Santa Clara County, Libraries

Santa Clara County Librarian wins intellectual freedom award

Santa Clara County Librarian defends patrons’ privacy rights

Santa Clara County Librarian Nancy Howe last weekend accepted the Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award from the California Library Association.

The award goes to California people, groups and organizations that have made significant contributions to intellectual freedom.

In Howe’s case, she turned down grant funding on behalf of the County library system when the grantor required Social Security card information on anyone wanting to enroll in the library’s English as a Second Language classes under the grant.

“For the life of me, I couldn’t think of a reason why teaching ESL, to admit a person to a library class, we needed Social Security,” Howe said. “We felt that we wanted to protect the privacy of our patrons and we wanted everyone to feel very welcome and trusted to use the library. So we decided that grant was no longer for us. And we said, ‘Thank you, but we won’t continue receiving this.'”

Wait. The library turned down money?

Check out the video to see what happened next.

— Chuck Carroll, Newsbeat editor

— Rabih Chahine, Newsbeat videographer and video editor

 

November 15, 2018

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