To Filter or Not to Filter:
The Role of Public Librarians in Determining Internet Access
Introduction
Librarian's Role
Filters
Children and Harm
Legal Issues
Library Solutions
Links to free speech, filter and porn sites
References
THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION'S
ANTI-FILTERING STANCE

For over fifty years, public libraries have articulated the importance of access to information. In the 1940s, the American Library Association (ALA) began developing a set of resolutions emphasizing the importance of providing a variety of viewpoints and challenging censorship.

The ALA resolutions state that a person's right to use a public library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views. Over the years, the ALA has amended its Bill of Rights several times.

The ALA resolutions state that a person's right to use a public library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views. Over the years, the ALA has amended its Bill of Rights several times.

In a section titled "Access to Electronic Information Services and Networks," the ALA stated that "libraries and librarians should not deny or limit access to information via electronic resources because of its allegedly controversial content or because of the librarian's personal beliefs or fear of confrontation."

In 1997, the ALA passed an anti-filtering resolution, which stated that..."the American Library Association affirms the use of filtering software by libraries to block constitutionally protected speech violates the Library Bill of Rights."


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To Filter or Not to Filter: The Role of Public Librarians in Determining Internet Access
Copyright (C) 1999 by Barbara H. Smith, University of Florida

All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced without the written consent of the author.

Please e-mail questions or comments to: bhsmith@ufl.edu