Public libraries are an invaluable institution in the United States, and the digital revolution has posed many challenges for them. With the American Library Association’s updated “Library Bill of Rights” and public library services increasingly moving online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the protection of patron privacy in public libraries is an important and timely topic of study. However, there is a lack of empirical data regarding privacy practices and the challenges that public libraries face. To fill this gap, we conducted an online survey that was sent to more than 12,500 public librarians across the country to study the state of patron privacy practices and challenges in public libraries. This study is the first of its kind on this topic. Our results show that patron privacy protections vary drastically depending on the library’s size and service area. This study provides essential knowledge for administrators and policy makers in public libraries.