Library prepares procedure for Patriot Act

The director of the Mohave County Library District has prepared a procedure to comply with a federal law that empowers the FBI to check library and bookstore records to pursue suspected terrorists and foreign agents.

The three-page memo from Bonnie Campbell, dated Jan.

6, states which library employees may talk to and release information to the FBI under the terms of the USA Patriot Act.

President Bush signed the bill into law in October 2001 in the aftermath of the Sept.

11 terrorist attacks.

FBI agents would have to obtain a court order or subpoena before the library releases information about books and other materials patrons have checked out or Internet use on library computers.

Library staff does not monitor Internet usage.

Campbell has said the library will attempt to protect privacy and other rights of library users.

"We are not obligated to surrender customer records and/or library equipment to law enforcement officials (including FBI) without officially executed documents of request … and then only with a green light from the office of the Mohave County Attorney," the memo stated.

Library staff also will be barred from telling the public whether the FBI has made any requests for information, according to the memo.

The memo restricts the number of library staffers authorized to speak with law enforcement officers, including the FBI, to four people: Campbell, senior managers Ferrell Morgan and Julie Huelsbeck and security specialist Scott Rutherford.

The Daily Miner ran two stories about the Patriot Act on Jan.

8.