.

In the Library solution we are giving Patrons the option to build out their profile or create an obscure one as you see in my profile example below. They could put as much or as little information as they feel comfortable with.

Below is my PointDrive link with more information on the upgrade that was just released. We are trying to get to all of our Library Clients as fast as we can and update them on the upcoming upgrade.

LinkedIn Learning for Library

FYI - I got this response from my library system’s admin:

We are aware of impending changes to accessing Learning. We do not know yet for certain exactly how the login process will be with LinkedIn. It is currently in beta testing with some libraries. Although HCL is not a beta tester we are giving our feedback. We expect a LinkedIn account will be needed but are hopeful that if a LinkedIn account is required that the LinkedIn account will have full privacy settings by default. We have been told that nothing should change for any library until after mid-July.

I have been in contact with a Director who has been organizing some collective action against Lynda after meeting directly with them at their headquarters. I received the following email from her today. If you would like to added to the list of libraries that directly oppose this action please email her.

" Hey everyone! It’s been an incredibly busy week on the LinkedIn Learning front. Wanted to give you the latest about where we’re at and what’s going to happen next week. After numerous emails with the LinkedIn Learning transition team we reached an impasse. LinkedIn is holding firm to their stance and at this point will require the creation of a LinkedIn profile to use LinkedIn Learning. While patrons will only be asked for their full name and email, unlike during a regular LinkedIn account creation where they are prompted to fill out a lot of personal details, they will then get welcome emails that invite them to complete their profiles (aka add more personal information). This is an unabashed violation of ALA policy and our ethical code.

On Monday evening, I will be releasing a statement on the Choose Privacy Every Day website that includes a list of libraries that want to stand in support of patron privacy and recommend not using LinkedIn Learning until these issues are addressed. You are welcome to see a draft of that statement here. There may be some more tweaks to it this weekend, but they’d be minor. If your library would like to have their name added, please let me know asap! On Tuesday, ALA will be issuing a press release that will say they cannot recommend the use of any online platform or service that fails to comply with the professional and legal standards governing library users’ privacy and confidentiality.

Additional statements are in the works by State Libraries and state associations across the country. We’d love for you to help us signal boost when this rolls out next week. Even if your library is unable to list their names publicly, I encourage you to spread the word throughout your network. Contact your state association and urge them to make a statement or send an email (you’re welcome to forward this one) to your local listservs.

Thank you to everyone who has already reached out to me with questions or pledged their libraries support in this critical issue.

Erin Berman

Division Director: Learning Group
Alameda County Library


thanks for sharing Wren. Erin Berman will be speaking to us later in the course too, so we can get an update on this action from her then as well.

ALA’s Press release:

1 Like

This press release went out yesterday from the California State Librarian recommending libraries to not subscribe to LinkedIn Learning. I’m starting to see it pop up in a few news articles, too.

1 Like

Related article in Boing Boing, with the contact information for the person at

We used to provide logins to our member libraries, and stopped the service this year when it became clear that users had to have LinkedIn accounts. In hindsight, I wish we had raised more of a ruckus than simply cancelling our contract. We let our sales rep know that this was likely going to be a problem, and I got the feeling from her that she saw this coming, but corporate wasn’t listening to her, either.

We started offering Skillshare and Treehouse as alternatives, but they’re not as popular.

Thanks for sharing this. I passed a request to my system’s admin to sign the letter.

I am starting a taskforce at my academic library to evaluate LinkedIn Learning & alternatives. I have support so far from my department/library at large. We are not sure about campus reaction yet.

1 Like

I just got back to work to an email that as of September 1st, our system will no longer be offering Lynda to cardholders! We will be making this information public next week, so I will try to keep tabs on the public response.

We currently also offer Skillshare, so that will fill the gap but the county is looking into other alternatives. Does anyone have any recommendations?