Office of Government Relations

American Library Association president responds to Obama surveillance speech

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association (ALA), released the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s remarks on the National Security Agency surveillance program:

ALA supports NSA surveillance reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A drumbeat of organizations are calling for reforms to the National Security Agency's surveillance program. Late this afternoon, President Obama's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies released a report calling for transparency, online security tools, and organizational reforms to the NSA.

ALA welcomes USA Freedom Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Library Association is rallying librarians to support the USA Freedom Act, a bill that will improve the balance between terrorism prevention and personal privacy protection. The USA FREEDOM Act, which was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and PATRIOT Act author Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), would place restrictions on bulk phone and Internet government surveillance, and permit companies to make public the number of FISA orders and National Security Letters received.

American Library Association welcomes new FCC E-rate proceeding

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Following a Senate hearing with expert testimony (PDF) from Maine State Librarian Linda Lord on the impact and successes of the E-rate program, the American Library Association (ALA) welcomes the forthcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize this vital Universal Service program.

American Library Association joins Apple, Microsoft in demanding transparency around government surveillance

WASHINGTON, D.C—Today, the American Library Association (ALA) joined an unprecedented coalition of Internet companies and advocates to deliver a letter (PDF) to the U.S. government demanding greater transparency around national security-related surveillance of Internet and telephone communications. Key civil liberties organizations and major companies like Apple, Facebook and Twitter joined in the effort with dozens of other companies and organizations, large and small.

ALA, IMLS detail Affordable Care Act resources for library staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the enrollment for the Affordable Care Act beginning on Oct. 1, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the American Library Association (ALA) announce new resources available to libraries.

An IMLS cooperative agreement with OCLC’s WebJunction will result in online educational webinars, tip sheets and other resources to help library staff members respond to increased patron information needs related to the Health Insurance Marketplace. These resources include:

Campaign for reader privacy renews call to amend PATRIOT Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Citing recent revelations about the scope of the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs, organizations representing booksellers, librarians, publishers and authors today called on Congress to pass legislation to restore privacy protections for bookstore and library records that were stripped by the Patriot Act as a first step toward reining in what the group calls “runaway surveillance programs.”

ALA president on NSA leak: 'Our country needs to find the right balance'

ALA Launches Privacy Tools for Libraries

WASHINGTON, D.C.— 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.

ALA to Senate: 'Protect Privacy and Civil Liberties'

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, the American Library Association joined 38 other companies and civil liberties organizations to urge the Senate (PDF) to protect Americans’ privacy when drafting new cybersecurity legislation. The coalition letter submitted to Congress asks that new cybersecurity information sharing legislation maintains the privacy protections from the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414).

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