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something was happening that was very, very fundamentally wrong. And I got a letter back from him in a very friendly tone saying it is not safe for you to write that kind of a letter. You know, we forget how easily our basic freedoms can be circumscribed, and what we ought to be doing here is to maintain our basic freedoms, and I think that is what this hearing is all about, and I commend you, Mr. Chairman, for holding the hearing.

Mr. KASTENMEIER. The committee thanks our former colleague for his poignant remarks and his memory of history.

We will proceed with the panel as has been introduced consisting of Ms. Krug, Ms. Goldman, Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Barton. We will start with Ms. Judith Krug, who is director of the Office of Intellectual Freedom for the American Library Association.

TESTIMONY OF JUDITH F. KRUG, OFFICE FOR INTELLECTUAL

FREEDOM, AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION; JANLORI GOLD-
MAN, ESQ., STAFF ATTORNEY, PROJECT ON PRIVACY AND
TECHNOLOGY, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION; VANS STE-
VENSON, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, EROL'S, INC., ON
BEHALF OF THE VIDEO SOFTWARE DEALERS ASSOCIATION;
AND RICHARD A. BARTON, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, DIRECT
MARKETING ASSOCIATION
Ms. KRUG. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Judith Krug. I am the Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest national library association in the world. It is 112 years old, having been established in 1876. ALA speaks not only for our 45,000member librarians, libraries, trustees and other interested citizens throughout the country, but we also speak to a large extent for librarianship throughout the world.

One of the most important aspects of the American Library Association is its intellectual freedom program. As a part of that program, we do take interest in and are concerned about the right of our citizens, the right of everyone in this country to read what they will, without fear of reprisal or without fear of being monitored in their reading.

The question of whether or not library records, those records which identify the uses that individuals make of library materials and services, are confidential, is not a new question for the ALA. In fact, we have had a policy on confidentiality since 1970, and this policy basically has two parts: first, that library circulation records, in fact all library records, which identify individuals with specific library materials and services, are private and confidential in nature and second, that such records should not be made available to any party, except pursuant to a court order issued by a judicial authority upon a showing of good cause.

The basis of this policy can be simply stated and I would like to quote Senator Leahy and probably paraphrase Mr. Kastenmeier and Mr. McCandless when they said it is nobody's business what you read, but your own. That is precisely the basis of the ALA confidentiality policy.

This belief of librarians in this country has been codified in our code of ethics. In fact, one of the Code's six articles is devoted specifically and solely to privacy and confidentiality of a patron's use of libraries. In addition, 38 States and the District of Columbia have passed statutes which protect the confidentiality of library use records. These laws, however, are not uniform in their coverage of either kinds of libraries or kind of services, and as a result, they do not mitigate the need for a Federal statute in this regard.

It is important to note, however, that not only the ALA policy, but also the statutes in all the 38 States and DC, do provide mechanisms for compliance with court orders issued by a competent judicial authority. In other words, librarians are not trying to be obstructionists.

We do seek to protect the first amendment rights of patrons and to safeguard their privacy, but we are not trying to be a road block. We are trying to preclude what we call fishing expeditions. To explain what these might entail, I would like to give you some examples of the kinds of "fishing expeditions” that my colleagues have been faced with in the past few years.

There was an incident in Virginia where a husband requested circulation records of his wife to prove, in their divorce trial, that she had been “exploring avenues of divorce before the papers were served.'

There was an incident in Albany, New York, where a newborn infant was found abandoned in an alley by a local college student. She took the infant immediately to the proper authorities, but, nevertheless, the police investigating the abandonment went to her college librarian and asked to see the records of the books she checked out. They wanted to be certain she had not checked out books on infant care.

Just this past May in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a parish sheriff's office ordered the parish library director to turn over a list of people who checked out books on the occult during the past year. The sheriff's office wanted this information because, and I quote, “a lot of times Satanic beliefs are connected with narcotics." Had there been any satanic cults in the parish? No. The sheriff said there hadn't been. He merely wanted the names, addresses and circulation records of library users, “to weed out the curious from the serious followers of Satan.” How this was to be accomplished through library records remains a mystery to me and to my colleagues.

