ALA

USA PATRIOT Act Resolutions


If you have any information about other similar USA Patriot Act resolutions, please e-mail this information to Don Wood or Beverley Becker.


See also:

USA PATRIOT Act Resolutions by State Library Association

Bill of Rights Defense Committee


Links on this page to the actions taken by various organizations:

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Academic Senate of the California State University

At its plenary meeting November 13-14 in Long Beach, the statewide Academic Senate of the California State University, which has representatives from all 23 campuses, passed the following resolution entitled "Privacy and Right to Read" by unanimous vote:

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) urge the Congress of the United States to move expeditiously to correct defects in the USA Patriot Act which threaten the civil liberties of students and faculty who use libraries and computers. Specifically, we recommend passage of HR.1157, "Freedom to Read Protection Act," and S.436, "Domestic Surveillance Oversight Act;" and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU support the resolution of the California Library Association in Support of User Privacy and Freedom of Information (February 12, 2003)

and the resolution of the American Library Association entitled

"On the U.S. Patriot Act and Related Measures that Infringe on the Rights of Library Users" (January 29, 2003)

and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU forward this resolution to the CSU campus academic senates, the California congressional delegation, and California's two U.S. Senators.

RATIONALE: The USA Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act have been interpreted by the Attorney General in a manner that many believe allows investigators to violate First and Fourth Amendment rights of library users. Since our democratic republic is premised on an educated public, the right to read should be sacrosanct.

The CSU is the largest university system in the U.S. with more than 415,000 students and more than 44,000 faculty and staff at its 23 campuses.

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Librarians Association of the University of California (LAUC)

Resolution on the USA PATRIOT Act, the Homeland Security Act, and Related Measures that Infringe on the Rights of Library Users 

WHEREAS, the professional ethic of librarianship is to facilitate the free flow of recorded knowledge, ideas and information, to facilitate its distribution and to protect the privacy of those who engage in its free and open exchange, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, the privacy and confidentiality of those who engage in the free and open exchange of recorded knowledge, ideas and information is of the highest importance; and

WHEREAS, the professional ethic and obligation of the Librarians Association of the University of California (LAUC) includes the facilitation of research and teaching on all topics as an aspect of the free exchange of recorded knowledge, ideas and information, no matter how controversial the topic; and

WHEREAS, the professional ethic and obligation of LAUC includes the protection of the privacy and confidentiality of all researchers and teachers, no matter how controversial their research and teaching, and of all others engaged in the free and open flow of recorded knowledge, ideas and information; and

WHEREAS, LAUC, which has a long and distinguished history of supporting the research and teaching, regardless of the topic under consideration, of University of California students, faculty, staff, as well as other patrons who use the library, and their free and open exchange of recorded knowledge, ideas and information, by protecting the confidentiality of library records of said students, faculty, staff and other patrons; and

WHEREAS, the USA PATRIOT Act (Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (PATRIOT) Act of 2001) and Homeland Security Act and related measures increase the likelihood that activities and records of library patrons, including their tangible and intangible records, and their use of computers to browse the Web or access email, may be under government surveillance without the patron's knowledge or consent, and

WHEREAS, even the possibility of such government surveillance can be considered to have a chilling effect on research and teaching and the free and open flow of recorded knowledge, ideas and information; and

WHEREAS, the above-referenced legislation may cause members of LAUC to violate their professional ethic, which includes the facilitation of research and teaching and the free and open exchange of recorded knowledge, ideas and information;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that LAUC opposes legislation that endangers research and teaching and the free and open exchange of recorded knowledge, ideas and information, including the above-referenced legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LAUC encourages all librarians, library administrators, and library advocates to inform their communities, staff and patrons about the far-reaching implications of the above-referenced legislation to the privacy of patrons and the confidentiality of library records, and therefore to research and teaching and the free and open exchange of recorded knowledge, ideas and information; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LAUC strongly condemns any current or future legislation that threatens patron privacy in access to information, and therefore research and teaching and the free and open flow of recorded knowledge, ideas and information; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LAUC calls for repeal of those sections of the above-referenced legislation that violate the privacy of patrons in access to information and the confidentiality of library records, and therefore research and teaching and the free and open exchange of recorded knowledge, ideas and information; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LAUC affirms and upholds the efforts of librarians everywhere to defend and support patron privacy and free and open access to recorded knowledge, ideas and information without fear of government surveillance; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LAUC urges all UC Libraries to post in a prominent place within the library a notice to library users as follows: "WARNING: Under Section 215 of the federal USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), records of the books and other materials you borrow from this library may be obtained by federal agents. That federal law prohibits librarians from informing you if records about you have been obtained by federal agents. Questions about this policy should be directed to: Attorney General John Ashcroft, Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20530." (borrowed from the San Diego Bill of Rights Defense Committee's "Resolution in Support of the Bill of Rights"); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LAUC urges campus divisions to inform their communities, staff, and patrons about the requirements of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Homeland Security Act, and related measures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LAUC send a statement of support to the UCOP legislative office endorsing Representative Bernard Sanders' H.R.1157, the "Freedom to Read Protection Act of 2003", which would amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to exempt bookstores and libraries from orders requiring the production of any tangible things for certain foreign intelligence investigations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be disseminated widely across the UC system and to others as appropriate.

Adopted by the Librarians Association of the University of California
LAUC Spring Assembly 2003
La Jolla, CA
May 30, 2003

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ENCOURAGING MONTANA'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO SUPPORT AND ENSURE THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF ALL MONTANANS AND CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES 

Music Library Association

Position Statement on Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act

The Music Library Association strongly supports repealing or amending Section 215 of the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001” (USA PATRIOT Act) to insure protection from governmental intrusion into the private library records of individuals. Library patrons must be allowed to use any and all materials for the purpose of research, study, inquiry, and entertainment without interference from, or knowledge of, any government, corporation, or individual. The confiscation, disclosure, or threat of disclosure of library records is an invasion of privacy that has a chilling effect on individual thought and research, on the basic right to acquire information and knowledge, and on the ability to experience the results of artistic creation. Section 215 directly contradicts the eight principles outlined in the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association adopted in 1995.

Further, under section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, library employees who are presented with subpoenas for information are prohibited from notifying the individual under investigation, the press, or anyone else that the demand has been made. This requirement undermines public trust of the library staff, and violates both due process and the principles of library service in a free society.

The Music Library Association supports the American Library Association’s “Resolution on the USA PATRIOT Act and Related Measures That Infringe on the Rights of Library Users” and urges members of Congress and the President to eliminate Section 215 or to amend it to restore to all individuals the right of privacy for library records.


Adopted by the Music Library Association
July 2005

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