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Tag: barbara stripling

Maine State Librarian touts E-rate successes at Congressional hearing

Today, Maine State Librarian Linda Lord called for a “proactive vision for meeting the educational and learning needs of our communities for the next 15 years and beyond” at a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing (video). Representing our nation’s 16,400 public libraries, Lord touted the success…

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Barbara Stripling Releases Statement on Libraries and the Affordable Care Act

American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling issued the following statement: “The American Library Association anticipates that many Americans will turn to libraries for help in accessing enrollment information when open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace component of the Affordable Care Act begins on October 1, 2013. “Our research…


ALA president Barbara Stripling: “Our country needs to find the right balance”

ALA President Barbara Stripling
ALA President Barbara Stripling

Coming off the heels of Independence Day, the American Library Association (ALA) launched “ALA Liberty,” a new website that contains tools libraries can use to host educational sessions and public forums that help Americans understand their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

“When we spoke out in 2001 against the passage of the PATRIOT Act…we were fearful that the government would come into libraries without warning and take library records of individual patrons,” said ALA President Barbara Stripling in an open letter to American Library Association members.

Read the full open letter:

In early June, reports of the National Security Agency’s secret practices rang loudly around the world. News reports detailed PRISM, the U.S. government surveillance program that obtains the Internet records from ten U.S. companies: Verizon, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. It appears that phone records, emails, photos, and social networking activities have been collected and cataloged by the FBI and the NSA over the last seven years.

ALA is saddened by recent news that the government has obtained vast amounts of big data on the activities of millions of innocent people. The extent of the personal information received by the government is very troubling. Those of you who have been long-time members of ALA know that we have always argued that provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act encroach on the privacy expectations of library users. Worse, the surveillance law erodes our basic First Amendment rights, all while undermining the very fabric of our democracy.