Somehow I missed Nat Hentoff’s second piece about the Patriot Act, the one that discussed libraries. Big John Wants Your Reading List outlines the slippery slope librarians have been warning against.
“As I often do when Americans’ freedom to read is imperiled, I called Judith Krug, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. I’ve covered, as a reporter, many cases of library censorship, and almost invariably, the beleaguered librarians have already been on the phone to Judy Krug. She is the very incarnation of the author of the First Amendment, James Madison.
As she has often said, “How can anyone involved with libraries stand up and say, ‘We are going to solve problems by withholding information’?”
I called to talk with her about the FBI’s new power to force libraries to disclose the titles of books that certain people are reading÷and she, of course, knew all about this part of the USA Patriot Act. And the rest of it, for that matter.
Accordingly, the press ought to awaken the citizenry not only to the FBI’s harvesting lists of what “suspect” Americans read, but also to the judicial silencing of bookstores and libraries that are being compelled to betray the privacy and First Amendment rights of readers.”
Judith continues to fight the good fight – more power to her. Thanks to Library Juice for pointing this one out.