On July 30, 2013, ARL, together with 59 other privacy and civil liberties groups, sent this letter to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, calling on Congress to evaluate the National Security Agency's (NSA) surveillance programs and risks to civil liberties. Based upon such a review, the coalition urges Congress to enact critical reforms to ensure that government surveillance programs include robust safeguards for constitutional rights. Such reforms should include tightening the standards for collection and use of information, including communications metadata; increasing meaningful judicial authorization and review of such programs, and limiting the secrecy of such programs.
The coalition sent the letter in advance of the Judiciary Committee's July 31 hearing on the National Security Agency's (NSA) surveillance programs.
On July 8, 2013, ARL, along with 22 other good-government groups, sent this letter to the US Department of Justice urging Attorney General Eric Holder to make public any reports by Inspector General Michael Horowitz regarding the collection of Americans’ telephone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. If the Office of the Inspector General has not previously conducted a full review of this program, the letter asks it to do so.
On July 8, 2013, ARL, together with 19 other privacy and civil liberties groups, sent this letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), calling on the PCLOB to author a public report about surveillance authorities and risks to civil liberties. The coalition sent the letter in advance of the PCLOB's first-ever public workshop, held July 9, to discuss the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs that collect phone records and monitor Internet traffic.
On June 25, 2013, ARL joined 37 other privacy and civil liberties organizations and companies in a letter urging the US Senate to adhere to a basic set of principles to protect Americans’ privacy when drafting its cybersecurity legislation.
This webcast, recorded June 13, 2013, describes research examining faculty members' views on the value of scholarly collections in academic libraries. The presenters are Carol Tenopir, professor in the School of Information Sciences and director of the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee, and Rachel Fleming-May, assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee.
The LibValue project (http://libvalue.cci.utk.edu/) is a three-year study funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to define and measure ways in which libraries create value through teaching and learning, research, and social, professional, and public engagement. LibValue is a collaboration among the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Libraries; and the Association of Research Libraries, with partners at Syracuse University and Bryant University.
On June 18, 2013, ARL joined with 33 other organizations in a letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board asking them to urge President Obama to order the public disclosure of information about National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance. The letter asks the board to urge disclosure of sufficient information to enable the public to understand the existing legal authorities for national security surveillance of Americans and the Obama administration’s interpretation of their scope, and to permit an informed public debate on government surveillance.
On June 11, 2013, five major library associations—ARL, American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Medical Library Association (MLA), Special Libraries Association (SLA)—sent this letter to the US Senate Committee on Rules & Administration, supporting President Obama's nomination of Davita Vance-Cooks for Public Printer of the United States. The Public Printer oversees the US Government Printing Office (GPO).
The Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and ARL have drafted a proposal in response to the OSTP memo: The SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE).
Research universities are long-lived and are mission-driven to generate, make accessible, and preserve over time new knowledge and understanding. Research universities collectively have the assets needed for a national solution for enhanced public access to federally funded research output. As the principal producers of the resources that are to be made publicly available under the new White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memorandum, and that are critical to the continuing success of higher education in the United States, universities have invested in the infrastructure, tools, and services necessary to provide effective and efficient access to their research and scholarship. The new White House directive provides a compelling reason to integrate higher education’s investments to date into a system of cross-institutional digital repositories that will be known as SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE)...
Comments and questions about the draft SHARE proposal (PDF) are welcome—please send e-mail to
On May 30, 2013, five major library associations—ARL, American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Medical Library Association (MLA), Special Libraries Association (SLA)—sent this letter to the Committee on House Administration, thanking them for rejecting the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) report recommendation that the US Government Printing Office (GPO) charge public user fees for access to government documents via the Federal Digital System (FDsys).