404 Day: A Day of Action Against Censorship in Libraries and Public Schools

Tomorrow is 404 Day, an effort from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to raise awareness of online censorship in libraries and public schools. They’re running an online info session today at noon, PST, and they’ve reached out to librarians and information professionals to share experiences with online censorship.



Search.usa.gov gets 7 hits for: wikileaks "public libraries" , 39 for: wikileaks "public library" , 16 for wikileaks libraries filters , and 12 for wikileaks libraries filter. Search.usa.gov does include many STATE as well as federal sites and documents, but it still pays to try individual states. Maryland.gov gets only 3 hits for the search : wikileaks, that barely mention it, but www.ca.gov gets about 8 results, and www.ny.gov gets 10.

In addition to these "official" sites, it's well worth trying Google searches limiting to edu sites; or even adding the phrase "k 12" to get public school sites. The search: wikileaks "public library" filters site:edu gets 105 actual hits (of "about 9890" ); wikileaks policy "public library" site:us displays 177 (of "about 130,000) ; wikileaks "school library" "library policies" "k 12" gets 10.

There has been too little time for many journal articles to get published on this topic. Newspaper articles may help, of course. LexisNexis Academic (available at most large academic libraries) gets 237 articles for wikileaks and libraries, when you click "NEWS", then "US Newspapers and wires". This big list is manageable if you change the title list to "Expanded List" -- to see the search words in context and hot-linked. Factiva, known as a business database, is also very good for general news. It gets 58 hits for wikileaks and libraries, limiting to "past year". It automatically gives search words in context - but not hot linked. But LexisNexis "US Legal"/"Law Reviews" is far less promising. The search: wikileaks w/40 libraries (to get the words within 40 words of each other in those LONG articles) gets only 7 hits, and most seem to be about Library of Congress.

Related Question

QUESTION: Wikileaks

question / pregunta: 

Are Wikileaks sites (main, mirrors) being censored by government filters in US public libraries?

QUESTION: Orwell and Bradbury Quotations

question / pregunta: 

I am looking for the sources for two highly quoted but (as far as I can tell) never cited quotations. I prefer to have the original source - that could be journal article, newspaper article, interview, authored work, etc. but I can accept a reference to a reputable quotations dictionary or other reference work. I need page number in addition to the title, publisher, etc.

The first quote is:

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
~Ray Bradbury

The second quote is:
If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.

~George Orwell

operation sabotage access to information about abortion

Those not regularly reading the Radreffies' blogs aggregator might have missed Lia Friedman's post about how POPLINE, a government funded "...database on reproductive health, containing citations with abstracts to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished reports in the field of population, family planning, and related health issues." (emphasis added) has made "abortion" a stop word. If you're not up on your library jargon, that means it treats "abortion" the same way it would the word "the"--ignores it.



All the news stories I found addressing the Chapel Library Project have identified it as a Federal Prison regulation. State and federal facilities do not use the same rules and regulations generally: state prisons have a plethora of different book restrictions state-to-state (more on that below) but state prisons and federal prisons media restrictions do not appear to apply to one another.

Incidentally, the new policy was recently overturned in part -- though the New York Times reports that the Bureau of Prisons has "not abandoned the idea of creating such lists.", (Banerjee, N. "Prisons to restore purged religious books" New York Times 9/27/07.)

If the facility to which you are delivering ILLs houses Federal inmates, or this prison is on contract to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, federal prison rules are likely to be an issue for you. Another RadRef member found a 2003 report submitted to the Justice Department titled Governments' Management of Private Prisons, describing the use of private prisons by both state governments and the BOP. A quote from the report:

"The most usual result, regardless of who owns the facility, is the creation of one-to-one relationship between prison operator and the state prison system. That is, the state prison system is the contractor’s sole client at the facility; the only prisoners held in the facility are those under the jurisdiction of the client state agency."

Those who are interested in the basic difference between state and federal prisons -- specifically who is sent to which -- can find more information on this Federal Bureau of Prisons web page.

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