Library Juice 6:21 - September 25, 2003


1. Links...
2. Ashcroft Mocks Librarians; Librarians Respond

Quote for the week:

"The quality of belligerency was never more greatly needed in the profession
than it is at this moment. We have been called many things in our
time--gentle and genteel; modest and mousy; learned and lame; dedicated and
dowdy; unprepossessing and underpaid. I hope for the day when we shall be
called the belligerent profession ... I would have us be belligerent first
within the ranks of our profession. We have never, in my opinion, stood
our ground firmly enough and declared what our peculiar, unique function
was to be, and then held to it and accomplished it."

- Frances Clarke Sayers, 1949

Homepage of the week: Chuck Munson


1. Links...


Watergate and a news library

[ sent to me by Jim Dwyer ]


Liberal authors triumphant as US bookshelves lean left
The Boston Globe, 9/14/03

[ found on ]

-----'s Terrorist's Reading List

[ from ]


Nutch: an open-source search engine

[ sent to me by Dan Mitchel ]


Review of Lawrence Soley's _CENSORSHIP, INC._,
about the power of corporations to chill speech.

[ from Don Wood to IFACTION ]


Rep. Bernie Sanders named Library Journals 2003 Politician of the Year

[ from Don Wood to IFACTION ]

What to do if you're nabbed for file-sharing

[ from LII New This Week ]


The Librarian's World and Welcome to It [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
(A day in the life of an academic librarian)

[ Library Link of the Day - ]


MLA/GODORT Read (Docs!) Campaign

[ sent by various people to various lists ]


Refgrunt blog

[ sent by Louise Alcorn to Library Underground ]


The Young Librarian

[ from Katie Dunneback to Nexgenlib-l ]


CIRCPLUS - listserv for support/circulation staff

[ sent by Darci Chapman Hanning to NEWLIB-L ]


Top 25 Censored Stories of 2002-2003

[ sent by Kathleen McCook to PLGnet-L ]



portal: Libraries and the Academy

American Archivist

Library and Archive Security

Libraries & Culture

Journal of Archival Organization

[ from News of New Electronic Journals ]


Rich Lowry: The ideological librarians
(Right wing column)

[ fom Kathleen McCook to PLGnet-L ]


Test drive RedLightGreen at:

(A new kind of bibliographic database)

[ from Hava Kagle to SJSU SLIS Alumni ]


The Patriot Act and the National Archives: A True Story

[ from Mark Rosenzweig to ALACOUN and elsewhere ]


'The Assault on Liberty
The Bush Administration Pushes to Expand the Patriot Act'

[ from Don Wood to IFACTION ]

2. Ashcroft Mocks Librarians; Librarians Respond


Ashcroft Mocks Librarians and Others Who Oppose Parts of Counterterrorism Law

September 16, 2003

Attorney General John Ashcroft accused the country's biggest
library association and other critics of fueling "baseless
hysteria" about the government's ability to pry into the
public's reading habits.


[MEMBER-FORUM:333] baseless hysteria
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 10:47:21 -0400
From: "kathleen mccook" <kmccook[at]>
To: member-forum[at]

Ahcrofts's choice of words is intended to undercut intellectual
effort. Demeaning language catches peoples' attention. There are a
lot of women in librarianship and Ashcroft does not have a good track
record among women:

Attorney General, John Ashcroft
Opposes abortion, supports the death penalty, opposes a moratorium on
executions, supports tougher sentences for drug crimes, and is
supported by the NRA. He sponsored a program in the 1996 Welfare
Reform Act that allows states to provide services through church
groups. In short, he's Radical Right--pro "Charitable Choice,"anti
women's choice, anti-affirmative action, anti-gay. He has been an
opponent of most federal civil rights laws, environmental
regulations, and anti-trust regulations.


[ALACOUN:10357] Re: Ashcroft speech targets librarians
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 08:16:57 -0700
From: "K. G. Schneider" <kgs[at]> (
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

They are so disinterested in what we are reading that after decades of
failure with their Library Awareness Program, they wrote a law that allows
them grand, sweeping fishing expeditions into the habits of our readers,
and then hustled this law into being in the fog and friction surrounding
the aftermath of 9/11. They should be ashamed.

It really annoys me how Ashcroft is not only disrespectful of the
Constitution, but so openly contemptuous of those who would defend it.


From the JESSE list (LIS professors):

Personal Opinion Expressed:
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the Justice Department, apparently is of the
opinion that ALA can not form its own stance and that librarians can not
think for themselves and are easily "duped." An extremely condescending
view. In his attempt to "fix" an Ashcroft blunder, Corallo has further
insulted the library profession. The sorts of comments expressed by
Corallo negatively affect librarian image and status and should not go

If you wish to let Mark Corallo know your views on this matter, his office
telephone number is as follows (Found by conducting a search of the DOJ
online Phone Book):


Emails may be sent to:


With "Forward to Mark Corallo" in the subject line.

