VT Senate Government Operations Committee holds hearing on confidentiality bill

On January 17, librarians representing VLA and VSLA testified in support of S. 220, a bill to protect the confidentiality of library records. Posted here are links to testimony by Trina Magi, Susan Monmaney, and Karen Lane, a letter from a parent, and the marked-up bill showing changes requested by VLA and VSLA. For a Q&A sheet explaining the rationale behind the bill and a handout you can distribute to patrons, see the January 8 post titled “Library Confientiality Bill Introduced in VT Senate” in the Intellectual Freedom section of the VLA Web site. If you have questions or comments, please contact VLA Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Trina Magi, 656-5723 or trina.magi@uvm.edu.

Trina Magi’s testimony

Susan Monmaney’s testimony

Karen Lane’s testimony

Sandra Lindberg’s letter

Bill with changes requested by VLA and VSLA

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