Democracy and Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact

Part I. Papers Presented in Panels 1–4

A Basis for Baseless Hysteria? Philosophy and Practice of Protection of Privacy by Public Librarianship in the United States

Mary Stansbury, Kent State University

The public library provides the best possible environment for growing a civil society.1 Libraries protect and nurture our societal values of free speech and diversity. Libraries provide services and materials that allow and encourage an individual to deepen and broaden understanding of all types of issues. By providing a place for people to gather and interact, libraries contribute to the development of social capital. Advocacy is what librarians do; we advocate for children learning to read, for adults learning to read, and for those who need technology skills. Librarianship’s most active and most prominent area of advocacy is for the First Amendment rights of all individuals. Libraries provide a unique and established environment for growing a civil society, but there are most certainly threats to that environment. Some of the threats are related to funding, whereas other threats come from competitors; these threats are serious and yet manageable. Other threats, such as restrictions of free speech and invasions of personal privacy, come from changes in the culture and are more threatening to values than they are to bricks and mortar. This essay will emphasize the legal and social pressures on the value of free speech—specifically threats to an individual’s privacy by the USA PATRIOT Act—and the reaction of librarians and libraries to these pressures. These reactions will be examined by looking at the professional and organizational factors that affect the environment of public librarianship.2 The ability of libraries to continue to provide an environment that nurtures civil society is dependent upon the ways in which the profession and library institutions accept responsibility for this environment.


Libraries are a critical access point, and for some it is the only access point to materials that inform. Because democracy is dependent upon an informed citizenry, preserving democracy is a daily responsibility for librarians in the United States. Some may not think of librarians as First Amendment rights activists, but there is considerable evidence and well-established tradition that place librarians in the trenches of free speech protection. Usually, only the high-profile cases bring the librarian’s role as First Amendment warrior to light. As film producer Michael Moore noted, following his own battle with censorship won by a call-to-arms by librarians, “Librarians see themselves as the guardians of the First Amendment. You got a thousand Mother Joneses at the barricades! I love the librarians, and I am grateful for them!”3 Particularly since the 1960s, librarians have guarded against censorship with organizational policies and services and professional advocacy.4

Privacy protection is a critical feature of free speech rights, and the defense of free speech is a fundamental tenet of modern American librarianship. Literally, every time someone checks out a book, uses library Internet access, or asks a librarian a question, that person’s privacy could be either carefully protected or left unguarded. Confidentiality of patron records, such as the titles of books checked out, “assures library patrons that, in ordinary circumstances, they will not be subject to intrusion, intimidation, or reprisal for their choice of reading material or research topics.”5 In all fifty states, there are state laws that protect the confidentiality of patron records. Librarianship espouses—even demands—that patron privacy be protected. The leading voice for librarianship in the United States is the American Library Association (ALA).

The ALA was founded in 1876 in Philadelphia and has the mission “to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”6 It is the principles of enhancing learning and access to all that lead librarianship to free speech protection. Membership is open to any person, library, or other organization interested in library service and librarianship.7 Presently, the ALA has more than 64,000 members and is the largest professional association serving libraries and librarians in the world. The ALA has eleven divisions and seventeen Round Tables. The divisions focus on a type of library (e.g., Public Library Association) or a type of library function (e.g., Reference and User Services Association). Round Tables focus on a particular issue or area of interest; examples are the Intellectual Freedom Round Table, the Library Instruction Round Table, and the Government Documents Round Table. Membership in the ALA is not a requirement of someone with a master’s degree in library science working in a professional position in a library.

