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Obama's Librarian Of Congress Nominee Supports Open Access, Fights Surveillance (techdirt.com)
178 points by sinak on Feb 27, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments



Librarians have been fighting for the right to privacy long before it was fashionable:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoia_Horn

> In January 1971, Horn was contacted by the FBI, seeking evidence involving Philip Berrigan. During the trial, they were subpoenaed to testify for the prosecution, but Horn refused to testify at the trial on the grounds that her forced testimony would threaten intellectual and academic freedom.


I'm guessing most people don't know much or care much about the Library Of Congress, glad to see this year. The TechDirt post does a really good job of explaining why it's an important position, and why librarians are pretty excited about her.


Librarians as a whole tend toward a very strong privacy stance. I'm told a large contingent of people at the major library conferences have high opinions of Snowden, for example. And the opposition to the PATRIOT Act is also very common among librarians, out of concern for the privacy of library records.

I've always thought that privacy advocates from the technology sector should work with libraries more than they do. The ALA is aligned on basically all the substantive issues and is frankly a lot better at lobbying and legal matters than most technology groups (which is not too surprising given the positive popular image that libraries have).


The last champion of privacy rights Obama sold us was FBI Director James Comey. I hope this one is a real privacy advocate.


The character assassination of the outgoing librarian (which is the bulk of this article) is pretty tasteless. The substance of the criticism is (a) the WaPo doesn't think that a fundraising programme he ran wasn as successful as it might have been (but still raised millions), compared to nothing, based entirely on a listing of scary-sounding expense reports, which includes, shockingly, Acela tickets, (b) he wasn't great on tech, which is a legitimate criticism, but hardly unique among senior government figures born in 1929, and (c) unnamed employee sources, and a single named 10-years retired employee, were happy he's retiring.

Wikipedia doesn't usually mince words around this, and in the five months since his retirement, nobody has thought to add a "Criticism" section.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H._Billington


The last Librarian, appointed when Ronald Reagan was President did a lot of good as well regardless of what the article claimed. If he can be faulted it is in simply not evolving with the times. He did push for no-fee electronic services but I doubt the privacy issues which exploded in the last few years were ever on his RADAR.


BoingBoing had good coverage about her http://boingboing.net/2016/02/24/obamas-new-librarian-of-con...

It's horrible she will never be approved by the Senate.

There has to be a better way to get people properly appointed.


Damn if only he did.


Url changed from http://boingboing.net/2016/02/24/obamas-new-librarian-of-con..., which points to this.


thanks dang you are running a tight ship around here


Good call - thanks dang!


Title seems a bit misleading to me as well.

> President Obama Nominates New Librarian Of Congress Who Supports Open Access, Fights Against Surveillance


It was hard to fit into 80 chars. Suggestions welcome.


Expand the character limit for titles, or add an alt or title attribute to the title link to contain more text. The latter would be particularly useful on the new comments page when titles are sometimes cut off with an ellipsis.


Obama's Librarian Of Congress Nominee Supports Open Access, Fights Surveillance

or

Obama's New Librarian Of Congress Nominee Fights Surveillance & Pro Open Access

or

Obama's New Librarian Of Congress Nominee: Fights Surveillance; Pro Open Access


That first one is good and we'll use it. Thanks!


Since when is Obama interested in fighting surveillance ?




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