Greetings from the ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia!

I had the good fortune yesterday to attend a presentation at which Bassem Youssef , FBI whistleblower, spoke.  Mr. Youssef is the highest ranking Arab American at the FBI and oversees the department that monitors National Security Letters. He is a decorated agent who was  a trusted and respected expert in the politics and culture of the Middle East.  Shortly after the implementation of the Patriot Act Mr. Youssef noticed a dramatic change in his work environment. He believes that he has been discriminated against by the FBI because he has questioned their counter terrorism recruiting process, particularly the lack of Arabic speaking agents, and the unfettered use of National Security Letters by untrained FBI officers in the field. Before the Patriot Act National Security Letters had to be approved at the very top level of the FBI, following the passage of the Patriot Act they may be generated and served for nearly any reason. Read More

Library Confidentiality Bill Introduced in VT Senate

We are delighted to announce that Senator Claire Ayer of Addison County has introduced S. 220, “An Act Relating to the Confidentiality of Library Patron Records,” in response to VLA’s request for a stronger and clearer law protecting the confidentiality of our library patrons. Read More