Because it is the most prominent voice for librarianship, the general public, lawmakers, the media, and most librarians think of the ALA as the only voice. Recently, this voice has been raised in strong protest of the USA PATRIOT Act as a dangerous threat to individual privacy and therefore a hazard to free speech. At least the ALA can know that its voice has been heard. In 2003 the U.S. Justice Department spoke disparagingly about the ALA on at least two occasions. First, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft described the ALA reaction to the USA PATRIOT Act in this way: “according to breathless reports and baseless hysteria, some have convinced the American Library Association that under the bipartisan Patriot Act the FBI is not fighting terrorism. Instead, agents are checking how far you have gotten on the latest Tom Clancy novel.”8 In response to the criticism of Ashcroft’s remarks by the ALA, Carallo, a spokesperson for the U.S. Justice Department, said that the ALA had “been somewhat duped by those9 who are ideologically opposed to the Patriot Act.”10

The library community’s reaction to Ashcroft’s comments was swift and vehement. Groups from both inside and outside of librarianship came forward to protest the speech, including the Special Librarians Association (an organization separate from the ALA), PEN American Center, the American Booksellers Association, and the American Society for Journalists and Authors.

Long before Ashcroft’s speech, the ALA provided information to its members and the public about the organization’s perspectives on the USA PATRIOT Act. As in many other First Amendment–related situations, the ALA provides materials aimed at helping individual librarians know what to do if law enforcement officials come to their library asking for information. An examination of the ALA Web site11 provides evidence of a considerable effort to furnish material that a librarian might use on the job, such as the document “Guidelines for Librarians on the U.S.A. Patriot Act: What to do before, during, and after a ‘knock at the door’.”12 The ALA’s guidance to librarians confronted with USA PATRIOT Act situations is reminiscent of guidance provided in the late 1980s to librarians confronted with the FBI Library Awareness program.13 Such guidelines, though, are simply guidelines and not mandated protocols or edicts. Mandated service guidelines with punitive measures are simply not part of the profession.

Aside from the materials related to the USA PATRIOT Act, the defense of First Amendment rights is embedded in many other ALA statements and guidelines. The principle of defense of intellectual freedom is evident throughout the ALA culture. Intellectual freedom principles are emphasized in a variety of venues, including the accreditation standards for master’s degrees in library and information science, the organization’s structure, which includes an Office of Intellectual Freedom and a large and active Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and the numerous statements from the ALA related to intellectual freedom.14 Two of the most important statements are the “Library Bill of Rights”15 and the “Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.”16

The “Library Bill of Rights” is a statement many libraries have posted prominently in their buildings as an expression of the responsibilities library organizations have to their patrons, including the responsibility to provide services that are free from censorship. Each of the eight sections of the “Library Bill of Rights” has something to do with freedom of speech. For example, “materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. . . . Libraries should challenge censorship. . . . Libraries should cooperate with all persons concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression. . . . A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.”17

The “Code of Ethics of the American Library Association,” a set of principles that are expressed as service quality, objectivity, intellectual freedom, privacy and confidentiality, intellectual property, and the importance of separating personal convictions from professional duties, guides members of the ALA. The “Code of Ethics of the American Library Association” also describes the role of librarians as “in a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information.”18 Librarianship, then, is essential to the development of an informed citizenry; librarians have the responsibility and the highly developed abilities to provide the information necessary for citizens to make political, personal, and civic decisions. As with many codes of ethics, the values of the organization—and by extension the values the members of the organization should uphold—are clearly stated. How one might go about enabling those values is not so clearly stated. The “Code of Ethics of the American Library Association” presents a statement of values rather than a set of imperatives. However, it does serve as a “collective recognition by members of [this] profession of its responsibilities”19 as evidenced by the numerous references to the code in the professional literature and in many standard textbooks for library science education. The field of librarianship is exceptional20 because it addresses the protection of intellectual freedom for not only researchers and research subjects in the field of library science but also library customers/patrons.

Formal statements and codes are one source of guidance for librarians. The professional literature and informal venues of conversation are other sources. The formal statements, the professional literature, and the informal venues serve a variety of purposes; one purpose is to reinforce the paradigms of librarianship. Writings that represent views counter to the paradigms are infrequent.21 A writing that attempts to negate the paradigm is generally considered an oddity, although appreciated for its use as a test of the established values. As in all other disciplines, the oddity may eventually revolutionize the establishment.22 Informal venues, such as weblogs23 and listservs, are not expected to carry the burden of reinforcing prescribed values. Coincidentally and serendipitously, these informal venues may serve that purpose but without sanction or even awareness by the establishment. In both the formal and informal venues, there is very little evidence that librarians en masse are willing, or even tempted, to back away from protecting privacy. There is a small amount of evidence, however, that some librarians have made decisions that reflect a sense of conflict between protecting individual rights and responding to suspicious acts.

