With Bush ouster in mind, Seattle's librarians go south

By Erik Lacitis, Seattle Times, 6/22/06

These are not the stereotypical librarians of the olden days, the ones who were a bit reserved but ready with a glare for anyone talking too loudly.

Instead, the employees of the Seattle Public Library have passed a resolution through their local union calling for President Bush to resign or be impeached because of the USA Patriot Act, the Iraq war and a host of other issues.

It's a resolution that doesn't mince words, and it will be introduced at the annual conference of the American Library Association that begins today in New Orleans.

"We're always concerned about patron privacy and protecting that," said Lynn Lorenz, 38, a librarian at the Madrona-Sally Goldmark Branch who helped draft the resolution.

"We want people to read whatever they want to read and have access to whatever information they're seeking, without any of type of outside judgment."

These days, the Seattle Public Library Web site explains the USA Patriot Act and what the FBI can do:

"Libraries or librarians served with these search warrants may not disclose, under penalty of law, the existence of the warrants or the fact that records were produced as a result of the warrants. Patrons cannot be told their records were given to law-enforcement agencies or that they were the subjects of FBI investigations."

The 480-member union adopted the resolution on a 70-20 vote.

The union resolution also lambastes the president on other issues, including:

• "Entering into an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, based upon fabricated and erroneous information."

• "Approval of the use of torture ... in the interrogation of suspected terrorists."

• "The current political climate, which allows suppression, attack and even criminalization of dissent."

Andra Addison, a spokeswoman for the Seattle Public Library, emphasized that the resolution has nothing to do with the city agency.

"I just don't even want to comment; it's a union issue," she said.

Lorenz, a children's librarian, said one reason she helped with the resolution was her love for what libraries stand for.

"People have called it the most democratic institution on the planet," she said.

Erik Lacitis: 206-464-2237 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

Main Reports on Protest & Resistance With Bush ouster in mind, Seattle's librarians go south

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