Library Juice 8:8 - May 6, 2005


1. Links....
2. Patriot Resolution passed by Montana legislature
3. ALA Council discussion of the Resolution on Workplace Speech
4. ALA President Statement on Meeting with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

Quote for the week:

The old idea of the intellectual as the one who speaks truth to power is
still an idea worth holding on to. Tyrants fear the truth of books because
it's a truth that's in hock to nobody, it's a single artist's unfettered
vision of the world. They fear it even more because it's incomplete,
because the act of reading completes it, so that the book's truth is
slightly different in each reader's different inner world, and these
are the true revolutions of literature, these invisible, intimate
communions of strangers, these tiny revolutions inside each reader's
imagination, and the enemies of the imagination, politburos, ayatollahs,
all the different goon squads of gods and power, want to shut these
revolutions down, and can't. Not even the author of a book can know
exactly what effect his book will have, but good books do have effects,
and some of these effects are powerful, and all of them, thank goodness,
are impossible to predict in advance.

Salman Rushdie, in "The power of love: Salman Rushdie on how literature
can transform information into gold," The Guardian (UK), April 23, 2005.,6109,1466565,00.html

Homepage of the week: Ben Agger


1. Links....


New on the server:

SRRT Newsletter - issue no. 150/151, June 2005

Guidelines for starting student chapters and local chapters in the
Progressive Librarians Guild:



Congratulations to Leslie Burger, ALA's new President-elect

Thanks to Library Juice readers who helped elect me to ALA Council!

In the election results, note the good news that ALA's Membership Meetings
are being restored.

- Rory Litwin


WSIS: Whose vision of an information society?
by Ajit Pyati

[ sent by Edward Valauskas to First Monday alert subscribers ]


Information Ethics Roundtable 2005

[ from the Humanities Librarian blog ]


The Infinite Library
By Wade Roush
MIT's Technology Review, May 2005

[ sent by Steven M. Adams to liblicense-l ]


Fast Capitalism
...journal devoted to analyzing the impact of information and communication
technologies on self, society and culture in the 21st century, bridges the
social sciences and the humanities, welcomes disciplinary and
interdisciplinary work.

[ found surfing ]


ACLU: Library Web censorship inconsistent across R.I.

An informal survey across Rhode Island shows libraries have different
standards for the use of blocking software on their Internet connections.

Providence Journal
10:56 AM EDT on Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Journal Staff Writer

Rhode Island ACLU's report on CIPA implementation in public libraries in
that state can be found here:

with the summary here:

[ sent by Don Wood to IFACTION ]


IFEX Handbook on Free Expression Campaigning

[ sent by Don Wood to IFACTION ]


Why have libraries when books on sale are cheap, accessible?
Sunday, April 24, 2005
By Michael Bowers, Star columnist
The Star (Chicago Heights)

[ sent by Rochelle Hartman to ALACOUN ]


Alabama Bill Targets Gay Authors
MONTGOMERY, Ala., April 26, 2005

[ sent by Don Wood to IFACTION ]


PBS: Republican Broadcasting Corporation
by Ari Berman
The Nation
April 27, 2005

[ sent by Del Hornbuckle to the PLG list ]


European Libraries Fight Google-ization Deutsche Welle
April 27, 2005,1564,1566717,00.html

[ sent by Bernie Sloan to the JESSE list ]


GPO response to GODORT comments on Information Dissemination Policy
Statement 72: "Withdrawal of Federal Information Dissemination Products
from Information Collection and Distribution Programs"

This is a highly significant matter.

[ sent by Cathy Hartman, GODORT Councilor, to ALACOUN ]


Libraries should be a key target of the Patriot Act
Deroy Murdock
National Review Online
April 25, 2005

[ sent by Lincoln Cushing to the PLG list ]


CUBA: A letter to Amnesty USA
Letter sent to Amnesty USA by Australian academic Tim Anderson on March 22.
Green Left Weekly

[ sent to me by Dana Lubow ]


Ohio lawmakers push public libraries toward charging to borrow items
The Morning Journal, 4/29/2005

[ sent by Melissa Riley to the PLG list ]


Google News Looks to Favor Corporate Media
The New Standard blog
May 1, 2005

... in reference to:
Google searches for quality not quantity
New Scientist
April 30, 2005

[ sent by Laura Crossett to the SRRT discussion list ]