An examination of the professional literature of librarianship offers a more detailed picture of what librarians are saying and doing about the USA PATRIOT Act. Because of the role that the professional literature plays in reinforcing values, analyzing this literature for themes and viewpoints will tell us something about what the overall profession thinks about protecting privacy over time, and since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The professional literature of librarianship, as a body of publications, is primarily professional and not scholarly. There are some exceptions, and these scholarly sources—used mostly in support of library science education and research—are also critical windows into the mind of the professional librarian.

Published research about the USA PATRIOT Act and libraries is not yet plentiful nor widely dispersed. The most extensive studies24 to date, conducted by the Library Research Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provide some insight into the potential pull librarians may feel between protecting an individual’s rights and their responsibilities as citizens to protect the community from harm. Soon after 9/11, all public libraries in Illinois were sent a questionnaire that asked for responses relating to “security, staff attitudes, collection development, knowledge of the USA PATRIOT Act, and programming.”25 Key questions of this survey asked if the library staff had become more restrictive regarding patron use of the Internet. “More restrictive” could mean that the library initiated a sign-in sheet for Internet terminal use. Only slightly more than 11 percent said that the library had become more restrictive. Very few libraries, 2.2 percent, reported limiting access to some Web sites in response to 9/11 events. Libraries serving smaller communities, although still a very small percentage, did make up a higher percentage of libraries that became more restrictive than the libraries serving communities of more than ten thousand people. For example, the smaller libraries reported that 12.3 percent became more restrictive of patron Internet use whereas 10 percent of the libraries serving the largest communities (more than fifty thousand) reported becoming more restrictive. The differences are very slight, however. Many of the libraries (46.5 percent)26 report that they made certain decisions about materials in the library collection because of 9/11. For example, almost 20 percent of the libraries had acquired more materials related to Islam.27 These results illustrate that free speech and an informed citizenry were being protected by public librarians, at least in Illinois, in the wake of the 9/11 events.

The Illinois study was replicated at the national level28 by the same researchers, although the survey eliminated libraries serving very small communities (fewer than five thousand people). Questionnaires were sent to a sample (1,505) of public libraries in the United States serving communities of more than five thousand in population (5,094). Some of the additional security measures taken by many libraries (47.6 percent) related to the handling of U.S. mail in response to incidents involving the purposeful infection of several people with anthrax via the U.S. mail. A small percentage of libraries (11.4 percent) reported that staff members had become more restrictive, although this restrictive behavior appears to have been a choice of the individual staff member and not due to library policy. The libraries that reported this higher level of restriction indicated that the most common restrictive measure (65.0 percent) was to monitor what patrons were doing on the Internet by either literally looking at the monitor or reviewing the cache/history.29 More of the libraries serving communities of fewer than ten thousand reported taking this sort of measure. Overall, there was a noticeable change in the attitude of library staff toward the treatment of patrons. This change may indicate that the social climate created by the events of 9/11 appeared to be having an impact on the behaviors, and perhaps values, of public librarians.

One of the difficulties in knowing about the effect of the USA PATRIOT Act lies within the Act itself; one is prohibited from reporting any requests for information requested under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. Nevertheless, respondents were asked to report if “authorities (e.g., FBI, police) requested any information about your patrons pursuant to the events of September 11th.”30 More than 11 percent of the libraries that serve communities over fifty thousand indicated that they had received such a request. The percentages for the small and medium-sized communities were much smaller, 3.7 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. Eleven communities is, however, a considerable number of libraries.

