Resistance

As necessary as procedures for dealing with an actual visit by the FBI were, many librarians saw the need to begin active political opposition against the act. In October 2002, the Vermont Library Association had signed a public letter calling on their representatives in Congress to introduce legislation that would ban government access to patron records under the act. In December 2002, Vermont Congressman (now Senator) Bernie Sanders announced his intention to introduce a just such a bill. This became HR 1157, the Freedom to Read Act of 2003. The bill had 152 co-sponsors, but was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, where it languishes to this day.

“USA PATRIOT Act Letter,” Vermont Library Association, Adopted, October 21, 2002. Online (April 2, 2007) Available http://www.vermontlibraries.org/patriot.html

“Vermont Librarians Convince Congressman to Defend Reader Privacy,” American Libraries, December 23, 2002. Online (April 2, 2007) Available http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2002/december2002/vermontlibrarians.cfm

“Bill to Exempt Libraries from Patriot Act Introduced,” American Libraries, March 10, 2003. Online (April 2, 2007) Available http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2003/march2003/billexemptlibraries.cfm

U.S. Congress. House. Freedom to Read Protection Act of 2003, HR 1157. (March 6, 2007). http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.r.01157:

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