patriot act, close to home

As you might know, I have a sign on my office door that reads: “The FBI has not been here. Watch closely for the removal of this sign.” It’s been on my door for a while now; I put it up shortly after the ALA‘s response to the Patriot Act.

Sometime between 6 p.m. last night and 8:30 a.m. this morning, the sign was removed.

There are two options, as I see them: it was removed accurately, or it was removed as a prank. The former is terrifying to realize, as it could mean that the meager privacy of this library’s patrons is no more.

The latter is just pathetic and ignorant, not to mention unethical. Many patrons check the status of this sign, some on a daily basis, for years now. They have come to rely on its accuracy. And some college student pulled it down for a laugh.

Either way, the future for this country looks bleak: have your reading list scoured and evaluated for “un-American” content, or suffer for the abject lack of ethics in tomorrow’s legislators and leaders. Go team.

Published by Halsted M. Bernard

An ever-molting black swan. Reader, writer, library director, over-enunciator. Listening + Unlearning. Opinions are my own. She/her. #BlackLivesMatter

3 thoughts on “patriot act, close to home

  1. There is a THIRD possibility: Somebody from the provost’s office considered the sign to be merely a ludicrous attempt at humor that detracted from the institution’s decorum. I doubt that the F.B.I. — especially if they HAD visited the library — would want the sign removed.

  2. I don’t see the FBI removing your sign. They have a sense of humor. 🙂

    If you are concerned that the FBI has opened a file on you because of your sign, send a Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act of 1974 request (see for details) for the information they have on you.

  3. Earl, I’d be very surprised if an administrator on campus removed the sign, especially since several administrators have complimented me on it, but also because it’s been up for so long it certainly would have been removed a year ago if it offended anyone.

    And I didn’t mean that the FBI would have removed the sign; I meant that someone working here who was unable to tell me that s/he had been subpoenaed would have removed it.

    John, my concern is for my library’s patrons, not myself. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear.

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