The webcast "Ownership & Access in Scholarly Publishing"
April 6, 2005

[ sent by Diane Fuller to COLLIB-L ]


"From Kobe Bryant to Uncle Sam: why they hated Gary Webb"
by Alexander Cockburn
(on the danger of telling the truth via the mainstream media)
Counterpunch (December 18-19, 2004)

[ from the Alternative Press Center's AltPress E-Newsletter ]


The Commercial Tidal Wave
by Robert W. McChesney & John Bellamy Foster
Monthly Review, March 2003


Muddiman, D. et. al. (2000). Open to All?: the Public Library and Social
Exclusion. Vol. 1: Working Papers. London: Resource, The Council for
Museums, Archives and Libraries. [Online]

Muddiman, D. et. al. (2000). Open to All?: the Public Library and Social
Exclusion. Vol. 3: Working Papers. London: Resource, The Council for
Museums, Archives and Libraries. [Online]
Preface to volume 3 (40KB)

1. "Theories of exclusion and the public library" by Dave Muddiman (88KB)

2. "Public libraries and social exclusion: the historical legacy"
by Dave
Muddiman (59.5KB)

3. "Public libraries and social class" by John Pateman (82KB)

4. "Literacy, social exclusion and the public library" by John Vincent

5. "Lesbians, bisexuals, gay men and transgendered people" by John Vincent

6. "Returning a stare: people's struggles for political and social
(Social exclusion: an international perspective part 1) " by Shiraz
Durrani (116KB)

7. "The state, communities and public libraries: their role in tackling
social exclusion (Social exclusion: an international perspective part
2)by John Pateman (134KB)

8. "Public libraries, children and young people and social exclusion"
by John Vincent (135KB)

9. "Images of exclusion: user and community perceptions of the public
by Dave Muddiman (63.5KB)

10. "Central and local government policies and social exclusion" by Martin
Dutch (92KB)

11. "Public libraries, disability and social exclusion" by Rebecca Linley

12. "Women, social exclusion and the public library"
by John Vincent and Rebecca Linley (101KB)

13. "Struggle against racial exclusion in public libraries: a fight for
the rights of people" by Shiraz Durrani

14. "Political correctness" (Lo politicamente correcto) by John Vincent

15. "Information and communication technologies, social exclusion and the
public library" by Martin Dutch and Dave Muddiman (102KB

16. "Public libraries, older people and social exclusion" by Rebecca
Linley (78KB)

[ sent by Zapopan Martin Muela-Meza to multiple lists ]


Secrecy, Propaganda Seen Sweeping US
by William Fisher
Published on Tuesday, May 3, 2005 by the Inter Press Service
World Press Freedom Day

[ sent by Zapopan Martin Muela-Meza to multiple lists ]


Holt, Rachel, and Adrienne L. Strock. The entry level gap: Breaking in
to the profession is harder than ever-if you're fresh out of library
school. Library Journal, May 1, 2005.

[ sent by Bernie Sloan to the JESSE list ]


St. Kate's PLG Podcast: Homelessness & Libraries

[ sent by Martha Furman to the PLG list ]


Knowledge Bio-diversity: The Perilous Economics of World News Heritage
Center for Research Libraries
Presented at the 2005 ACRL conference


The Graphic Novel Explosion @ Your Library
a student project from the University of British Columbia SLAIS

[ sent to me by Christine Wallace ]

2. Patriot Resolution passed by Montana legislature

The portion referring to libraries:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the 59th Montana Legislature requests:

(1) public schools and institutions of higher learning within Montana
to provide notice to each individual whose education records have been
obtained by law enforcement agents pursuant to section 507 of the USA
PATRIOT Act; and

(2) each public library within Montana to post in a prominent place
within the library a notice to library users as follows: "WARNING: Under
Section 215 of the federal USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), records of
the books and other material you borrow from this library may be obtained
by federal agents. Federal law prohibits librarians from informing you if
records about you have been obtained by federal agents. Questions about
the law and policy that allows federal agents to obtain and use
information about your activities in this library should be directed to:
U.S. Attorney General, Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20530".

Thanks to Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, ALA Councilor at Large, for reporting
this to the ALA Council list.