This administration's tactic of silencing all opposing voices with
character attacks and accusations of unpatriotic behavior is odious and
ominous. Mark Corallo claims that various groups and politicians have
persuaded librarians to mistrust the government. This government needs no
assistance in that regard.

Ashcroft's remarks were also reported by National Public Radio this
morning (9-16-03) on "Morning Edition."


American Library Association responds to Attorney General

                    Contact: Larra Clark, Press Officer

For Immediate Release
September 16, 2003

American Library Association responds to Attorney General
remarks on librarians and USA PATRIOT Act: A statement by
ALA President Carla Hayden

(Chicago) The American Library Association (ALA) has worked
diligently for the past two years to increase awareness of a very
complicated law * the USA PATRIOT Act * that was pushed through
the legislative process at breakneck speed in the wake of a national
tragedy. Because the Department of Justice has refused our requests
for information about how many libraries have been visited by law
enforcement officials using these new powers, we have focused on
what the law allows. The PATRIOT Act gives law enforcement
unprecedented powers of surveillance * including easy access to
library records with minimal judicial oversight.

Among the many changes in U.S. law and practice enabled by
the act is the federal government's ability to override the historical
protections of library reading records that exist in every state. States
created these confidentiality laws to protect the privacy and freedoms
Americans hold dear. These laws provide a clear framework for
responding to national security concerns while safeguarding against
random searches, fishing expeditions or invasions of privacy.

Librarians are committed to ensuring the highest quality library
service and protection of our patrons' records from random searches,
fishing expeditions or other inappropriate invasions of privacy. This
commitment is why we are among the most trusted members of our
communities, from Maine to California. We take great pains to be
educated about the federal and state laws that govern our ability to
serve our communities * which is why we're so concerned.

Over the past two years, Americans have been told that only
individuals directly involved in terrorism need be concerned. This is
not what the law says. The act lowers the legal standard to "simple
relevance" rather than the higher standard of "probable cause"
required by the Fourth Amendment.

In March 2003, the Justice Department said that libraries had
become a logical target of surveillance. Which assurance by Mark
Carallo are we to believe?

We also have been told that the law only affects non-U.S.
citizens. This is not what the law says. In fact, the act amended the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in such a way that U.S.
citizens may now be investigated under the lowered legal standards
applied to foreign agents.

And now Attorney General John Ashcroft says the FBI has no
interest in Americans' reading records. While this may be true,
librarians have a history with law enforcement dating back to the
McCarthy era that gives us pause. For decades, and as late as the
1980s, the FBI's Library Awareness Program sought information on
the reading habits of people from "hostile foreign countries," as well
as U.S. citizens who held unpopular political views.

We are deeply concerned that the Attorney General should be
so openly contemptuous of those who seek to defend our
Constitution. Rather than ask the nations' librarians and Americans
nationwide to "just trust him," Ashcroft could allay concerns by
releasing aggregate information about the number of libraries visited
using the expanded powers created by the USA PATRIOT Act.

Or, better yet, federal elected officials could vote * as several
U.S. senators and representatives from across the political spectrum
have proposed * to restore the historical protection of library records.


[IFACTION:6079] Help ALA Keep Big Brother Out of Your Library!
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 15:05:02 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>
Reply to: dwood[at]

Help ALA Keep Big Brother Out of Your Library!

The USA PATRIOT Act expands the federal government's authority to
investigate American citizens. Since the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act,
it is possible that library users' activities may be monitored by the
federal government. FBI agents can obtain court orders that allow them
to examine user circulation records and Internet use records. Some court
orders even allow agents to monitor email and chat room activities
without probable cause.

Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and
free association. In a library, the subject of a user's interests
should not be examined or scrutinized by others, especially our
government. Provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act seriously undermine our
civil rights and liberties guaranteed under the United States

ALA is collecting funds to support its educational and legal efforts to
counteract the federal government's intrusion upon the rights of library
users. Please make a contribution today to support its work on your
behalf! It is important that both librarians and library patrons know
their rights and know how to protect their civil liberties.

To make a donation to Keep Big Brother Out of Your Library, please mail
your check, payable to ALA, to ALA Development Office, 50 E. Huron St.,
Chicago, IL 60611, and earmark your tax-deductible contribution for
"E-SPY." Or, you can make an online credit card contribution.
If you have questions, please contact Lainie Castle in the ALA
Development Office (312.280.5050) or email her at lcastle[at]


[ALACOUN:10368] Re: Ashcroft speech targets librarians
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 23:49:21 -0400
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Cc: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Reply to: iskra[at]

Someone asked "Why did Ashcroft deliver this before the American
Restaurant Association?"

There is a tie-in and a new acronym: 'A.B.C.D.E.' The acronym stands
for "All the Bullshit You can Damned-well Eat" and expresses his
attitude towards the public and its concerns.