A study of post-9/11 attitudes and actions of reference librarians in public libraries in Ohio was conducted in 2004 by Hibben,31 a master’s degree student in the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University. A stratification based on size of community served was also a feature of this study, although the ranges for community size differ from the ones in the Illinois study. As a way to identify any pull a librarian may feel between professional values and community values, several of the questions asked respondents to choose between the individual’s rights or the good of society. For example, using a Likert scale of Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree without any choice of No Opinion, subjects were asked to respond to these statements, among others:

1.     Librarians have the responsibility of looking out for the individual patron, not the greater good of society.

2.     I believe in a patron’s absolute right to privacy in nearly every situation.

3.     I do not worry that terrorists could use the resources of the public library to help them carry out more terrorism.

4.     If a patron wanted me to research the inner workings of the water distribution system of my community/city, I would help them find information without question.

The size of the community served, as in the Illinois study, seems to play a role in librarians’ attitudes toward individual rights, particularly when the statement is more specific, such as statement 4. The responses to statement 1 indicate that almost 29 percent of the librarians working in large communities (population of more than 250,000) strongly agree with statement 1. Only 8 percent of librarians working in the smallest category of community (population of less than 24,999) strongly agreed with the statement. The librarians serving medium-sized communities (25,000–249,999) were right in the middle, reporting that 16 percent strongly agreed. Combining the Strongly Agree with the Agree responses, all of the community’s size categories show a response higher than 50 percent. The breakdown of responses for statement 1 is as follows:

Librarians have the responsibility of looking out for the individual patron, not the greater good of society.

Size of Community            % Who Strongly Agree or Agree

Large                                                             72

Medium                                                         69

Small                                                             54

It is important to note that almost 29 percent of librarians in large communities reported that they disagreed with the statement; almost 38 percent of the librarians in the smallest communities disagreed. Very few respondents in any of the categories strongly disagreed.

Statement 4, about the water distribution system, elicited the most varied dispersal of responses. Across all community size categories, almost 55 percent of the librarians said they either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. It is possible the results were affected by a similar incident that actually occurred in a public library in Ohio shortly after 9/11. Nonetheless, based on the response to this statement and other statements, there is a distinct stress on the values traditional to librarianship. Looking at all responses to all questions, librarians working in smaller libraries reported agreement at the rate of 60 percent, compared to librarians in the largest communities, who reported agreement at the rate of 79 percent.

Almost two hundred articles in library science publications have been published about the USA PATRIOT Act and its affect on libraries. Eighty-four percent32 are expressions of either concern or distress about the PATRIOT Act or are suggestions of how libraries may better protect patron privacy through electronic records management measures. Some of the phrasing used in these articles is quite powerful and passionate. One author, who briefly addresses the conflict librarians may feel about the conflict between individual rights and national security, gives the advice to “Weed your Inner Ashcroft”33 as an approach to putting individual rights ahead of national security. Terms and phrases such as “monstrous,”34 “fascist police state,”35 “all is not lost—yet”36 are found throughout the literature. Clearly, then, it is not a stretch to state that librarianship has some very deeply felt concerns about the USA PATRIOT Act. In addition to the calls for attention to the USA PATRIOT Act and its possible impact on library patrons, there are also those who view librarians as the group best suited to help American society find the balance between civil liberties and national security.37

It is not especially easy to discover librarians who are equally passionate in support of the USA PATRIOT Act and who have written about their views. One source for this perspective is the weblog SHUSH.38 Its purpose is to provide “a conservative home for librarians.”39 Conservativelib is a Yahoo! group40 that presently has 57 members. Conservativelib is a “space for conservative librarians to share thoughts and ideas.”41 Those who speak counter to the ALA position on the USA PATRIOT Act have not yet spoken through the formal channels of professional and scholarly publications. Hopefully, this family of views will be presented in a forum that encourages reflection and response from the entire community of librarianship.

The USA PATRIOT Act is a relatively new entity. Intellectual freedom, however, is not. For the first hundred or so years of American librarianship, selection of materials in libraries followed the Melvil Dewey42 view that “only the best books on the best subjects” were to be collected.43 For many years, librarians were somewhat ambivalent about censorship44 and considered it to be outside of their purview. There is evidence that librarians even cooperated with the efforts of Eugene McCarthy.45 The ALA’s “Library Bill of Rights” was first adopted in 1948, but activism did not appear on a national level until the 1960s. Since then, intellectual freedom has become an increasingly dominant value in American librarianship.46 For the last fifty years, librarianship has built a system of statements, policies, codes, and practice that emphasizes individual rights.

