Thursday, January 26, 2006

Something's wrong here

See if you can figgure it out.

American Library Association
had a mid-winter confrence here this week.

Among other things put out to the public was their ummmm- dilike of the "Patriot act."

Incensed by the USA Patriot Act and irate over a memo between FBI agents, the American Library Association debuted a button at its annual midwinter meeting, which winds up here today at the Convention Center. Boasting that its wearers are "Radical Militant Librarians," the button was one of the convention's biggest sellers.

The button is the brainchild of Judith Krug, director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, who wanted to raise awareness of the Patriot Act's impact on libraries across the country.

The Patriot Act was adopted by Congress in the weeks following 9-11 and includes provisions allowing government agents to inspect reading lists and reference materials at libraries and bookstores of patrons they consider suspicious.

"What's happened in the past several years, in particular with the USA Patriot Act which directly affects our ability to do our job, is our core values are being challenged," she said. "If anything can ignite librarians, it is an attack on our core values."

Inspiration for the button came from documents obtained from the FBI by the Electronic Privacy Information Center through a Freedom of Information Act request. The request revealed a series of e-mails between FBI agents that complained about the "radical, militant librarians" while criticizing the
reluctance of FBI management to use the secret warrants authorized by the Patriot Act.

Ok, did anyone catch that? They're saying that nobody knows how many times the act has been used (on the radio- anyway). This is the ALA, if someone in the ENTIRE organisation knew of one instance, even second hand- wouldn't they let the leadership know? Tha answer is in bold. If it's so widly abused, why the e-mail?

As an added note---my librarian readers----
I noticed a distinct (deafening) silence on the govt' asking for search records.
Or is that different, because "it's for the children"?

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