NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 5, 2006 – The Data Research Users' Group announced today it is donating approximately $30,000 to organizations that support and defend free speech, free expression and privacy. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) will each receive about $15,000. The announcement was made here at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Hotel as part of SirsiDynix SuperConference 2006, the annual gathering of Unicorn® and DRA library software users.
The Data Research Users' Group is disbanding, and its membership is merging with the Unicorn Users' Group International (UUGI). As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Missouri, the Data Research Users' Group is allowed to donate its final assets to other 501(c)(3) organizations, and chose the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom to Read Foundation as recipients. Final assets are estimated to be worth $30,000, with the two free speech organizations dividing the proceeds equally.
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom to Read Foundation have long and successful records of defending the First Amendment rights that we as librarians – and as citizens – hold very dear," said Steven M. Schermerhorn, president of the Data Research Users' Group. "Both organizations depend on contributions to successfully defend our rights, and the Data Research Users' Group is happy to donate a substantial amount of money to the cause of intellectual freedom."
Shari Steele, executive director and president of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said: "EFF is so grateful for such a generous donation from the Data Research Users' Group. A major donation such as this will go a long way toward helping us fight for free speech rights and protect fair use rights."
Judith Krug, executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, said: "I cannot thank the members of the Data Research Users' Group enough for the extremely generous donation to the Freedom to Read Foundation. This is one of the single largest donations FTRF has received in its 37 years. The Freedom to Read Foundation has been on the forefront of groundbreaking litigation that has cemented major principles we hold dear as a profession. This award comes at a most propitious time as libraries are under renewed pressure to restrict their users' access to information."
About Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights. Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists and technologists, it achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the U.S. government or large corporations. By mobilizing more than 50,000 concerned citizens through its Action Center, EFF beats back bad legislation. In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public. Sometimes just defending technologies isn't enough, so EFF also supports the development of freedom-enhancing inventions. For more information, visit www.eff.org.
About Freedom to Read Foundation
The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) was founded in 1969 to promote and defend the right of individuals to freely express ideas and to access information in libraries and elsewhere. FTRF fulfills its mission through the disbursement of grants to individuals and groups, primarily for the purpose of aiding them in litigation, and through direct participation in litigation dealing with freedom of speech and of the press. It is part of the American Library Association. For more information, visit www.ala.org.