Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

September 2007

Abstract

The USA Patriot Act has presented librarians with the dilemma of balancing national security against the freedom of access to information and the protection of confidentiality of library records. The paper examines forms of argumentation put forth by the American Library Association in its defense of access and confidentiality rights. It finds that utilitarianism and rights discourse are the most dominant forms of ethical reasoning in the ALA and suggests that these might be replaced or supplemented by other forms of reasoning. Modernist notions as well as postmodernist views are explored and a synthesis of the two positions is offered. Confidentiality/privacy and access to information are necessary for a public dialogue that seeks not only consensus truths but is itself constitutive of the types of autonomous selves Americans are and value.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.