Jim Heckel, director of the Great Falls Public Library, Says Libraries have become the symbolic canaries in the mine shaft since the passage of the overly zealous USA Patriot Act, enacted shortly after 9/11 and contentiously renewed early this year.
What does terrorism have to do with your local public library? That is, as they say, an interesting question.
Kelly writes "This article, "Careful: The FB-eye may be watching: Reading the wrong thing in public can get you in trouble," is about the adventures of a bookstore employee who was seen reading something thought to be unacceptable, terroristic, wrong — it's not clear — at a coffeeshop, and because of his reading, he was paid a visit by two FBI agents.
In her new book (Library Journal interview here), Chicago writer Sara Paretsky (author of the V.I. Warshawski mysteries) who spoke at Authors! Authors! four years ago says she was asked in advance by the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library to rein in her political remarks on the night the United States invaded Iraq.
As reported in yesterday's LISNews, George Christian, the executive director of the Library Connection and one of the four "John Doe" librarians in Connecticut who successfully challenged an FBI national security letter last year, called on Congress to reconsider the USA Patriot Act and restore reader privacy safeguards and other civil liberties damaged by the Act. Here's the complete text of Christian's testimony.
One From The AP: A librarian who fended off an FBI demand for computer records on patrons said Wednesday that secret anti-terrorism investigations strip away personal freedoms.
"Terrorists win when the fear of them induces us to destroy the rights that make us free," said George Christian, executive director of Library Connection, a consortium of 27 libraries in the Hartford, Conn., area.
Joe Hodnicki writes "Two recent books that will benefit from the national security letters revelations and two more that also should benefit are identified. Read more about it at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blo g/2007/03/book_sales_and_.html"
Here's A Short Article from the Missoula Independent on that goofy blog thing that happened a couple weeks back. When Absarokee-based Episcopal priest Jane Ellen Schmoetzer recounted a conversation she had with a small-town librarian on her blog, janellen.blogspot.com, on Jan. 9, she had no idea the post would trigger a long-distance game of "Telephone" that would change the way she approaches her four-year-old blogging habit.