In Ashcroft's performance before the American Restaurant
Association he insists again: "Swallow my B.S. (Bull Shit) about the
U.S.A.P.A T.R.I.O.T. Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by
Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct
Terrorism"Act of 2001 -- its official title) and like it." Librarians
demur. "No eating in the library, Mr. Ashcroft."

Mark Rosenzweig
(who attaches the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act in PDF for your delectation)

1:48 PM -0400 9/16/03, Barbara Mates wrote:
>How odd that this speech was delivered at The American Restaurant
>Assoc Mtg..Maybe Mr. Ashcroft should be invited to address the
>American Library Association at Mid-Winter. This would give him the
>opportunity to explain how we are "wrong" and ahow we are
>wrongfully creating "hysteria." It would also give us a chance for
>a little Q&A from the source.
>Barbara T. Mates , Councilor at Large

[ALACOUN:10369] Mo' better acronyms
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 00:06:28 -0400
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Cc: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Reply to: iskra[at]

What Ashcroft is promoting should be known to the public as the
Suicide Act. That would be the shorthand used by journalists and
others for what would officially be the'"Scare Us Into Conceding It's
Dangerous Everywhere" (S.U.I.C.I.D.E.) Act of 2003'.
It doesn't trump the "U.S.A.P.AT.R.I.O.T. Act" but it's a good acronym.


[MEMBER-FORUM:337] [Fwd: Ashcroft Mocks Librarians? (16 Sept 2003)]
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 07:31:23 -0400
From: "Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman" <freedman[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>,
ALA Member Forum <member-forum[at]>

Dear Colleagues,

This is the letter to the editor I sent to the NY Times in response to
Ashcroft's attack on ALA and librarians. The full title of the Ashcroft
article in the NY Times was "Aschcroft Mocks Librarians and Others Who
Oppose Parts of Counterterrorism Law." What the NY Times printed in
today's edition was a letter from Congressman Bernie Sanders. The limit
of 150 words is a nasty constraint.

All the best,


To the editor:

In "Ashcroft Mocks Librarians?" (16 Sept 2003), the Attorney General
ignores what the American Library Association, concerned librarians, and
countless others have said about the USA PATRIOT Act. We decry the
PATRIOT Act's overriding of the Fourth Amendment guarantee of the
demonstration of "probable cause" that was established in 49 of 50
states as the legal basis for requiring libraries to disclose
confidential patron records. The PATRIOT Act simply asks the FBI to
claim relevance to an ongoing terrorist investigation in a secret
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court proceeding--no demonstration of
probable cause is required. We are not dupes of the ACLU, as alleged in
the article. We support the war against terrorism, but oppose
Ashcroft's trampling on constitutionally protected rights of America's
library users based on his all-too-recurrent and far-too-rarely, if
ever, justified claim that the PATRIOT Act's abuses are needed to catch

Maurice J. Freedman
Director, Westchester Library System

Office Address & Phone Number:
410 Saw Mill River Road
Ardsley, New York 10502

Home Address & Phone Number:
25-312 Barker Street
Mount Kisco, New York 10549

Letter to the New York Times from Bernie Sanders

Ashcroft vs. Librarians

To the Editor:

Re "Ashcroft Mocks Librarians and Others Who Oppose Parts of
Counterterrorism Law" (news article, Sept. 16):

As the author of legislation that would restore privacy protections to
libraries, booksellers and their patrons protections that were stripped
away by the hastily passed Patriot Act I find Attorney General John
Ashcroft's flippant remarks about the justified concerns of America's
librarians disturbing.

Librarians throughout the country are fighting hard to temper the sweeping
new powers given to federal agents to gain access to Americans' reading
records. Millions of Americans are grateful to librarians and to the
American Library Association for defense of their basic constitutional rights.

Instead of making derisive remarks, one would hope that the country's chief
law enforcement officer, who is sworn to protect the Constitution, would be
working with librarians, booksellers and civil liberties groups, not
against them.

Member of Congress, Vermont
Washington, Sept. 16, 2003


Excerpt of Ashcroft's speech relating to libraries as presented to the
National Restaurant Assoc's Annual Public Affairs Conference in DC


As a result, your willingness to visit this city is a valuable reminder of
the patriotism and the entrepreneurship that makes America great. These are
the values that should sustain our hearts and should inform our actions in
perilous times. Of course, Washington is often known as a town filled with
debates where people lose sight of the issues more important to the
citizens. Your visits, your voices remind this city of the values of the
people, the values that are truly important.

Unfortunately, at this moment Washington is involved in a debate where
hysteria threatens to obscure the most important issues. If you were to
listen to some in Washington, you might believe the hysteria behind this
claim, quote, "Your local library has been surrounded by FBI agents. are
working around the clock, like the 'X Files.' They're dressed in raincoats,
dark suits, sporting sun glasses. They stop patrons and librarians, and
interrogate everyone like Joe Friday."

