In February, organizations representing booksellers, librarians, and writers launched the Campaign for Reader Privacy (www.readerprivacy.org), a nationwide grassroots petition drive that aims to restore the safeguards for the privacy of bookstore and library records that were eliminated by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. The goal of the petition drive -- which is sponsored by ABA, the American Library Association, and PEN American Center -- is to present one million signatures to members of Congress in support of legislation to amend Section 215.
Thousands of signatures have already been collected by booksellers, but ABA COO Oren Teicher stressed, "We hope that booksellers will continue to collect signatures now through the month of April. We'll announce a deadline for the end of the petition drive in BTW in a few weeks."
Booksellers are asked to send petitions to ABA whenever they have collected a few hundred signatures.
For booksellers looking to participate, or already participating, in the campaign, here is some helpful information:
- To find answers to frequently asked questions about the bookstore drive to collect customer signatures, click here.
- Booksellers can order additional petition pads by calling ABA's Information Department at (800) 637-0037, ext. 1292 or 1293, or for a downloadable PDF of the petition, click here.
- To help participating booksellers garner press coverage for the petition drive, ABA has created a press release template that bookstores can use to bring the campaign to the attention of their local media. To access the sample release, click here.
- Whenever a few hundred signatures have been collected, petitions should be mailed to ABA, Restore Reader Privacy, Attn.: Oren Teicher, 828 S. Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591, rather than waiting until the end of the campaign.
- To read about independent booksellers' efforts in the campaign, click here.