3. ALA Council discussion of the Resolution on Workplace Speech

[ALACOUN:14584] Resolution on Workplace Speech
Date: Monday 01:17:07 pm
From: "Brey-Casiano, Carol" <BreyCX[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
CC: "ALA Executive Board (E-mail)" <alaboard[at]>

Dear Colleagues:

At the 2005 Midwinter Meeting in Boston, Council considered a "Resolution on
Workplace Speech" [CD#38]. The Resolution asked Council to amend Policy #54
[Library Personnel Practices] by adding the following statement: "Libraries
should permit and encourage the full and free expression of views by staff
on non-confidential professional and policy matters." After some
discussion, Council voted to postpone action on the Resolution until the
2005 Annual Conference to enable the ALA Executive Board to secure review by
the Intellectual Freedom Committee [IFC] of the language and implications of
the proposed policy.

I would like to report back to Council that the IFC considered the issue
during its 2005 Spring Meeting and determined: 1) that the Resolution on
Workplace Speech does not comport with current case law regarding workplace
speech, and 2) that ALA cannot give its members advice and information that
is contrary to current case law. I have attached as background the IFC
analysis and recommendations [EBD #12.56] along with "Questions and Answers
on Librarian Speech in the Workplace: An interpretive statement to the ALA
Code of Ethics" as amended in January 2004. This document is somewhat
lengthy, which is why I did not include it in the body of this message. If
you need it in some other format, please let me know and we will get it to
you as soon as possible.

Sincerely yours,

Carol Brey-Casiano


IFC analysis and recommendations [EBD #12.56]


Date: Monday 10:43:58 pm
From: Ling Hwey Jeng <linghwey[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

The IFC consideration of this resolution is well-thoughtout, level-headed,
and very informative. My campus has been dealing with similar issues in
its revision of faculty/staff codes of conduct. Timing for the arrival of
this [EBD #12.56] document is perfect. This is exactly the kind of good
work I enjoy seeing from the Council and the Executive Board.

Thank you for sharing, Ling hwey

Ling Hwey Jeng, Ph.D.
School of Library and Information Studies
Texas Woman's University


Date: Tuesday 05:00:55 am
From: "Melora" <melora[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

I had concerns about the proposed Resolution on Workplace Speech, but for
different reasons.

Since the Association has various stated ideals and ethical guidelines that
do not constitute legal advice, a resolution suggesting that the ideal
employee workplace encourages employee discussion does not seem

My concerns were that ALA exists to promote the specific welfare of
library users and not of library workers; since ALA-APA exists to do
the latter, perhaps this issue could be reframed in that context?

Melora Ranney Norman, Maine


Date: Tuesday 08:01:06 am
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Forwarded on behalf of newly-elected Councilor, Rory Litwin,
concerning the resolution on workplace speech. I heartily agree with
his questioning the announced decision.
Mark Rosenzweig
>What the IFC is saying is that ALA should not assert that library workers
>should be granted the freedom to engage in workplace speech that goes
>beyond what the law guarantees them already.
>But why should ALA be confined to advocating for freedoms that are already
>constitutionally guaranteed? The workplace speech resolution acknowledges
>in the 3rd "Whereas" that library workers do not enjoy the right to free
>speech at work. The point of the resolution is to to put ALA on record as
>supporting workers interest in expressing themselves at work despite
>lacking a legal right to it. It is an ethical statement. It was never
>supposed to be an interpretation of or an assertion about the law.
>Does it go AGAINST the law somehow to support workers who speak out at
>work? It may mean that we will sometimes implicitly support a worker who
>will lose in a legal case regarding her workplace speech, but that is not
>the same as advocating a violation of the law; it is simply taking a moral
>Why should ALA expect library administrators to behave only as well as
>required by law?
>Allowing significant latitude in workplace speech is certainly legally
>permissible for library administrators to do; why shouldn't ALA go on
>record that we expect it? Why should ALA be confined to asking only for
>what the law already demands?
>Rory Litwin



Date: Tuesday 08:13:11 am
From: "Carolyn Caywood" <CCAYWOOD[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Congratulations, Rory!
I too would support a resolution that urges library administrators to model
the same values that guide the libraries they administer. I hope to see a
revised version at Annual that avoids the pitfalls identified by the IFC.