ASHCROFT: "In a dull monotone, they ask every person exiting the library:
Why were you at the library? What were you reading? Did you see anything

According to these breathless reports and baseless hysteria, some have
convinced the American Library Association that under the bipartisanly
enacted PATRIOT Act, the FBI is not fighting terrorism; instead, agents are
checking how far you've gotten in the latest Tom Clancy novel.

Now, you may have thought with all of this hysteria and hyperbole something
had to be wrong. Do we at the Justice Department really care what you are
reading? No. The law enforcement community has no interest in your reading
habits. Tracking reading habits would betray our high regard for the First
Amendment, and even if someone in government wanted to do so, it would
represent an impossible workload and a waste of law enforcement resources.

The fact is that our laws are very particular and very demanding regarding
what government can do to obtain business records. There are strict legal
requirements. A federal judge must first determine that there is an existing
investigation of an international terrorist or a spy, or a foreign
intelligence investigation into a non-U.S. citizen, and that the business
records being sought are relevant to that investigation. Without meeting
these legal requirements, obtaining business records, including library
records, is not even an option. Of course, with only 11,000 FBI agents in
the entire country, it's simply ridiculous to think that we would track what
citizens are reading.

I'm not in a position to know, but according to the American Library
Association, there are more than 117,400 libraries in the United States. The
American Library Association tells me that Americans visit our nation's
libraries more than a billion times a year, they say 1.146 million 284,000,
to be exact, visits. And while people who are visiting the libraries, the
Library Association tells me they check out nearly 2 billion books a year,
1.7 billion books, to be precise. The hysteria is ridiculous. Our job of
securing America is not.

It is the solemn belief of the United States Department of Justice that the
first and primary responsibility of government is, however, to preserve the
lives and to protect the liberties of the people of this country. Now, no
one believes in the First Amendment civil liberties more than this
administration. It's what we're fighting for in this war against tyranny.
And on my watch, we seek a war for justice that reflects the noblest ideals
and highest standards set by the United States Constitution.


From The Onion:
Revised Patriot Act Will Make It Illegal To Read Patriot Act
WASHINGTON, DC-President Bush spoke out Monday in support of a revised
version of the 2001 USA Patriot Act that would make it illegal to read
the USA Patriot Act. "Under current federal law, there are unreasonable
obstacles to investigating and prosecuting acts of terrorism, including
the public's access to information about how the federal police will
investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism," Bush said at a press
conference Monday. "For the sake of the American people, I call on
Congress to pass this important law prohibiting access to itself." Bush
also proposed extending the rights of states to impose the death penalty
"in the wake of Sept. 11 and stuff."

"Ashcroft to declassify data showing how often government has sought
library records" -- Boston Globe


ALA President Welcomes Call, Commitment from U.S. Attorney General

For Immediate Release Contact: Larra
Clark, Press Officer
September 17, 2003


ALA President welcomes call, commitment from
U.S. Attorney General to declassify some PATRIOT Act reports

CHICAGO - Today, American Library Association (ALA) President Carla
Hayden welcomed a telephone call from U.S. Attorney General John
Ashcroft. In the call, the Attorney General expressed his concern that
people have misunderstood his commitment to civil liberties and
committed to declassify the Justice Department report on Section 215 of

Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act amends the business records
provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to permit
federal agents to obtain library and other types of records when they
are sought "in connection with" a terrorism investigation, rather
than the higher standard of "probable cause" required by the Fourth

"The American Library Association welcomes this commitment from
Attorney General Ashcroft," Hayden said. "We look forward to
learning how the PATRIOT Act is being used in libraries. This is an
important first step toward having the information needed for meaningful
public oversight and accountability. We hope this symbolizes a
significant commitment to ongoing reporting to the American public and
the U.S. Congress. As librarians, we understand the importance of open
access to information. The American public deserves no less."

Several key legislative proposals to amend several sections of the
PATRIOT Act, including Section 215, are now before Congress. The ALA
calls on the American public to reach out to their legislators in
support of these proposals and restore the historical protection of
library records.

The ALA has been vocal on the issues of patron confidentiality and the
protection of privacy. The library community stands ready to continue
to participate in this important public debate and to seek the
accountability and oversight necessary so that we can both counter
terrorism and preserve our democracy's great strengths.

For more information on the USA PATRIOT Act and libraries, please visit


[ALACOUN:10383] Re: ALA President Welcomes Call ...
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 17:54:01 -0700
From: Michael Gorman <michaelg[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Dear Friends

Perhaps I am missing something but am not entirely impressed by General
Ashcroft's "concession." I am glad that he deigned to notice our concerns
and to worry about them enough to call Carla. However, reporting on the
bad things that they are doing (no doubt in the usual obfuscatory and
clouded terms) is by no means as good as stopping doing bad things. Surely
the point is that Ashcroft and his goons have no business prying into
library use, that rubbish about hunting terrorists merely hides the
creation of thought crimes, and that it is an outrage that librarians are
gagged (under pain of being charged with a felony) and unable to report
these unconstitutional intrusions. I fear that Ashcroft may use this
"concession" to argue that our concerns have been allayed.

