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From the Publisher
This is one of the single most important resources for anyone curious about the sweeping effects on personal privacy under the Patriot Act. Although librarians and library administrators will find useful information about their responsibilities in regard to the provisions of the Patriot Act, the book is also an important resource for all individuals concerned about government surveillance techniques and concomitant responsibilities and personal freedom and privacy to use and exploit the resources of their local information sources (libraries, both academic and public, and bookstores)….This book is recommended for all libraries, small or large, public or academic; further, it is a must for any individual interested in a very careful, thoughtful, and detailed portrayal of governmental surveillance issues in information centers….Highly recommended.
Libraries and Culture
If you only read one professional book this year, I suggest that you make it this one. From directors, reference librarians, systems librarians, to catalogers and other professional staff, this book is a must read….This book is especially important for all librarians who actively engage in protecting First Amendment activities because it thoroughly explores and chronicles governmental efforts to restrict these rights. For those who may think that things are really okay and that all of the necessary battles took past in the distant past, you will think again after reading this book!…This work is well written, carefully researched and documented, and recommended reading for every citizen, and especially librarians.
Technical Services Quarterly
Foerstel has given a major portion of his energies over the past two decades to writing about this ongoing struggle. During this time, he has been on the front line to observe and particpate in many of these skirmishes. His latest book continues this important work and should be a source of pride for all library workers.
College & Research Libraries
Foerstel, a librarian and author of several works on the First Amendment, has written a passionate attack on the law and describes its negative impact on library users, librarians, and libraries throughout the country….[a] book entitled ^IRefuge of a Scoundrel^R does not puport to offer a balanced perspective, and one can't fault an author for not writing the book some readers may want. The worst terrorist attack in American History has placed in stark relief the debate about maintaining national security while preserving our civil rights and liberties. Foerstel has done an admirable job in advocating the latter.
[A]nalyzes all aspects of the USA Patriot Act directly affecting libraries and offers advice on what to do if your library is approached by law enforcement under authority of Section 215 of the act.
One of the undeniable effects of the USA Patriot Act is that many libraries have begun to rethink the user records they maintain. Author Herbert N. Foerstel addresses this and other implications of the very complex and controversial legislation in ^IRefuge of a Scoundrel:The Patriot Act in Libraries.^R Beginning with the origins of library surveillance and continuing on to the specifics of the Patriot Act-including gag orders for librarians and the laW's effects on library policies on patron records-Foerstel also discusses state versions of the law, congressional oversight, and resolutions opposing the act.
This is the most important book this reviewer has read this year--and the most frightening. It succinctly details the latest effort by the U.S. government to undermine the rights of Americans to free expression and privacy, with a particular focus on libraries and librarians….Foerstel's impressive documentation proves that despite the book's brevity, it covers the subject fully and deeply. Highly recommended.