California Library Association
Resolution In Support of User Privacy and Freedom of Information in Libraries

ATTACHMENT 3 TO AS-2629-03/FGA - February 12, 2003

AS-2629-03/FGA

WHEREAS, the professional ethic of librarianship is to facilitate the free flow of information, to facilitate its distribution, and to protect the privacy of those who seek information, and

WHEREAS, the USA PATRIOT Act and other recently enacted laws, regulations, and guidelines threaten to stifle discussion and information access, and

WHEREAS, the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act expand the authority of the federal government to detain and investigate citizens and non-citizens, to engage in electronic surveillance of citizens and non-citizens, and to threaten civil rights and liberties guaranteed under the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the USA PATRIOT Act increases the likelihood that the activities of library users, including their use of computers to Web browse or access e-mail, may be spied upon without the user's knowledge, and

WHEREAS, many sections of the USA PATRIOT Act compromise the basic Constitutional rights of individuals and weaken the concept of "innocent until proven guilty," and

WHEREAS, prior restraint has caused many Web sites to curtail providing essential information in order to avoid the perception of abetting terrorism, and

WHEREAS, the USA PATRIOT Act disproportionately affects the poor and unemployed, many of whom rely on computers in libraries and other public places;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the California Library Association encourages all librarians to educate their service communities, stakeholders, staff and users about the far-reaching dangers of the USA PATRIOT Act and other recently enacted laws, regulations, and guidelines; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California Library Association strongly condemns any current and future legislation that erodes privacy, information access and Constitutional rights and opposes the use of governmental power to suppress the free and open exchange of information and ideas; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California Library Association calls for the amendment of those sections of the USA PATRIOT Act that violate fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed in the United States Constitution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California Library Association supports the actions of the American Library Association on its passage of the Resolution on the USA PATRIOT Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California Library Association will affirm and uphold the efforts of librarians everywhere to defend and support user privacy and free and open access to information.

February 12, 2003



 
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