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Resolution on the USA Patriot Act

Of the Sno-Isle Regional Library Board of Trustees


WHEREAS, Sno-Isle Regional Library Board of Trustees affirms our responsibility to protect and preserve the freedoms that are the foundation of our democracy; and

WHEREAS, Libraries are a critical force for promoting the free flow and unimpeded distribution of knowledge and information for all individuals and communities in Snohomish and Island Counties; and

WHEREAS, the Sno-Isle Regional Library Board of Trustees maintains that the suppression of ideas undermines a democratic society; and

WHEREAS, Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association; and, in a library, the subject of users' interests should not be examined or scrutinized by others; and

WHEREAS, Certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the revised Attorney General Guidelines to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other related measures expand the authority of the federal government to investigate citizens and non-citizens, to engage in surveillance, and to threaten civil rights and liberties guaranteed under the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights; and

WHEREAS, The USA Patriot Act increases the likelihood that the activities of library users, including their use of computers to browse the Web or access e-mail, may be under government surveillance without their knowledge or consent; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Sno-Isle Regional Library Board of Trustees opposes any use of governmental power to suppress the free and open exchange of knowledge and information or to intimidate individuals exercising free inquiry; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Sno-Isle Regional Library Board of Trustees supports the existing patron privacy and record retention policies that affirm that the collection of personally identifiable information should only be a matter of routine or policy when necessary for the fulfillment of the mission of the library; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Sno-Isle Regional Library Board of Trustees considers sections of the USA Patriot Act, especially Section 2.15, are a present danger to the constitutional rights and privacy rights of library users, and, be it further

RESOLVED, That this resolution be forwarded to our members of both Houses of Congress, and be made available to the library community and to others as appropriate.

Passed in regular session this 24th day of November 2003.

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There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library,
this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.
- Andrew Carnegie

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