Librarians speaking freely

Don’t get in the way of a PO’ed librarian. That was a lesson for us kids who made too much noise and, in turn, got the dirty looks and verbal wacks from the local library staff.

But, in this case, we’re not referring to talking too much. This is about losing your freedom of speech. As pointed out last month here at SF, our librarian clients in a Connecticut case involving the Patriot Act were gagged by the government just as the Patriot renewal debate was at its height. In April, the government lifted the gag, and today our clients spoke out for the first time.

“As a librarian, I believe it is my duty and responsibility to speak out about any infringement to the intellectual freedom of library patrons,” said Peter Chase, Director of the Plainville Public Library and Vice-President of Library Connection in Connecticut. “But until today, my own government prevented me from fulfilling that duty.”

“Even though our identity was public due to the government’s own mistakes, they still insisted we could not speak,” said Barbara Bailey, Director of Welles-Turner Memorial Library in Glastonbury, Connecticut, another of the librarians involved in the ACLU lawsuit. “It was difficult to sit among colleagues and listen to them discuss ‘John Doe.’ I had to work hard to keep my mouth shut, or I would risk jail time.”

Check out today’s press release from national ACLU.

Andy in H-burg