We had a slow day here at BookFinder.com, with today’s 2006 US midterm elections in full swing. I spent last night doing phonebanking for a local city council candidate. Charlie did some last-minute research on some of California’s ballot propositions. And we all grumbled about ridiculous campaign ads, the runaway initiative process, and how there’s gotta be a better way.
All this thinking about politics reminds us of our civic responsibility as members of the bookselling community. The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression picked one of the busiest days in the US news cycle to release its new Free Speech Pledge, which it encourages member booksellers to post in their stores:
To Our Customers
The shelves of this bookstore hold a wide array of titles containing ideas as diverse as the world in which we live. We believe that it is in the best interest of our community and democratic society for ideas of all kinds to be available to interested individuals, regardless of what our own tastes may be. In that spirit, we believe that censorship—whether by individuals, special interests groups, or government—damages our society.
We also believe that it is our responsibility to you, and to the First Amendment, to respect the privacy of your choice of books, magazines and other materials. We will not sell information identifying your purchases to a third party without your permission or otherwise disclose it to anyone, including the government, on our own initiative.
[Now reading The Monkeywrench Gang by Edward Abbey]Posted by Anirvan