Statement Concerning the USA Patriot Act
MISSISSIPPI LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM COMMITTEE
STATEMENT CONCERNING THE PATRIOT ACT
Approved by MLA Executive Board March 28, 2003
The USA PATRIOT ACT (Public Law 107-56) became law in October 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The provisions of the Act, and the laws that it amends, make it easier for law enforcement agencies to gain access to information about library customers and the sources of information that they use in the library. The Mississippi Library Association supports law enforcement agencies in their attempts to keep the nation secure, however, the Association also recognizes the concerns of librarians who wish to maintain the confidentiality of their patrons.
In order to best serve the many and varied interests of the residents of the state, the Mississippi Library Association recommends that libraries review and, if necessary, amend their privacy and confidentiality policies. The American Library Association has issued a resolution that may be helpful in this regard (see links below). The Mississippi Library Association also recommends that library staff be trained in appropriate procedures in regard to these policies. Staff should also be trained in the procedures to follow in the event of a request for information from members of a law enforcement agency.
Attached is a list of further resources that librarians may wish to refer to:
USA PATRIOT ACT
ALA USA PATRIOT ACT RESOLUTION
ALA CODE OF ETHICS
LIBRARY ORGANIZATION RESOLUTIONS ABOUT USA PATRIOT
PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
LAW ENFORCEMENT QUERY GUIDELINES
Submitted by: MLA Intellectual Freedom Committee
Mary Beth Applin