Lynne Bradley (ALA) 800-941-8478
Judith Platt (AAP) 202-220-4551
Larry Siems (PEN) 212-334-1660 ext. 105
WASHINGTON, DC, February 15, 2011-Just a day after the House of Representatives approved a 10-month extension of the Patriot Act, House members from both parties announced today that they will try to add an amendment to an appropriations bill on Thursday that will restore the safeguards for bookstore and library records that were eliminated by the Patriot Act.
Representatives John Conyers (D-MI), Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Ron Paul (R-KY) will introduce legislation that prohibits the use of the Patriot Act to search "library circulation lists, library patron lists, book sales records, and book customer lists." The legislation was first introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 2005 when he served in the House. It was approved by a vote of 238-187, but the provision was later dropped in House-Senate negotiations.
The Campaign for Reader Privacy, representing booksellers, librarians, publishers and authors, is asking its supporters to immediately call their members of Congress to urge support for the Conyers/Nadler/Paul amendment to FY2011 Continuing Resolution.
The Campaign for Reader Privacy was organized in 2004 by the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers, and PEN American Center. Its goal is to ensure that Americans can purchase and borrow books without fear that the government is reading over their shoulder. For more information, visit www.readerprivacy.org