Librarian.net

Warrant canary

super library by Brian Herzog

Librarian.net was founded in 1999 by Jessamyn Charity West (b. 1968), an American librarian and blogger. West characterizes librarian.net as generally ‘anti-censorship, pro-freedom of speech, pro-porn (for lack of a better way to explain that we don’t find the naked body shameful), antiglobalization, anti-outsourcing, anti-Dr. Laura, pro-freak, pro-social responsibility, and just generally pro-information and in favor of the profession getting a better image.’

‘Wired’ described her as ‘on the front lines in battling the USA PATRIOT Act,’ particularly the provisions that allow warrantless searches of library records. The act not only prohibits libraries from notifying the subjects of such searches, it prohibits them from disclosing to the public whether any such searches have been made. In protest, West created a number of notices that libraries can post which she suggests are ‘technically legal.’ One of them, for example, reads: ‘The FBI has not been here. Watch very closely for the removal of this sign.’ The Vermont Library Association provided copies of this sign to every public library in Vermont.

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