I acknowledge Melora's concern that our purpose is to support the library
user, but I feel strongly that users are best served when library workers
contribute to the development of policy, procedure, and services. That
point could be made in the resolution.
Carolyn Caywood


Date: Tuesday 09:31:30 am
From: Alfred Kagan <akagan[at]>
To: ALA Council <alacoun[at]>
CC: Rory Litwin <rlitwin[at]>

I also agree with Rory, Mark, and Carolyn. I found the whole Council
action very strange. I don't see why this needed to be referred for
legal advice. How is it different than taking action on say
outsourcing or the USA Patriot Act? We don't generally run to the
lawyers. Nobody thinks our resolutions have the force of law, or that
they are legal documents in any way. The very first point in the Q & A
document already states that librarians have a special responsibility
to protect freedom of expression, and that we should demonstrate our
commitment in the workplace. This resolution would just reinforce that
interpretation of the Code of Ethics, and it would make it a real ALA
policy. I can't see how we need a legal opinion to weigh in on this.
Once you ask a lawyer, you are bound to get the most restrictive and
conservation interpretation of a proposed action. I think we can and
should move forward.


Date: Tuesday 11:57:35 am
From: Jim Casey <drjbc92[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Brey-Casiano, Carol wrote (excerpt):

"I would like to report back to Council that the IFC considered the issue
during its 2005 Spring Meeting and determined: 1) that the Resolution on
Workplace Speech does not comport with current case law regarding workplace
speech, and 2) that ALA cannot give its members advice and information that
is contrary to current case law."


Council Colleagues:

I am somewhat puzzled by this conclusion in that the wording of the
resolution seems to carry with it sufficient qualifiers to address
the issues of "at will" employment noted in the answer to question
#3. The resolution wording:

"Libraries should permit and encourage the full and free
expression of views by staff on non-confidential professional
and policy matters."

By saying "non controversial professional and policy matters"
the resolution is eliminating those "free expressions" that
could constitute insubordination and/or unwillingness to
adhere to regulations relevant to workplace discipline.
I recall making this suggestion to the original movers
in order to address the workplace issues.

I fully understand the value and legal viability of "at will"
employment and see its importance for the functioning of
Libraries. Employers (Libraries) must have the right to
set down clear policy initiatives and rules to which staff
have the right to either adhere or leave. Employees cannot
be considered to have a "property interest" in their
jobs. We have an "inalienable right to life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness", but not necessarily do
we have the inalienable right to work at XYZ Library if
we fail to adhere to the policies established by XYZ
Library deemed to be essential to the carrying out of
the mission of the XYZ Library. Individuals have
rights, but so do libraries.

What other qualifiers could be used in this resolution to
address the valid considerations of workplace rules and
considerations? I can't imagine that it is impossible
for ALA Councilors to express themselves on this issue
without contravening existing law.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

James B. Casey, Councilor-at-Large
Chair of Resolutions Committee 2004-05.


Date: Tuesday 12:35:53 pm
From: "K.G. Schneider" <kgs[at]> (Blue Highways)
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

> I am somewhat puzzled by this conclusion in that the wording of the
> resolution seems to carry with it sufficient qualifiers to address
> the issues of "at will" employment noted in the answer to question
> #3. The resolution wording:
> "Libraries should permit and encourage the full and free
> expression of views by staff on non controversial professional
> and policy matters."

I agree with Jim. It stuck out for me as well. It's sort of like saying we
support free access to books as long as they aren't challenged or banned.
Workplace speech becomes most important about controversial issues. E.g., as
an analogy, the right of GLEAM (gay and lesbian employees of Microsoft) to
dispute Microsoft's decision to rescind access for equal-rights legislation
in Washington without fear of reprisal.

Looking back historically, in 1999 (or was it 1799 ;> ) some of us on
Council were uncomfortable because it felt like the resolution was tied to
one library's management dispute, and that was the context in which it was
presented. Today, it feels more broadly in keeping with ALA's values. Or
maybe I'm getting less tolerant of fiefdoms. We spend many, many years at
work, and we should have some rights in the workplace.

As for a resolution being in line with case law... then we would not have
resolutions about the ERA, nuclear freeze, gay rights, recycled paper,
loyalty oaths, and mandatory drug testing. You may think these issues are
"not ALA's business," but from time to time Council, as a body, has felt

Karen G. Schneider


Date: Tuesday 12:43:33 pm
From: Diedre Conkling <diedrec[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Reply to: diedrec[at]

Rory said very well exactly what I was thinking.

