Ashcroft Censors Libraries

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Garrison Hilliard

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Aug 11, 2004, 10:02:28 AM8/11/04
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American Library Association
For Immediate Release
July 30, 2004

Statement from ALA President-Elect Michael Gorman on the
destruction of Department of Justice documents

CHICAGO -- The following statement has been issued by President-Elect
Michael Gorman, representing President Carol Brey-Casiano, who is
currently
in Guatemala representing the Association:

Last week, the American Library Association learned that the Department of
Justice asked the Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents
to
instruct depository libraries to destroy five publications the Department
has deemed not "appropriate for external use." The Department of Justice
has called for these five public documents, two of which are texts of
federal statutes, to be removed from depository libraries and destroyed,
making their content available only to those with access to a law office
or
law library.

The topics addressed in the named documents include information on how
citizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by the
government during an investigation. The documents to be removed and
destroyed include: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure; Select
Criminal
Forfeiture Forms; Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statutes; Asset
forfeiture and money laundering resource directory; and Civil Asset
Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA).

ALA has submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the
withdrawn materials in order to obtain an official response from the
Department of Justice regarding this unusual action, and why the
Department
has requested that documents that have been available to the public for as
long as four years be removed from depository library collections. ALA is
committed to ensuring that public documents remain available to the public
and will do its best to bring about a satisfactory resolution of this
matter.

Librarians should note that, according to policy 72, written authorization
from the Superintendent of Documents is required to remove any documents.
To this date no such written authorization in hard copy has been issued.

AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

50 E. Huron Chicago, IL 60611 Call Us Toll Free 1-800-545-2433

©2004 American Library Association. Copyright Statement


Scott Peterson

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Aug 11, 2004, 6:34:29 PM8/11/04
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>Last week, the American Library Association learned that the Department
of
>Justice asked the Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents
>to instruct depository libraries to destroy five publications the
>Department has deemed not "appropriate for external use." The Department
>of Justice has called for these five public documents, two of which are
>texts of federal statutes, to be removed from depository libraries and
>destroyed, making their content available only to those with access to a
>law office or law library.

This has been resolved. Unfortunately so much information has already
been
removed by similar orders. Good thing we don't have partisan people
managing this stuff.

>-- 8/3/2004
>DOJ Reverses Documents Order After Librarian Protest

<http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=news&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=72230>

>http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA441047?display=breakingNews
>
>After a government documents recall notice posted on the Government
>Printing Office (GPO) web site generated strong reactions from
librarians,
>the Department of Justice (DOJ) said late last week that depository
>libraries could keep the disputed materials on their shelves after all.


Scott Peterson

--
The world is full of willing people:
some willing to work and some willing
to let them.


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