Magazine article American Libraries

ALA Backs Bookstore in Privacy Case

Magazine article American Libraries

ALA Backs Bookstore in Privacy Case

Article excerpt

ALA and the Freedom to Read Foundation have filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Denver's Tattered Cover bookstore, which is appealing a court order to tell police who purchased two books on drugmaking. Owner Joyce Meskis said November 2 that revealing the buyer would jeopardize others who buy controversial works.

"This is about the right to privacy and the freedom to read what you like without police looking over your shoulder," Meskis said in the November 3 Denver Post.

District Judge J. Stephen Phillips ordered the store on October 20 to give police a copy of an invoice, saying that free speech concerns were outweighed by the importance of investigating crimes. Police found a Tattered Cover envelope outside a mobile home that housed a methamphetamine lab; they believe the invoice was in the envelope and will name who purchased a book on drugmaking found inside the home.

Judith Krug, director of ALA's OIF, was an expert witness at an October 17 hearing in the case. Krug said in the October 21 Denver Post she worries that drug investigators are making an unfair connection between what people read and what they do. "Just because you read a book on homosexuality, for example, doesn't mean you're gay. …

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