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What to do if an FBI agent comes on official business
The new US Patriot Act gives increased authority to the FBI to obtain information from various kinds of institutions, including libraries.

The attached statement, worded in consultation with the Andrews University attorney, is to guide all of us in handling requests which may come at any time.


The following instructions are to guide library staff, including student assistants, who may at some time be approached by an FBI agent with a subpoena or search warrant. (In simple terms, a subpoena is a court order for you to do what is specified. Under the provisions of the new USA Patriot Act it may have to do with releasing library records to the FBI).

1. There is no reason to feel fear. Explain courteously that you may not be the right person to assist, but that you will try to contact someone who is authorized.

2. The authorized individuals in James White Library are: The Dean of Libraries (Larry Onsager at 3379), the Head of Patron Services (3549), and the Systems Librarian (Steve Sowder at 6242). If you are unable to contact any of these people at that time, indicate when one of them might be available.

3. DO NOT talk to anyone else about the subpoena, or even share the fact that a subpoena is or was served. There are severe legal penalties for doing so.


Director’s Office
May 1, 2003

Updated September 23, 2009