Access to Information and the Freedom to Access: The Intersection of Public Libraries and the USA PATRIOT Act

Access to Information and the Freedom to Access: The Intersection of Public Libraries and the USA PATRIOT Act

Lauren Teffeau (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA), Megan Mustafoff (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA) and Leigh Estabrook (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 34
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-594-8.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter discusses two studies performed by the Library Research Center at the University of Illinois concerning the impact the terrorist attacks and the USA PATRIOT Act has had on the librarians and the patrons they serve. Results are compared with findings from a Pew Internet and American Life survey to analyze differences between library directors and the public at large. Together, these studies illustrate the chilling effect’s impact on libraries and their patrons, as well as question the fundamental freedom to read all ideas. Libraries in the North Atlantic region of the United States were far more likely to report changes in staff attitudes, collection development, and security and policy changes that were influenced by September 11 and the passage of the USA Patriot Act as compared to the rest of the country. This tendency could be reflective of many issues, but the libraries’ proximity to the terrorist attacks does seem to stand out. In addition to region, library size was also prognostic. The two surveys presented in this chapter clearly highlight the regional effects of the attacks over time and point to additional avenues of investigation. Continued research on library changes in response to the USA PATRIOT Act and terrorism needs to continue in order to understand better how American information habits are being both protected and compromised in today’s public libraries.

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgment
Todd Loendorf
Chapter 1
G. David Garson
Bush administration information policy raises fundamental questions about the survival of democratic values in what is increasingly a surveillance... Sample PDF
Bush Administration Information Policy and Democratic Values
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Chapter 2
Harry Hammitt
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there has been a tightening of public access. In response to perceived security threats... Sample PDF
Less Safe: The Dismantling of Public Information Systems after September 11
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Chapter 3
Charles N. Davis
Access to government information in a post-September 11 often involves the resolution of conflicts between privacy rights and the public interest... Sample PDF
Expanding Privacy Rationales under the Federal Freedom of Information Act: Stigmatization as Tailsman
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Chapter 4
Lauren Teffeau, Megan Mustafoff, Leigh Estabrook
This chapter discusses two studies performed by the Library Research Center at the University of Illinois concerning the impact the terrorist... Sample PDF
Access to Information and the Freedom to Access: The Intersection of Public Libraries and the USA PATRIOT Act
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Chapter 5
Abby A. Goodrum
Libraries in the U.S. have long been places of interest to government law enforcement agencies, and academic and public librarians have long sought... Sample PDF
Watching What We Read: Implications of Law Enforcement Activity in Libraries since 9/11
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Chapter 6
Brian S. Krueger
While more is probably known about the causes of political participation than any other political behavior, the research program suffers in that it... Sample PDF
Resisting Government Internet Surveillance by Participating in Politics Online and Offline
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Chapter 7
Jeffrey Roy
In an era of digital government, citizen-centric governance is a central aim, one that is often predicated on more efficient and responsive service... Sample PDF
Security, Sovereignty, and Continental Interoperability: Canada's Elusive Balance
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Chapter 8
Akhlaque Haque
The Patriot Act of 2001 has introduced significant legislative changes impacting how public managers collect, disseminate, and evaluate information... Sample PDF
Information Technology and Surveillance: Implications for Public Administration in a New Word Order
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Chapter 9
David C. Wyld
This chapter provides an overview of RFID (radio frequency identification) and the emerging use of the technology in the governmental sector. It... Sample PDF
The Little Chip that Could: The Public Sector and RFID
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Chapter 10
Todd Loendorf
The tragic events of September 11, 2001, created an environment that was conducive to the expansion of surveillance operations. Furthermore, the... Sample PDF
Out of Control? The Real ID Act of 2005
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About the Contributors