We can take a position that is an ethical position. Basically this
resolution reinforced and slightly enhanced our current Code of Ethics
statement. No one has said that we can't have the code of ethics
statemet because it provides for more than has been decided in courts.
I thought we were interested in the greater good not the bare minimum.

When has anything in ALA Policy had to have legal backing of court cases?
When have we ever even implied that ALA Policy has any force or legal
standing? ALA Policy is to set a standard and, hopefully, a high standard.
As an administrator I hope that I follow the higher standard that is
expressed in this resolution. (Though, admittedly, I may fail in this
from time to time.)

I was surprised about the move a few years ago to no longer print the Code
of Ethics on our membership cards but as an attachment. I carry around the
membership card but not the attachment. (Actually, I don't even think
there was an attachment with the Code of Ethics the first year.) Perhaps
it is an indicator of the importance we place on this Code and why there
was felt a need to go further.


Date: Tuesday 07:35:44 pm
From: "Steve Matthews" <smatthews[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

I agree with Carolyn in principle, but at what point does free expression
become insubordination and the inability to adapt to a changing
environment, and thus become a drain on library resources and the ability
to serve the public? The right to say something doesn't include the right
to be paid to say it. Do employees have the right to lobby the public on
paid time to criticize policies of the library because they won't accept
any way but their way ? I hope we can have more discussion on this
because I don't think ALA should put itself in a position of elevating
disputes about the way service is offered or constructed as possible
cases to weigh in on. I want to be sure that I understand the myriad
implications of adopting this kind of policy. This is a far cry from
protecting the intellectual freedom of our users. It's often very
self-serving. That said, I believe that without diversity of opinion and
a continuing and open dialogue about policies and procedures, a library
can't possibly provide the best service in the long run. Most of us at
one point or another in our careers have been in a position where the
direction of the institution has been so out of sync with our professional
philosophy that we have said our piece and then voted with our feet.
There are battles that aren't going to be won, and there are honest
disagreements as to the best way to deliver library/info service. ALA
would be ill-advised to set itself up as the Solomon of workplace
disputes, brandishing the sword of "free speech protection" when it is
often something quite different and far less laudable. Melora may be
right in the long run. This may be much more in the realm of ALA-APA than
it is in ALA-Big Tent. Stephen L. Matthews, Councilor-at-large


Date: Tuesday 07:44:22 pm
From: Backwage[at]
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Rather than place a long post here, I've put something on my own weblog about
the issue.

I think, in essence that the proposed Resolution should address the situation
which the response of the IFC and Executive Board have brought to light, as
well as pertinent elements of law.

M. McGrorty


Date: Tuesday 07:44:55 pm
From: "Bernadine Abbott Hoduski" <ber[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Hi, It seems to me that we library workers should have at least as much
protection as academic professors. When I was at Central Missouri State
University we had the AAUP to stand up for us when administrations tried
to fire us or muzzle our constitutional rights to free speech. Who do we
have in the library world? Unless we belong to a union or are a professor
we have very little protection.
It seems that APA is the appropriate body to discuss how to defend our
rights as workers. It is a complicated process and that is why unions
provide negotiations between worker and administrator. It seems to me
that that is what we are asking for, a fair and impartial process and
someone to turn to when we believe that our speech rights have been
Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, Councilor at large


Date: Tuesday 09:43:49 pm
From: Al Kagan <akagan[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Indeed, APA may be able to do something to defend our rights. However,
I don't see any problem for ALA Council to weigh in on the principle
involved here. I am one of the librarians who have tenure. That makes
it easy for me to speak out. I can't imagine how my life would have
been different without tenure, but I am sure it would have been a lot
less satisfying. Of course, even with tenure, many professors are
still very careful. Obviously there are lots of ways to be
disadvantaged in various perks, committee assignments, etc. I wish
everyone had the rights that I have in the workplace, and I think this
resolution is a small step in that direction.


Date: Tuesday 11:20:00 pm
From: "Bernadine Abbott Hoduski" <ber[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Hi Al and all, I am not against a resolution, I just don't see it as
enough action to defend our rights. I see APA as our action arm. Bernadine


Date: Yesterday 11:52:22 am
From: Alfred Kagan <akagan[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Karen and Steve,

I fail to see how ALA would be involved at all in any workplace
disputes. The point of this policy would be to encourage libraries to
write good policies.
We already have the Merritt Fund to work on individual cases. If we
passed such a policy, local administrators and activists could use it
as a basis for making good policies on workplace speech.


