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Resolution in Support of User Privacy and Freedom of Information in Libraries

WHEREAS, the professional ethic of librarianship is to facilitate the free flow of information, to facilitate its distribution, and to protect the privacy of those who seek information, and

WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Nevada has specifically singled out library use records in Nevada Revised Statute 239.013 to be exempt from inspection and “disclosed only in response to an order issued by a court upon a finding that the disclosure of such records is necessary to protect the public safety or to prosecute a crime,” and

WHEREAS, the USA PATRIOT Act, Homeland Security Act, and related regulations allow records of library users to be under surveillance without their knowledge or consent; and

WHEREAS, the new federal laws and policies disproportionately affect individuals who rely on public access to materials and computers in libraries;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Nevada Library Association opposes use of government power to suppress the free and open exchange of ideas and information; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Nevada Library Association encourages librarians and library advocates to inform library staff, library users, and their communities about the federal legislation and regulations that impinge on user confidentiality and access to information; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Nevada Library Association condemns legislation or government action that threatens the constitutional rights and privacy rights of library users; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Nevada Library Association urges Congress to repeal sections of the USA PATRIOT Act and Homeland Security Act which violate fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed in the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and laws of the state of Nevada; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Nevada Library Association, while opposing terrorism, affirms and upholds the efforts of librarians and library advocates to defend and support free and open access to information and privacy of library users; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution and the Library Bill of Rights be sent to the Governor of Nevada, the Attorney General of Nevada, to Members of both Houses of the Nevada Legislature, to Senators Reid and Ensign, and to Congressmen Gibbons and Porter and Congresswoman Berkley, and to others as appropriate.

Adopted by the Nevada Library Association, at the annual general membership meeting on November 8, 2003

Nevada Library Association

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