Peace, Michael

[ALACOUN:10384] Re: ALA President Welcomes Call ...
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 21:13:19 -0400
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Although I have to take my hat off to Pres.Carla Hayden's fast and pointed
response to Mr. Ashcroft, and I found her reply to be admirable in many
ways, ultimately I have to concur with Michael Gorman and note that is the
sheer shamelessness of the Bush administration which is being exhibited
here. He will allow us to see the report of his misdeeds. Brazen, but it
does not do the trick.

In my opinion the Association's offices should not state publicly that we
want "accountability and oversight" over the provisions of the USA PATRIOT
Act which affect us and the community. I believe we called for the change
of those unconstitutional measures in the Act.

Mark Rosenzweig

Ashcroft's War on Civil Rights (2nd try)
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 23:11:58 -0400
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: alacoun[at], member-forum[at]
Cc: srrtac-l[at], plgnet-l[at]
Reply to: iskra[at]

To follow up on the discussion of Ashcroft's speech deriding librarians'
concern for civil rights under the cloud of the USA PATRIOT Act...

Here are some examples of Ashcroft's war on civil rights (courtesy of the
Bill of Rights Defense Committee):

He has secretly arrested and detained over 1000 people "suspected" of
terrorism and has withheld their names from the public;

He has proposed the creation of detention camps for civilians whom this
Administration, without judicial review, secretly deems to be "enemy

He has imprisoned civilians -- including U.S. citizens -- indefinitely in
military brigs without bail, criminal charges, or access to attorneys, and
has ordered people to be held in jail without charges, in violation of the
Administration's own USA PATRIOT Act, which requires charges within 7 days
of their arrest;

He has breached the protective wall between criminal prosecutions and
national security investigations, which was erected to prevent wiretap and
surveillance abuse;

He has authorized the monitoring of privileged communications between
attorneys and federal prisoners/detainees;

He has ordered the continued detention of people in custody even after an
immigration judge has found them eligible for release.

Ashcroft presents a clear and present danger to the Constitution, to civil
rights and to anyone who chooses to dissent against the Administration's
policies. John Ashcroft is simply not fit for the position of Attorney
General of the United States - he is a right wing extremist. He should be
removed from office.


[IFACTION:6095] Memo shows US has not used Patriot Act to seek library data
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 09:55 -0400
From: Don Wood <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>
Reply to: dwood[at]

"Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the Washington office of the
American Library Association, said she was shocked by the lack of warrants,
but said it showed that the power wasn't needed. "If this number is
accurate, then they have demonstrated that there is no need to change the
tradition of protecting library patrons' reading records," she said."

The following appeared on
Headline: Memo shows US has not used Patriot Act to seek library data
Date: 2003/09/18

"WASHINGTON -- Perhaps nothing in the USA Patriot Act has fed fears
of rampant government snooping more than a part of the antiterrorism
law allowing federal agents to obtain library and business records."

To see this recommendation, click on the link below or cut and paste it
into a Web browser:


Authorities haven't used Patriot Act to obtain records, memo shows
WASHINGTON - Perhaps nothing in the USA Patriot Act has fed fears of
rampant government snooping more than a part of the anti-terrorism law
allowing federal agents to obtain library and business records. But a
memo obtained by Knight Ridder late Wednesday shows for the first time
the number of times that law enforcement made use of that power: zero.
The full article will be available on the Web for a limited time:


In a Reversal, Ashcroft Lifts Secrecy of Data

September 18, 2003


ALA page on Patriot Act news - frequently updated


In wake of declassified report, ALA renews call for legislative
amendments to PATRIOT Act

Contact: Larra Clark, Press Officer

For Immediate Release
September 18, 2003
In wake of declassified report, ALA renews call for legislative
amendments to PATRIOT Act

CHICAGO - The American Library Association today welcomed news reports
that the Department of Justice had declassified its report on Section
215 of the USA PATRIOT Act.

"I am glad the Attorney General finally agreed to declassify this
report after almost two years of seeking an open and full accounting of
activity by federal agents in libraries," said ALA President Carla
Hayden. "We hope this symbolizes a significant commitment to ongoing
reporting to the American public and the U.S. Congress. As librarians,
we understand the importance of open access to information. The American
public deserves no less.

"We were surprised to learn, however, that the Justice Department has
never utilized Section 215 relating to the production of business
records, particularly in light of previous statements from the Justice

For example:

* Last December, assistant attorney general Daniel Bryant said
information had been sought from libraries on a voluntary basis and
under traditional legal authorities, including possibly national
security letters.

