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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Berkeley Library Defense KICK OUT RFID!

Date:
Monday, September 19, 2005
Time:
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Meeting
Organizer/Author:
Gene Bernardi
Location Details:
Addison and Sacramento,
1 block south of University Ave

LET'S NOT LET THIS HAPPEN IN BERKELEY!
IF THEY DO IT HERE, THEY'LL DO IT EVERYWHERE!
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY.
The Berkeley Board of Library Trustees (BOLT), without informing the community, has installed Radiofrequency Identification Devices (RFIDs) into all the Berkeley Public Library materials. The Director installed RFID in the Eugene, Oregon libraries before she came here. Her stated reason was to save money from the high cost of Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) claims, however, in 2004, there were 0 cases of RSI and of course 0 claims.
We have a large new building and cannot afford, so the story goes, enough workers to keep it open as long as it used to be open. Workers have left in disgust and have not been replaced. The workers are being moved around to make "a more flexible workplace" (corporate jargon). There will be no Teen Librarians at the branch libraries now. The check out process at all the libraries is to be automated. Self checkout RFID. The workers are dispirited and overworked still today! And the director doesn't want to hire more workers, only more management types.
The last BOLT meeting it was revealed that now we have gone from something like a $1.2 million deficit to an $860,000 surplus. They are going to open the main library for four hours now on Sundays.
Noone on the board seems to understand the finances and neither does the director or her finance manager.
We object to RFID for three reasons:
1. Our libraries are not Corporations.
2. We should be following the Precautionary Principle health wise. Not enough is known about Radiofrequency radiation as far as low frequency long term contact. e.g. workers who work around the scanners or gates all day.
3. Why should we pay for the testing of this new surveillance technology in our public libraries when we were never consulted with in the first place. The city of Berkeley has accepted 5 Homeland Security Servers, which all the Berkeley City computers will be connected to!
PLEASE COME TO OUR MEETINGS AND HELP GET RID OF THIS AWFUL SPYWARE.
Added to the calendar on Fri, Sep 16, 2005 8:12PM
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