Those who have studied the social aspects of professionalism by looking for certain traits such as autonomy, rigorous standards for admission and practice, and a highly developed system of internal control typically put librarianship in the category of “semi-profession.”47 Other scholars of professionalism take an approach of studying an occupation’s power base;48 librarianship is generally viewed as weak in this area. Regardless of which approach one takes, the profession is missing a few critical features. One of those features is the lack of jurisdiction the ALA has over an individual member’s behavior. Most librarians recognize the “Code of Ethics of the American Library Association” as a guidepost, but if a librarian were to violate the code and unless the employer takes action, absolutely nothing would happen. Therefore, the “Code of Ethics of the American Library Association” emphasizes free speech and privacy protection, but it does not serve to ensure a consistency across all public libraries.

Since the early 1980s, managerial competencies have been developed in many organizational settings. One mechanism for ensuring the provision of a certain level of service consistency is through the use of occupational competency statements, and the ALA has expended a relatively modest effort toward developing such competency statements.

Only three of the eleven divisions of the ALA have developed competency statements; these divisions are the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA),49 the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC),50 and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).51 The ALSC and the YALSA competency statements include intellectual freedom as one of the concepts; RUSA’s does not. All three of the statements emphasize administration, communication, and knowledge of client group skills. These competencies address a significant but still limited portion of library job settings. Examining these competency areas further and using a framework suggested by Virtanen,52 the extant competencies of librarians place an emphasis on tasks, subject areas, and administration. Little or no emphasis is placed on political or ethical competence; “conforming to moral values and moral norms that prevail in a culture”53 is the essence of ethical competence. Many public organizations, including libraries, use competency statements to evaluate employee effectiveness. The value of intellectual freedom is certainly an important part of the language and culture of American librarianship. However, a librarian’s commitment to the value of intellectual freedom may be weakened because the ALA has ignored intellectual freedom protection as relevant to a public librarian’s day-to-day job performance.


The reasons for librarianship’s lack of professional power have been examined several times.54 One explanation for the lack of power is that a librarian has professional standing because of the organization—the library. Very few librarians work outside of an institution. Libraries don’t belong to the librarians; libraries belong to the communities they serve, whether those communities are cities, colleges, or schools. The effect of the community’s values on the librarian’s job-related decisions can be quite pronounced, as we saw with the results of the Illinois and Ohio studies.55

Another occupation that serves in situations similar to librarianship is teaching. In addition to the organizational structure similarities between librarians and teachers, the advocacy role is also evident in the teaching profession. The increasingly critical role of teachers as advocates, lobbying for educational reform and equitable funding, is a theme of many writings.56 For example, the role of teachers at the college level as advocates has been recently addressed.57 There are some significant differences between librarianship and teaching. For most communities, the role of teacher and the role of the educational institution in their most basic forms are widely accepted—unlike librarians and libraries. Teachers and schools function in a highly regulated environment, also unlike librarians.

Public libraries do not operate under any set of national standards. At the state level, forty states have developed public library standards, many of which are voluntary (22).58 A few states59 have mandated compliance with state public-library standards, and compliance is tied to state funding formulas. Many of the state standards address quantitative elements such as circulation counts, staffing ratios, collection size, facility size, and operating budgets. These quantitative elements are relatively easy to communicate to the public—circulating 500,000 titles a year is “better” than circulating 400,000 titles. However, there is no connection made between quantitative elements and the effectiveness of the public library. Hamilton-Pennell’s60 analysis of state public-library standards concludes that the body of standards reflects very simplistic and inadequate measures of performance. There is little emphasis on the local planning approach that is quite pronounced in the professional literature.