* In March 2003, Justice Department spokesperson Mark Corallo said
libraries had become a logical target of surveillance.

* In May 2003, in testimony before members of Congress, assistant
attorney general Viet Dinh said federal agents had visited about 50

"In any case, we hope members of Congress will restore the historic
protections of library records and pass one of the legislative proposals
currently on the floor, such as the Freedom of Read Protection Act
sponsored by Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)," Hayden added.

"Legislators and the general public can be assured that traditional
legal protections extended to library records are not an obstacle to
ensuring national security. We hope Congress will reject any additional
measures - such as H.R. 3037, which would allow federal agents to use
administrative subpoenas to obtain library and business records without
any judicial review - that might abridge the rights and protections
afforded by our Constitution."

For more information on the PATRIOT Act and libraries, please visit and


Transcript of Democracy Now interview with Mitch Freedman (scroll down)

An article from the Boston Globe on the Ashcroft call to Carla.

Remarks of Attorney General John Ashcroft, Protecting Life and Liberty,
Memphis, Tennessee, September 18, 2003


ALISE Statement on Ashcroft Comments

SEPTEMBER 18, 2003


The Association for Library and Information Science Education, an
international association of educators of librarians and other information
professionals headquartered in the United States, joins the American
Library Association in responding to Attorney General John Ashcroft's
condescending and ill-informed comments regarding librarians' concerns
about the Patriot Act.

In particular we note that the language used to dismiss librarians'
concerns attempted to play on a stereotype of librarians as timid,
undereducated females, subject to "hysteria," and--according to aide Mark
Corallo--easily "duped." In fact, the stereotype is anything but true and
serves to try to undercut the importance of the profession. The
professional degree for librarians is the master's degree, and many possess
multiple degrees. While the majority of librarians are women, a great many
men also have embraced the challenging career of helping to provide access
to knowledge, enrichment and entertainment through libraries and of
defending intellectual freedom.

As part of their professional education, emphasizes ALISE President Louise
S. Robbins, Professor and Director of the School of Library and Information
Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, librarians are taught their
professional obligation--developed over many decades--to help defend the
First Amendment rights of individuals to receive information on all kinds
of topics, without fear or favor.

Robbins noted that Attorney General Ashcroft had finally agreed to the
release of information, long sought by ALA, regarding library visits under
the USA PATRIOT Act. "It appears that librarians now have the Attorney
General's attention. It gives us hope that the protection of the
confidentiality of library records and the importance of the role of
librarians in upholding library users' rights to freedom of inquiry may
come to be recognized by the Department of Justice."

Contact Louise Robbins by email at
<mailto:lrobbins[at]>lrobbins[at] or

Deborah York at <mailto:dyork[at]>dyork[at]

Louise S. Robbins
President, Association for Library and Information Science Education
Professor and Director
School of Library and Information Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phone: 608-263-2908
Fax: 608-263-4849


Dear Council members,
We need to build upon the tactical error of the Attorney General in
referring to us librarians in less than flattering terms by an all out
effort to get pending legislation protecting our liberties through
Congress before the fall recess. It does not matter if the AG is telling
the truth about the number of visits or not, the potential to obtain
information about library users is still there. Now that we have the
nation's attention we need to act. In a week or two we will be
yesterday's news so lets push for action today.
Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, GODORT Councilor and past chair of COL
Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, Government Information Advisor, 318 State,
Helena, Montana 59601, 406-449-9974


At 06:29 PM 9/18/03 -0400, Ling Hwey Jeng wrote:
Dear Councilors:
I fully agree.

We have passed our resolution. Carla and Mitch have publicly made the
strong, timely responses. This is the right time to push efforts to
partner with other groups to work for legislative changes. So many cities
and social/political groups have passed their own resolution re. USA
Patriot Act; it's important that ALA reach out to some of them, especially
those not usually considered "left" for more exposure in the media spotlight.

What is also important to keep in mind is that this is an integral part of
Carla's "Equity of Access" presidential theme: freedom of access, freedom
from government intrusion and intimidation, equity for all information
users, not just those who can pay for their own information.

Ling Hwey Jeng
Councilor at Large

Associate Professor
School of Library and Information Science *Voice: 859-257-5679

University of Kentucky                      *Fax: 859-257-4205
502 King Library South            *Email: LHJENG00[at]


[ALACOUN:10408] Re: PATRIOT Act and proposed legislation
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 16:35:49 -0400
From: Trina Magi <Trina.Magi[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Reply to: Trina.Magi[at]

Dear Councilors,

I agree that the recent media attention makes this a good time to push for
additional sponsors of Sanders' Freedom to Read Protection Act (HR
1157). I know that most state library associations have passed resolutions
on the USA PATRIOT Act, but I wonder if they have also communicated
directly and forcefully with their representatives in Congress. Now would
be a great time for state associations to send official letters demanding
legislative action--or, if they've already done that, to send follow-up
letters stating that our position hasn't changed.

