Phase I of Reader Privacy Petition Drive to Conclude May 17

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ABA announced today that phase one of the Campaign for Reader Privacy ( petition drive would culminate and conclude with a CRP presentation sometime during BookExpo America, which will be held from June 2 - 6 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. Booksellers are urged to continue to collect signatures (and periodically mail them to ABA) through the weekend of May 15, and on May 17 mail all remaining petitions to ABA.

CRP -- a nationwide grassroots petition drive to raise awareness about the threat to the privacy of bookstore and library records posed by the USA Patriot Act -- was launched in February and is sponsored by ABA, the American Library Association, and PEN American Center.

As of March 26, 179 independent bookstores from 38 states have sent tens of thousands of signed petitions to ABA. Moreover, as of press time, there were literally hundreds of additional envelopes that had yet to be processed.

"We are enormously grateful to all the independent bookstores for their efforts in this important campaign," said Oren Teicher, ABA COO, who noted that, whether a store sends in a thousand signatures or 50, every signature received is as crucial as the next. "We are thankful to the large stores for the volume of signatures that they have collected, and hope they will continue to send them in. And we're extremely appreciative of the smaller stores for their efforts, as it is essential that we collect signatures across the broadest cross-section of independent bookstores."

Teicher stressed that booksellers should send petitions to ABA whenever they have collected a few hundred signatures. (Petitions should be mailed to ABA, Restore Reader Privacy, Attn.: Oren Teicher, 828 S. Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591.)

In addition, Teicher noted, "With six weeks still to go in this first phase of the campaign, bookstores who have not yet started to collect signatures can still join in."

For answers to frequently asked questions about the bookstore drive to collect customer signatures, click here.

Booksellers can order additional petition pads by calling ABA's Information Department at (800) 637-0037, ext. 1292 or 1293, or for a downloadable PDF of the petition, click here.

To help participating booksellers garner press coverage for the petition drive, ABA has created a press release template that bookstores can use to bring the campaign to the attention of their local media. To access the sample release, click here.

To read about independent booksellers' efforts in the campaign, click here.

Look for more information on CRP and the BEA presentation in upcoming issues of BTW.