Date: Yesterday 12:58:28 pm
From: Jim Casey <drjbc92[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Alfred Kagan wrote:

> Karen and Steve,
> I fail to see how ALA would be involved at all in any workplace
> disputes. The point of this policy would be to encourage libraries to
> write good policies.
> We already have the Merritt Fund to work on individual cases. If we
> passed such a policy, local administrators and activists could use it
> as a basis for making good policies on workplace speech.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are there any examples of "good policies on workplace speech"
that don't contravene the "at will" employment situation?
Our rights and obligations as citizens are often
different from those we have as employees in a
given work situation and under the specific
provisions of a personnel policy or labor contract.

In order for Libraries to achieve their missions,
employees of the Libraries must often implement policies
and procedures with which they may have strong
disagreement. The public and open challenge to
those policies and procedures is our right as Citizens
under the First Amendment, but the Library
also has the right to remove employees who
refuse to follow policy and carry out procedures
deemed by the governing boards to be essential
to the mission of the Library. Listening to
dissenting opinions and weighing them
carefully is prudent management, but it isn't
required legally.

The rights that matter most are the rights of
patrons -- the citizens -- to have access to
the best service possible from their Library.
That is the battle for which we should be
fighting. God knows, there are plenty of
nuts who want to shut libraries down.

Jim Casey -- Councilor-at-Large


[ Editor's note: the Resolution on Workplace Speech was originally written
and sent to SRRT Action Council by Sanford Berman. SRRT then introduced it
at ALA Council. ]

4. ALA President Statement on Meeting with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 14, Number 49
May 3, 2005

In This Issue: ALA President Statement on Meeting with Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales

NOTE: Carol Brey-Casiano's National Press Club Newsmakers talk on the
USA PATRIOT Act at the National Press Club is scheduled to air today at
12:19 p.m. EDT on C-SPAN 3. and on:

(WASHINGTON) American Library Association (ALA) President Carol
Brey-Casiano met with United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to
discuss library concerns over section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act Monday,
May 2. The Attorney General reached out to the library community several
weeks ago, inviting Brey-Casiano to Justice Department offices in an
attempt to facilitate dialogue about the needs of law enforcement and
the privacy concerns of librarians.

Brey-Casiano took the opportunity presented by the meeting to reiterate
the importance of preserving the fundamental rights of free speech and
free inquiry by protecting the privacy rights of the library user. She
assured the Attorney General that librarians' opposition to the PATRIOT
Act is not an attempt to strip law enforcement of the power to
investigate crimes or terrorism; it is an effort to assure that the
government does not have the power to monitor reading habits of the
public. The American Library Association believes that government
powers should be focused and subject to clear standards and judicial
review and oversight. Brey-Casiano said, "portions of the USA PATRIOT
Act abridge people's First Amendment right to read and think freely. In
this country, we are entitled to read and research a topic or opinion
without the fear that the government is looking over our shoulder."

The ALA offered concrete suggestions to the Attorney General that would
remedy the unnecessarily broad provisions of the PATRIOT Act that
threaten civil liberties. ALA suggested, among other things, a return to
pre-PATRIOT safeguards on FISA Court orders to business records and
"tangible things" that would require that the order name a person and
specify a reason to believe that the named person is an agent of a
foreign power. Other suggestions included requirements that the court
order specify the records sought on an individual and that the statute
provide meaningful opportunity for a recipient to challenge a FISA court

At the meeting, the Attorney General expressed his support for
libraries and his interest in continuing the dialogue with ALA to reach
an accommodation. Brey-Casiano said, "ALA welcomes the opportunity to
talk with Attorney General Gonzales about the concerns the library
community has about portions of the USA PATRIOT Act that intrude on
civil liberties."

ALAWON (ISSN 1069-7799) is a free, irregular publication of the
American Library Association Washington Office. All materials subject to
copyright by the American Library Association may be reprinted or
redistributed for noncommercial purposes with appropriate credits.

To subscribe to ALAWON, send the message: subscribe ala-wo
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Washington, D.C. 20004-1701; phone: 202.628.8410 or 800.941.8478
toll-free; fax: 202.628.8419; Web site:
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