If it's helpful, please feel free to borrow language from the letter that
the Vermont Library Association sent to Bernie Sanders last year. The
letter clearly articulates librarians' concerns, was reviewed for accuracy
by an attorney, and caught the attention of our Congressman. You can find
the letter at

--Trina Magi
Councilor from Vermont


Re: [ALACOUN:10403] Carpe diem !
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2003 23:11:56 -0400
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
Cc: member-forum[at], plgnet-l[at], srrtac-l[at]
Reply to: srrtac-l[at]

Librarians have been presented with a unique historical opportunity in the
Aschcroft affair to decisively change our image from passive public
servants into active and constant defenders of some of the most
beleaguered, yet basic rights of a nation of free citizens.

Will ALA seize the day? Wil it take and use this occasion in which the
spotlight has fallen upon the social/political role we play (or should
play) -- each library, each librarian -- as the battle-worthy lines of
defense of the Bill of Rights, and play it for all it's worth?

Or will ALA fumble as an initial frisson of of being at the heart of a
public issue turns into fear? Will it take the course of showing that we
are too 'professionally' polite too be passionate, too collectively courtly
to rise to a national crisis, too doctrinally undefined and weak to take a
leading role in the fight against the foes of the First Amendment issues
represented by the Ashcroft doctrines ?

Hopefully, ALA, if it hasn't lost its sense, will make this attack of
Ashcroft's on librarians and our response --a response which just BEGINS
with Carla Hayden's letter -- into the centerpiece of a timely and vigorous
public campaign for a new public sense of who and what librarians are.

We should not let it pass and peter out as is ALA's usual wont.

If so we do have both shirked a responsibility to the people and squandered
an opportunity to more thoroughly call into question all the worst
stereotypes about librarians about which we endlessly complain.

Mark Rosenzweig
ALA Councilor at large


[ALACOUN:10416] Re: Carpe diem / Patriot Act II
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 11:52:48 -0400
From: Ali Houissa <ah16[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Reply to: ah16[at]

A "unique opportunity" indeed (!), as yet another campaign to shore up
support for Patriot Act II, an expanded version of the Patriot Act, is
about to start. And librarians are definitely in the national spotlight
(see below, from the NY Times,
9/22/03 <>;).

This public-relations offensive comes, however, at a time when a growing
number of Americans are saying the original act already gives government
too much power. Faced with these reasoned objections, the administration is
becoming more shrill. Last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft named
librarians as the latest group to pose a threat to freedom. Rather than
lash out at well-intentioned critics, the administration should listen to
the thoughtful voices from across the political spectrum who are saying we
need less Patriot Act, not more.

The most troubling part of the new plan is the call for expanding
government access to private data, allowing federal agents to issue
subpoenas for private medical, financial and other records, without a court
order. The lack of judicial oversight removes an important check on
government misconduct. Record holders would be required to comply, or face
prison, and would be barred from telling anyone about the subpoena.

The Justice Department announced on Thursday that it had not used its power
under the Patriot Act to demand library records a single time. That
revelation may have been intended to support Mr. Ashcroft's mean-spirited
attack on librarians, whom he charged with being caught up in "baseless
hysteria." But selectively releasing this one statistic has a three-card
monte feel: if the number grows, it is unlikely that the Justice Department
will be so forthcoming. If the administration truly had nothing to hide
about its use of this power, it would not be arguing for the authority to
put a librarian in prison for speaking publicly about receiving a subpoena.


Ashcroft: Library Man of the Year
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 12:03:02 EDT
From: Backwage[at]
To: calix[at]

Whether they are aware or not, librarians have just experienced a
significant moment in their own history and in the history of the country.
Over the past few months, opposition among the profession to the provisions
of the Patriot Act reached the point where librarians, individually and
collectively, did a thing they are not ordinarily known for: they made

The reason for this racket was because the administration somehow managed
to do the one thing that would make librarians howl: they came between
patrons and the right to read. Librarians do not ask for much; library pay
is nothing to write home about, and the work requires a spirit of devotion
as much as anything else. A library career offers the opportunity to
serve, generally in anonymity, a public which rarely if ever recognizes the
contributor except as a quaint, if generally positive stereotype.

The recent frantic tap-dancing by Attorney General John Ashcroft reflects
the fact that the librarians' message has hit home in a big way,
registering with the public in a manner which does nothing for the image of
a president who has sought to ride the wave of public support in the wake
of 9-11.

