Saturday, December 17, 2005

little red book

little red book
Originally uploaded by davebarber.
Hey everybody, I just discovered this wonderful book of wisdom!

I highly recommend you (and all your friends) request this book via interlibrary loan.

NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."
The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.
The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.
(read the rest of the story at SouthCoastToday)

I gotta run now, I'm off to the library to request a copy of Mao's most excellent little red book.

2005 Dec 24 Update
Apparently this story is a hoax. damn, I requested my little red book for nothing.


Anonymous said...

I am a librarian. If this story is true, I am very concerned about how the Dept. of Homeland Security obtained a library patron’s records. It is a violation of principle III of the American Library Association Code of Ethics to provide a library patron's records to anyone without the patron's consent. If the story is true, I would like to see the American Library Association take disciplinary action against librarians responsible for the release of these records.

jonathan said...

Yeah. While I think the Patriot Act gives the government the right to subpoena records from libraries and businesses secretly (i.e. without the library patron's knowledge) and U.S. law trumps "codes of ethics" in many peoples mind, the 'flagging certain books' probably isn't covered by the patriot act (too general).

If you are interested you should contact the newspaper's writer and get more details. Perhaps you could find out what librarians caved in.

I'd be happy to post your findings. Of course you could always publish your findings on your own blog or find a better forum for sharing your findings.