In a small Delaware community just a few weeks ago, the request was rather more threatening. The director of a public library received a call from an IRS agent. The director was informed that the FBI was going to subpoena borrower records. He refused to tell the librarian why these records were going to be subpoenaed. When the librarian explained to him the position of the library profession on confidentiality, and the fact that Delaware does have a confidentiality statute, the agent responded, "That is your problem. We will just seize the microfilm.'

On the other side of the issue, I have a recent example from the Brooklyn Public Library, from a patron who telephoned the library seeking information on the recently concluded Soviet Communist Party Congress in Moscow. She was told that while the complete proceedings had not yet been published, information on the Congress could be found in the New York Times, available in the library's periodicals division. The woman responded, “But if I come in and ask to see that material, am I going to be reported?”

I consider this to be a serious chilling effect on the use of libraries in this country. Libraries, of course, are the only publicly available resource for ideas and information covering all the problems and issues that face us. It is our belief that use of this facility, this wonderful national resource, should be private and confidential and should be nobody's business but your own.

I thank you very much. Mr. KASTENMEIER. We thank you for your statement, Ms. Krug. [The prepared statement of Ms. Krug follows:]

Summary of Testimony Presented on Behalf of the

American Library Association

The role of libraries in this country is to provide unmonitored access to the broadest possible diversity of ideas and information. All persons in this country have a First Amendment right to seek and to use all publicly-available information and all have a right to privacy in doing so. These two rights are inseparable and form the essence of intellectual freedom, one of the guiding principles of the library profession in this country.

The question of whether or not library use records are confidential is not new. It is a question with which the ALA and its more than 45.000 member librarians, library trustees, and libraries have been concerned for many years.

Since 1970 the ALA has had a policy (a) that library circulation records are confidential in nature; and (b) should not be made available to any party except pursuant to a court order issued by a judicial authority upon a showing of good cause.

The basis of this policy may be simply stated: ALA believes that the reading interests of library patrons are and should be private and that any attempt to invade such privacy without a showing of a direct and legitimate need constitutes an unconscionable and unconstitutional invasion of the right of privacy of library patrons and the "right to read" implicitly guaranteed by the First Amendment.

This belief has been codified in the ALA's Code of Ethics, Article II of which reads:

Librarians must protect each user's right to privacy with respect to
information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or
acquired.

In addition, thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia currently protect the confidentiality of library use records. These laws, however, are not uniform in their coverage of either kinds of libraries or services. As a result, they do not mitigate the need for a federal statute in this regard.

It is important to note that ALA's Policy, the laws of the various states and the District of Columbia, and the proposed legislation do provide mechanisms for compliance with court orders issued by a competent judicial authority after a showing of good cause. We do not seek to obstruct legitimate law enforcement investigations. We do seek to protect the First Amendment rights of patrons and to safeguard heir privacy. The recurring use of libraries as investigative sites of first resort, what we call "fishing expeditions," is an unwarranted infringement of patrons' rights to unmonitored access to library materials and services. We recognize that while competing social values must on occasion be balanced, freedom of speech and the right to privacy should be compromised only.., by a compelling need, such need to be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The ALA urges your strong support of this much-needed privacy legislation.

Thank you.

Statement of

Judith F. Krug
Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom
American Library Association

and

C. James Schmidt
Executive Vice President, Research Libraries Group, Inc.

before the Joint Hearing of the
Subcommittee on Technology and the Law

of the
Senate Judiciary Committee

and the
Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the

Administration of Justice

of the
House Committee on the Judiciary

on the
Video and Library Privacy Protection Act of 1988

Aurust 3, 1988

This testimony, supporting the adoption of the Video and

Library Privacy Protection Act of 1988, is presented on behalf of

the American Library Association (ALA) by Judith 1. Krug.

director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Proedon and C. James

Schmidt, chair of the Association's Intellectual Freedon

Committee.

AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

The American Library Association, founded in 1876, 18 the

oldest and largest national library association in the world. Its concerns span all types of libraries: state, public, school and academic libraries, as well as libraries serving persons in government, commerce and industry, the arts, the armed services, hospitals, prisons, and other institutions. With a nembership of more than 45,000 11braries, librarians, library trustees, and

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