In librarianship, as in other nonprofit settings, many recent publications that have had a considerable impact on national discussions emphasize the importance of creating commercial revenue sources, marketing the library, fighting competition, and serving the immediate desires of the community.61 In short, the library is being pushed into the private market model.62 Since the early 1990s, hundreds of books and articles have been written that describe “high tech/high touch” library services, how to ensure that the library has a place at the community’s table, and how to build coalitions, improve customer service, and conduct needs analyses. Public libraries have had the mission of serving their communities for many years, but the emphasis on the community is more recent.

Instead of serving individual needs and wants, the library serves collective needs and wants. Instead of creating collections and services that reflect national or global values and interests, the library creates collections and services that reflect local values and interests. The librarian’s skills are used to interpret and activate programs and services that will meet the needs of the community. The result of this shift in emphasis is that community involvement in establishing the mission, values, and goals of the library is extremely important. Achieving widespread and representative community involvement in the process of establishing the library’s mission and values is also extremely difficult. The public service orientation63 seems like the right thing to do; after all, public agencies should listen to their customers. However, emphasizing customer service over values means that only the current customers who are willing to speak are the ones who are heard; this approach leaves out a considerable number of people and range of perspectives. Further, this approach is very much in the moment and may result in organizational goals that reflect interests that are short-lived and mutable.

There have been very few large-scale studies of public opinion about the importance and roles of libraries. In the aggregate, most people think libraries improve a community’s quality of life and its property values, and that “the library supports and contributes to the prosperity of the local community.”64 The library as a gathering place is also important to many people,65 and the traditional service of providing print and electronic materials is typically ranked highly.66 Interestingly, no large-scale, recent study includes public opinion regarding the library’s role as protector of free speech. The role of the library in providing materials and services to support lifelong learning is overwhelmingly supported.67

Ninety-one percent of the operating income of public libraries comes from local, state, or federal sources;68 77 percent of the $8.2 billion in public monies comes from local sources, such as property value–based levies that must be approved by voters. In order for the library to survive fiscally and culturally with the support of its community, the librarian who has been thoroughly trained in the principles of individual rights must decide how to balance those rights with the values of the collective. The question of what has to come first is probably the most difficult to answer for any librarian.

Libraries are part of the public sector and are most certainly responding to the trends of public sector management philosophies and styles. It appears that libraries give a nod to the protection of intellectual freedom through mission statements. However, structural support through competencies, planning that relies on more than a time-bound community needs assessment, and institutional values that include ethics are simply not evident.


As public institutions and in these times, libraries are wise to listen and respond to their community’s desires; by listening, libraries may survive. Taking this market-driven model to an extreme and considering the range of communities and values in America, a public library in Town A may end up having a collection only of Tom Clancy novels; a public library in Town B may end up having a collection only of Matrix DVDs. Also considering this range of communities, Town A may want its library to report to the authorities on anyone walking in the door who looks like a terrorist; Town B may simply want its library to shoot them. However, if the public library leaves behind its role as the nest of civil society, then what will take its place? Or will the place remain empty? It seems that the profession of librarianship has disconnected its support of intellectual freedom from the institutional structures that are best able to protect it. Perhaps the hysteria that librarians feel about the USA PATRIOT Act is not simply concern over its implications for violations of privacy and free speech; perhaps part of the hysteria is attributable to this alarming disconnect between the values of a profession and the values of the employer.


1. Angela M. Eikenberry and Jodie Drapal Kluver, “The Marketization of the Nonprofit Sector: Civil Society at Risk?” Public Administration Review 64, no. 2 (2004): 132–40.

2. Librarianship includes academic, school (K-12), special (corporate, government, etc.), and public librarians. For the purposes of this paper, only public librarianship is addressed.

3. Kera Bolonik, “Marian and Me,”, January 7, 2002,

4. Professional librarians are those who have a master’s degree in library and information science. The general public typically is not aware of this distinction and usually refers to anyone working in a library as a “librarian.”