I would venture to say that no previous Attorney General has made a
whistle-stop tour of the nation to defuse the protests of mere librarians,
but these are not mere librarians: they are librarians alienated,
offended, even enraged. More than anything, they are librarians united.
Ashcroft has become to the library what Reagan's James Watt was to the
environmental community, and not so much for the deed as for the defense,
the denial, the attacks upon the offended parties. All of this has had a
galvanic effect upon the librarians, making them come together as nothing,
not even terrible budget cutbacks, could do.

We ought to give thanks for such officials as John Ashcroft. Without him,
the Patriot Act would have no personal face, no identity except on paper.
Given the work he has done for the profession, he is certainly a candidate
for any library association's Person of the Year.

Michael McGrorty


RE: Ashcroft: Library Man of the Year
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 10:49:40 -0700
From: "Dave Dowell" <ddowell[at]>
To: <calix[at]>
Reply to: ddowell[at]

We need to make sure we interpret Mr. Ashcroft's assurances that Section
215 of the Patriot Act has not been invoked within the proper context.

I have been a librarian for three decades. Prior to that time I was a
special investigative officer for the U.S. Air Force who worked regularly
with FBI agents during the time J. Edgar Hoover was in his prime. Just 3
weeks after the disaster at Kent State, an antiwar rally was held on Armed
Forces Day in 1970 in Fayetteville, NC just adjacent to Fort Bragg and Pope
AFB. FBI agents went through Jane Fonda's motel room looking for
incriminating items while she was at the rally. I asked them what they
found and they replied with disappointment, "Dirty laundry." Had something
useful turned up in this surreptitious and unsanctioned search, it would
have been reported to Washington as information reported to them by an
anonymous but reliable source. Hoover or anyone else in the hierarchy would
have been able deny that agents did that kind of thing. That policy of
covering tracks was then called "plausible deniability." Now it is called
"national security."

I also remember the FBI's "Library Awareness Program" in the 1980s.
Although I was not personally involved in that program, I recall that the
FBI denied that program existed until many librarians came forward with
accounts of their first-hand encounters. The library in which I worked in
Chicago would have been a perfect target for that program. The FBI at that
time wanted librarians to report anyone of middle European origin who
demonstrated an interest in scientific and technical literature. The
implication was that they were likely to be communist spies. The library
that I then headed was part of an engineering university in a city with a
very large population of middle European immigrants. Close to half of our
users could have been broadly construed to fall into the net of this FBI
fishing expedition.

From my own experience as an Air Force Special Agent, I know that
reasonable, intelligent people often turn to Jell-O between the ears when a
"federal" badge is flashed in front of them. With all the hype about the
Patriot act that we have circulated through libraries it is reasonable to
believe that FBI agents (or other federal, state or local law enforcement
agents) visiting libraries would not have had to invoke Section 215 to
access patron records. We would have assumed that they had the right to see
them by virtue of their badge. They certainly would not have any motivation
to correct any such mistaken belief on our part.

If the goal of terrorists is to create and maintain terror, John Ashcroft
et. al. are unwittingly making sure the this end is achieved by, among
other things, manipulating the threat level. They, not librarians, are the
ones fanning the flames of hysteria. They cannot remain in power unless the
economy significantly improves or we remain on a war footing or both. I

It's chilling to have the two most important governmental officials for
setting our domestic security policy (Bush and Ashcroft) be two candidates
neither of whom received a majority of the votes cast in their political
races three years ago.

I really don't want our country to go back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover;
but I am beginning to be afraid that we are dangerously close.

Mr. Ashcroft, it is not librarians who are gullible and hysterical. We are
the ones who are defending the freedom of our citizens.

David R. Dowell, Ph.D.
Director of Learning Resources
Cuesta College
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-8106
(805) 546-3159 - voice
(805) 546-3109 - fax
Co-author of Libraries In The Information Age: An Introduction & Career
Exploration. Libraries Unlimited, 2002
Co-editor of Community College Libraries: Management Aspects. Projected
for 2004 from Libraries Unlimited.


ISSN 1544-9378

| Library Juice is supported by a voluntary subscription
| fee of $10 per year, variable based on ability and
| desire to pay. You may send a check payable in US funds
| to Rory Litwin, at 1821 'O' St. Apt. 9, Sacramento, CA 95814,
| or, alternatively, you may use PayPal, by going to:
| To subscribe, email majordomo[at] with the message
| "subscribe juice".
| To unsubscribe, email majordomo[at] with the message
| "unsubscribe juice".
| Other majordomo commands are available in the help file,
| which you can get by emailing majordomo[at] with the
| message "help".
| Library Juice is a free weekly publication edited and
| published by Rory Litwin. Original senders are credited
| wherever possible; opinions are theirs. If you are the
| author of some email in Library Juice which you want removed
| from the web, please write to me and I will remove it.
| Copyright to material in Library Juice should be considered
| to belong to the original authors unless otherwise stated.
| Works by Rory Litwin may be used freely for non-commercial
| purposes with appropriate attribution.
| Your comments and suggestions are welcome.
| Rory[at]