All Your Reading Habits Belong To Us: Digital Privacy and our Government

All Your Reading Habits Belong To Us: Digital Privacy and our Government —Catching up with the Connecticut Four

 A discussion with Barbara Bailey and Peter Chase in honor of National Library Week

Wesleyan University’s Olin Memorial Library (252 Church St, Middletown, CT)
Tuesday, April 11th from 7-8:30pm in the Smith Reading Room with a reception to follow.

Chase and Bailey

The Friends of the Wesleyan Library are proud to present “All Your Reading Habits Belong To Us: Digital Privacy and our Government — Catching up with the Connecticut Four,” in honor of National Library Week.  In 2005, the FBI, under the auspices of the USA PATRIOT ACT, tried to access patron information from Connecticut libraries and issued a gag order on four  librarians, members of the executive committee of the CT Library Connection.  Known in the press as the Connecticut Four, the librarians spent over a year fighting the order and were successful in getting the FBI to withdraw.

Now, over a decade later, the Connecticut Four are speaking out against new efforts to expand the FBI’s ability to require libraries to hand over private information in the absence of a judge’s order.  Two members of the Connecticut Four, Barbara Bailey and Peter Chase, will join us for a discussion with Dan Cherubin, Wesleyan University Librarian, on the history of the case, what’s changed and, in regards to our newly elected government, what we need to watch.

Barbara Bailey is director of the Welles-Turner Memorial Library in Glastonbury, Connecticut.  She is a former president and current board member of the Library Connection, a non-profit cooperative of 30 public and academic libraries, which share an integrated library system (CONNECT) and other technological innovations.  Peter Chase was director of the Plainville (CT) Public Library from 1981-2015.  He was vice president of Library Connection in 2005 and is also the former chairman of the Connecticut Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee.  Both Barbara and Peter received the Paul Howard Award for Courage from the American Library Association in 2007, along with their colleagues Jan Nocek and George Christian.

The event will also feature the announcement of the winners of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research prize.  The candidate projects were evaluated based on the use of Wesleyan’s library collections and resources, evidence of learning about research techniques and the information-gathering process itself, and the quality of writing and research.

We take the opportunity of National Library Week to celebrate all libraries’ continued fight for both access of material and the right to privacy. As the American Library Association Code of Ethics, adopted in 1939, declares: “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.”

This event is free and open to the public.  For more information, email