Guest Speakers

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Peter Chase, Keynote Speaker

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Libraries and the Patriot Act - The Connecticut Four

If this presentation were given in 2005, the speaker would have been arrested on the spot. In 2005, Peter Chase was under a federal gag order preventing him from revealing that he was a plaintiff in the case that became known as the “Connecticut Four.” Chase and three other colleagues refused to comply with a National Security Letter demanding library patron information. Chase was not allowed to attend his own trial and could not tell his family, friends, or library staff that he was involved in a case that made headlines for months. Chase will explain why he defied the government and the toll it took on his family and colleagues. He will talk about our need for privacy and the legal challenges faced by all libraries in protecting it.

Peter Chase was the director of the Plainville (Conn.) Public Library for 35 years until his recent retirement. He served for many years as the chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee for the Connecticut Library Association and is a past-president of CLA. He received the Paul Howard Award for Courage from the American Library Association and the Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty from the American Civil Liberties Union for his role in protecting library patrons from the excesses of the Patriot Act.

Alayne Peterson, Luncheon Speaker

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Steam-Powered: The Rise of Steampunk Literature

Alayne Peterson lives “in the chinks of [the] world machine” and spends a lot of time thinking about the future, technology, media, and society. At the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, she teaches composition (with the theme “Considering the Future”) and creative writing, as well as courses in science-fiction literature and film, modernism, and literature of nature. Professor Peterson holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Her poems have appeared in The Front Range Review, Poetry Quarterly, and Verse Wisconsin, among others. Her essay “Riders of the New Wave: The Feminist Science Fiction of LeGuin, Russ, and Tiptree, Jr.” appears in the anthology Womanhood in Anglophone Literary Culture: 19th and 20th Century Perspectives. She presents regularly at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts and is currently developing a book-length manuscript on George Miller’s Mad Maxseries.