5. “Library Community Statement on Proposed Anti-terrorism Measures,” American Library Association, American Association of Law Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Medical Library Association, 2001,

6. “Our Association” page, American Library Association,

7. Ibid.

8. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, “The Proven Tactics in the Fight against Crime,” National Restaurant Association, Prepared Remarks, Washington D.C., September 15, 2003,

9. The word those refers to the American Civil Liberties Union.

10. Eric Lichtblau, “Ashcroft Mocks Librarians and Others Who Oppose Parts of Counterterrorism Laws,” New York Times (September 16, 2003), Section A, page 23, column 2.

11. “Home” page, American Library Association,

12. “Guidelines for Librarians on the U.S.A. Patriot Act: What to do before, during and after a ‘knock at the door?’” American Library Association, Washington, D.C., January 1, 2002,

13. Herbert Foerestal, Surveillance in the Stacks (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1991), The FBI Library Awareness Program was an attempt at foreign counterintelligence aimed at people from Eastern Europe. Major research libraries in the United States, including Columbia University, the New York Public Library, the University of Maryland at College Park Engineering and Physical Sciences Library, the University of Houston Library, and the UCLA Engineering Library, were asked to provide information about Eastern Europeans who used materials in their library. In the late 1980s, the American Library Association, through advocacy and the use of mass media, was able to influence the situation enough to prompt the FBI to drop the program.

14. Some of these statements are “Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries”; “Access for Children and Young People to Videotapes and Other Nonprint Formats”; “Free Access to Libraries for Minors”; “Resolution on Access to the Use of Libraries and Information by Individuals with Physical or Mental Impairment”; “The Freedom to Read Statement”; “Freedom to View Statement”; “The Universal Right to Free Expression”; and “Challenged Materials,”

15. American Library Association, “Library Bill of Rights,”

16. American Library Association, “Code of Ethics of the American Library Association,”

17. ALA “Library Bill of Rights.”

18. ALA “Code of Ethics.”

19. Charles E. Harris, Jr., Michael S. Pritchard, and Michael J. Rabins, Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Publishing, 1995), 35.

20. The field of librarianship includes information science.

21. Blaise Cronin and Elisabeth Davenport, Post-Professionalism in the Information Heartland (Chicago: American Library Association, 1988); Walt Crawford and Michael Gorman, Future Libraries, Dreams, Madness & Reality (Chicago: American Library Association, 1995).

22. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962); Bruno LaTour, Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987).

23. A blog, or weblog, is an online document similar to a personal journal.

24. Leigh Estabrook, “The Response of Public Libraries to the Events of September 11, 2001,” Illinois Libraries 84, no. 1 (2002): 1–7; Leigh Estabrook, Public Libraries and Civil Liberties: A Profession Divided (Urbana-Champaign: Library Research Center, University of Illinois, 2002),

25. Estabrook, “Response,” 1.

26. Ibid., 3.

27. Ibid.

28. Estabrook, Public Libraries and Civil Liberties.

29. Ibid., 4.

30. Ibid., 6.

31. Michael D. Hibben, “Privacy and Terrorism Concerns in the Post-9/11 Library: A Survey of Reference Staff in Ohio Public Libraries” (master’s research paper, School of Library and Information Science, Kent State University, 2004).

32. A total of 119 articles were identified through the primary index of librarianship, Library Literature, as having been published since September 11, 2001, on the following topics: USA PATRIOT Act, terrorism, homeland security, and patron privacy in libraries.

33. Karen G. Schneider, “The Patriot Act: Last Refuge of a Scoundrel,” American Libraries Online, March 2002,

34. C. William Michaels and Jennifer Van Bergen, “The USA PATRIOT Act: One Year Later, Part 1,” Truthout, “Issues” page (November 14, 2002),

35. John N. Berry, “Talking Freedom in Fayetteville,” Library Journal 128, no. 6 (2003): 8.

36. Robert Gellman, “Perspectives on Privacy and Terrorism: All Is Not Lost—Yet,” Government Information Quarterly 19, no. 3 (2002): 255.

37. Lee S. Strickland, “Civil Liberties vs. Intelligence Collection: The Secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court Speaks in Public,” Government Information Quarterly 20, no. 2 (2003): 10.

