February 22nd, 2005
Library records included in Patriot Act provisions; librarians respond with systematic purging
Civil liberties have become an issue of much debate and concern in recent years due to the passing of the USA Patriot Act in 2001. Library records are an important topic in that debate.
Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act reads, "The director for the FBI, or a designee of the director, may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (such as books, records, papers, documents and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."
Frances O'Brien, dean of West Virginia University Libraries, said libraries should be a place where students can come and find information on any subject they want and not be questioned about it.