Quick blog from BookExpo 2004 (hot off the convention floor) - Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) just gave an inspiring talk sponsored by ABFFE on the importance of freedom to read even in the face of terrorist threats. He's cosponsoring the SAFE Act with Larry Craig (R-ID). Says this and the pledge of allegiance are the only things the two agree on ... but this is the basics of what it means to be an American. We need more accountability. He supports law enforcement - but mistakes can be made (e.g. Atlanta Olympics bomber) and we need to be asking questions.
Durbin also said that John Ashcroft has appeared before the Senate about once every 14 months ("he avoids us") and it's hard to question him. In contrast, Janet Reno was there every 14 days ("or so it seemed.")
How can booksellers and librarians help? Get more Senate Judiciary commitee members to cosponsor the bill. Invite your Senator to your library and invite 300 people to discuss your concerns. He said that can make a big difference.