38. SHUSH, a Web site for the conservative librarian,

39. “About” page, SHUSH,

40. A Yahoo! group is an online “space” allowing invited members of the group to produce messages and other documents that relate to the group’s interests.

41. Conservativelib, Conservative Librarian Land,

42. Melvil Dewey was one of the founding members of the American Library Association and the creator of the Dewey Decimal Classification System.

43. Richard Rubin, Foundations of Library and Information Science (New York: Neal-Schuman, 2000), 152.

44. Ibid., 153.

45. Michael H. Harris and Stan Hannah, “Why Do We Study the History of Libraries? A Meditation on the Perils of Ahistoricism in the Information Era,” Library & Information Science Research 14 (1992): 123–30.

46. Louise S. Robbins, Censorship and the American Library: The American Library Association’s Response to Threats to Intellectual Freedom (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996).

47. Harris et al., Engineering Ethics.     

48. Andrew Abbott, The System of Profession: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988).

49. “Reference Guidelines” page, Reference and User Services Association, Division of the American Library Association, RUSA “Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers” (2004),

50. “ALSC Competencies” page, Association for Library Service to Children, Division of the American Library Association,

51. “Professional Development Center” page, Young Adult Library Services Association, Division of the American Library Association,

52. Turo Virtanen, “Changing Competences of Public Managers: Tensions in Commitment,” International Journal of Public Sector Management 13, no. 4 (2000): 333–41.

53. Ibid., 336.

54. Rejean Savard, “Toward a New Model of Professionalism?” RQ 25 (Summer 1986): 498–505.

55. Estabrook, “Response”; Hibben, “Privacy and Terrorism Concerns.”

56. Frederick M. Hess and David L. Leal, “Technocracies, Bureaucracies, or Responsive Polities? Urban School Systems and the Politics of School Violence Prevention,” Social Science Quarterly 84, no. 3 (2003): 526–42; Margaret Placier, Michael Walker, and Bill Foster, “Writing the ‘Show-Me’ Standards: Teacher Professionalism and Political Control in U.S. State Curriculum Policy,” Curriculum Inquiry 32, no. 3 (2002): 281–308; Joan E. Talbert, “Professionalism and Politics in High School Teaching Reform,” Journal of Educational Change 3 (2002): 339–63.

57. Jon Nixon, “‘Not without Dust and Heat’: The Moral Bases of the ‘New’ Academic Professionalism,” British Journal of Educational Studies 49, no. 2 (2001): 173–86; John B. Bennett, Collegial Professionalism: The Academy, Individualism, and the Common Good (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997).

58. Christine Hamilton-Pennell, Public Library Standards: A Review of Standards and Guidelines From the 50 States of the U.S. for the Colorado, Mississippi, and Hawaii State Libraries (2003),

59. These states are New York, Utah, Virginia, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania.

60. Hamilton-Pennell, Public Library Standards.

61. Baltimore County [MD] Public Library Blue Ribbon Committee, Give ’Em What They Want! Managing the Public’s Library (Chicago: American Library Association, 1992).

62. Angela M. Eikenberry and Jodie D. Kluver, “The Marketization of the Nonprofit Sector: Civil Society at Risk?” Public Administration Review 64, no. 2 (2004): 132–40.

63. Sylvia Horton, “Participation and Involvement—The Democratization of New Public Management?” International Journal of Public Sector Management 16, no. 6 (2003): 403–11.

64. Bruce T. Fraser, Timothy W. Nelson, and Charles R. McClure, “Describing the Economic Impacts and Benefits of Florida Public Libraries: Findings and Methodological Applications for Future Work,” Library & Information Science Research 24, no. 3 (2002): 221.

65. Benton Foundation, Buildings, Books, and Bytes (Washington, D.C.: Benton Foundation, 1996); Karen Mossberger, Caroline J. Tolbert, and Mary Stansbury, Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide (Washington, D.C. University of Georgetown Press, 2003).

66. Benton Foundation, Buildings, Books, and Bytes.

67. National Center for Education Statistics, Use of Public Library Services by Households in the United States, Statistical Analysis Report (1996).

68. National Center for Education Statistics, Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2001 (2003),