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Holiday displays during the year ... what do we do around the major holidays so as not to offend our multicultural society?


A few libraries actually go out of their way to protect people acting illegally, for example by viewing child pornography on a computer. In Holyoke, MA, for example, the situation was so intolerable that a librarian outed the library director for forcing her to cover up for a child porn viewer. The library director claimed opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act as part of her reasoning for the cover up. Yet to my knowledge, no action has been taken to date to charge the library director as an accessory after the fact or with anything else--she's still working there--community frozen into inaction. Should there be any legal liability in such instances? How does that affect contracts. etc.? Consider the blog posts aggregated here:


Mary, here's something even more important to consider. You know how the ALA opposes the USA PATRIOT Act for a variety of reasons. Well a new Executive Order has just been signed giving INTERPOL even more power than even the FBI, making INTERPOL immune from FOIA requests, for example. Yes, the ALA is silent on that though they are noisy on non-library social issues, but the issue for you is what effect such unbridled power may have on libraries. Since the main stream media is not covering this, I'll provide some URLs:



Remember everyone was so worried the FBI might investigate a terrorist in a library. Even Judith Krug said to the New York Times that she wished a 9/11 terrorist was not outed by a librarian due to patron privacy rules, as if such rules should trump national security. Well the power the new Executive Order gives to INTERPOL to investigate Americans makes it more powerful than the FBI. And the FBI's powers were somewhat limited by the actions of librarians--INTERPOLs actions cannot be so limited. I foresee issues related to Library Laws of the Web Environment right there.

Another idea for your consideration relates to CIPA compliance. Brooklyn Public Library allows patrons to click a button on the screen to bypass filters, yet it claims CIPA compliance. As a result, BPL has obtained $2.5M in federal funding since 2003 (US v. ALA) for claimed CIPA compliance that may in fact not be in compliance. So, does allowing a patron to click a button bypass CIPA? If so, what are the consequences, including those pertaining to the person who signed the CIPA declaration?

Really, Mary, I hope I'm giving you ideas that are new and fresh or have never before been considered. I know you are a serious researcher with significant experience and will take these ideas seriously.

Another idea for you is also about CIPA. CIPA requires all library computers to be filtered. Yes? If one is left unfiltered that is not CIPA compliant, correct? A library claiming CIPA funds having one unfiltered computer is violating CIPA, yes? If so, consider this:

In the state of Michigan, numerous libraries are obtaining CIPA funding. A state law in Michigan requires all Michigan libraries to have at least one unfiltered computer. To my knowledge, all Michigan libraries are in compliance with that state law. The question is, does compliance with that state law necessarily mean that every single library in Michigan is not in compliance with CIPA? Do dozens of libraries in Michigan owe the federal government millions and millions in a return of monies obtained under CIPA that would not have been paid if the Michigan libraries disclosed the presence of that single unfiltered computer that is required under state law? Should the state law be repealed to prevent just such a disaster? Is there liability for knowingly leaving out relevant information on CIPA applications? What is that liability? How might that affect local communities as they decide who best to work in their libraries?

Anyway, I'm just giving you ideas as requested. Enjoy or discard as you wish. And while I'm at it, Happy New Year.

I'd like to have a legal opinion on libraries posting programs and storytimes on YouTube or other social media accessible to anyone. What are the copyright implications? What privacy issues are involved if the audience is shown, especially if they are children? Thank you.

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