Wikileaks and libraries #4

The Library of Congress has come under strong attack for blocking the Wikileaks website on its computer systems, including those computers for use by patrons in the public reading rooms. This is in line with a directive to all US federal agencies to prevent unauthorized disclosures of classified documents – even if they have already been disclosed in an unauthorised way.

Below is just one comment from a respected US Librarian

Comment #124.Sarah Houghton-Jan
December 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm

This action is an affront to all librarians everywhere. It is a violation of the First Amendment and a violation of the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights. Moreover, it is a violation of the professional ethics of librarians to always provide access to all information. The Librarian of Congress should be ashamed of these actions, reverse them immediately, and be censured by the American Library Association.

The Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) also:

condemns in the strongest possible terms the blocking of Wikileaks by the Library of Congress and rejects on all grounds their arguments in defense of this move.

In Australia, where the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks Julian Assange holds citizenship, there has been much public (as opposed to government) support for the Wikileaks disclosures and for Assange (see

It is still the case that Wikileaks website is not being blocked by any agency here in Australia and nor is it currently on the ACMA blacklist (see

How any agency, library or librarian in Australia would handle the situation that the Library of Congress is currently in, if the leaks were from Australian diplomatic cables we don’t know. Which is probably just as well.


Twitter archive questions answered

The Library of Congress has decided to put those burning questions to rest. Why are they archiving Twitter? What’s going to be included in the archive? And what is the Library going to do with all of that information anyway? Can we access it? Read their FAQ and find out.

Library of Congress to archive the Twitterverse

The Library of Congress have just announced that they are going to archive Twitter, and they used their own Twitter stream to make their original announcement. Starting with its inception in 2006 and with around 50 million tweets being added daily to the Twitterverse, that’s a lot of ground to cover!