Libraries Under Fire

KOMO TV 4 is reporting Big Brother™ is watching, even in small communities off the beaten path.

Deming, Washington, a town of 210 with a library that “isn’t much larger than a family home” is facing a showdown with the FBI.

The FBI wants to know who checked out a book from a small library about Osama Bin Laden. But the library isn’t giving out names, saying the government has no business knowing what their patrons read.

At the center of the issue, a book titled Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America. …The FBI demanded to know the names and addresses of everyone who ever checked out the book.

Because of privacy policies, the library does not give out circulation records without a court order. When the FBI got a grand jury subpoena, the library filed a motion to quash it — citing the rights of all people who use the library.

“Like the right to read and to read the material of one’s choice without fear that someone will come around with questions about why you chose that book,” said Garrett.

If the feds had demanded the records under the Patriot Act, the library would have had to hand them over without question and without help from the courts.