Testimony on S967/A1396 Reader's Privacy

TESTIMONY OF  OF PATRICIA A. TUMULTY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

NEW JERSEY LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

In SUPPORT of S967

Before the Senate Commerce Committee

 

March 17, 2014

 

 

Good afternoon. On behalf of the members of the New Jersey Library Association, I want to thank Senators Gill and Barnes for sponsoring this legislation and give our whole hearted support for its passage.

 

 

The New Jersey Library Association strongly believes that “reader privacy” is a fundamental right in a free society. The importance of privacy has been in the news lately and thus this is an extremely important piece of legislation.

 

The “Reader Privacy Act” is modeled after the current confidentiality of library records law which was enacted approximately 30 years ago. That act has been extremely important in protecting the reading records of individuals in our libraries.

 

This bill would extend similar protections to the readers and purchasers of books and e-books thus ensuring the residents of New Jersey that they can read and view information in any format without the fear that their reading preferences would be available to others except with their permission.

 

Passage of this legislation would put New Jersey in the forefront of protecting our residents’ ability to read books in any format without the fear of disclosure to others.  Currently, only California has a similar law.

 

We believe it is important legislation and urge its passage.