Feds Asked Depository Librarians to Destroy Federal Publications

On July 22 of this year, the Department of Justice sent e-mails to all 1300 federal depository libraries:
The documents the Department of Justice wanted destroyed were:

* "Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure."

* "Select Criminal Forfeiture Forms."

* "Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statues."

* "Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Resource Directory."

* "Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000."

Then one week later, they changed their minds. (ed: this was profiled in an earlier edition of LISNews)

The American Library Association issued a strongly worded statement recently that the national organization "disagreed with this categorization of the public documents, two of which are texts of federal statutes, and with the instruction to destroy them. ALA trusts that there will be no repetition of such unjustified instructions to destroy government information.

"The topics addressed in the named documents include information on how citizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by the government during an investigation," the ALA statement said.

The federal directives touched off a firestorm of e-mails among the library community all over the country, said HSU assistant librarian Liz Kimura Mottaz.

"People were outraged," she said.

Update here as it applied to Humboldt State University on the North Coast of California.


Ms. Ivins wrote a recent editorial deploring the destruction order but she failed to mention the order's recission. I know we know here what happened. Being a former newspaper writer and editorialist, I would think folks would get their fact-checking done.

Perhaps somebody could introduce Molly Ivins to LISNews.com?

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