Librarian Lauded for Refusing to Loan Liberties | Politics | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Librarian Lauded for Refusing to Loan Liberties 

Local Matters

BURLINGTON -- The American Library Association honored University of Vermont librarian Trina Magi last week for her efforts to organize opposition to portions of the USA PATRIOT Act. On June 27, Magi received the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans -- a gathering that drew roughly 18,000 librarians from across the country and featured guest speakers such as Madeleine Albright and Laura Bush.

Over the past few years, Magi has mobilized librarian opposition to Sections 215 and 505 of the PATRIOT Act. The first allows investigators to access library records without having to specify a person's name or show probable cause for a search. The second gives investigators access to information from anyone providing electronic communication services. That includes libraries.

In addition to her work with librarians, Magi also accompanied Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders on a speaking tour around the state to raise public awareness about the law. Sanders told the ALA, "Magi's efforts to reform the PATRIOT Act have proven that one person's actions can affect change in this country."

But Magi says the real difference, so far, has been "minimal." "This issue has not gone away yet," she says. Magi notes that Congress recently reauthorized the PATRIOT law, making only slight changes. "They can ask for a bunch of information and just go through it and see what's there," she says. "I still have great concerns, as do many of my colleagues. It's really troublesome. We're still vulnerable."

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Cathy Resmer

  • Turning Point Center Fights Addiction With Crafts and Community
  • Turning Point Center Fights Addiction With Crafts and Community

    Burlington's Turning Point Center is a refuge for Vermonters who are trying to find their way out of drug dependence. In the stairwell leading to the center, a mural depicts a giant hand reaching down to a solitary slouching figure. Just outside the center's door at the top of the stairs, is another message: "You are no longer alone."
    • Dec 13, 2017
  • More »

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter every Monday. She also oversees HR, helps manage Seven Days' digital staff and oversees its parenting publication, Kids VT. In 2018, she designed and administered a statewide youth civics project, the... more


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Recent Comments

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2018 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation