Office of Government Relations

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).

Helping library patrons become citizens

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As governments continue to increase their use of digital technologies to provide services, libraries serve as essential community anchors that link people to government services and information and promote civic engagement. Join government experts at the 2013 Annual American Library Association Conference to learn how a newly launched website (www.libegov.org) can help librarians serve the e-government needs of their communities.

ALA joins others to support Treaty for the Blind

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Library Association supports the Treaty for the Blind, a treaty that would allow the lending of accessible content to print-disabled people around the world. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) diplomatic conference that will finalize the treaty begins in Morocco on June 17, 2013.

'Libraries & Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1'

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Is your library prepared to deal with the rush of patrons who will need help completing Affordable Care Act health form applications this year? In October, library patrons are expected to come to libraries in great numbers to learn about new insurance requirements and options available. Libraries will need to know about the resources that will help library patrons.

'The Census, Your Patrons and the DataFerrett'

WASHINGTON, D.C.— As governments continue to increase their use of digital technologies, how can your patrons use census figures which are now available? On Saturday, June 29, 2013, join officials from the U.S. Census Bureau during the session “The Census, Your Patrons and the DataFerrett,” a hands-on workshop that will teach participants use Census datasets. The session will be held from 3 - 4 p.m. in Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Burnham Room 23A-B.

Susan Crawford to anchor the Washington Update at ALA Annual Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Susan Crawford, telecommunications policy expert and former White House official, will share insights about national technology policy and implications for the library community at the 2013 American Library Association Annual Conference. Crawford will address conference attendees during the Washington Update session from 8:30 – 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2013,  in the McCormick Place convention center.

ALA joins others to demand civil liberties

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association recently joined 86 other civil liberties groups, Internet activists and authors to sign an open letter to Congress (.doc), calling for a congressional investigative committee, similar to the Church Committee of the 1970s. The letter is in response to the recent leaking of highly classified documents about the government’s monitoring of private Internet and telephone communications.

The letter calls on Congress to:

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