Filters and the Public Library: A Legal and Policy Analysis

Mary Minow


Public libraries in the United States are under a great deal of pressure from community groups and others to "filter" or otherwise supervise Internet access for children. This demand has led a variety of libraries to take different approaches, leading to the American Library Association's recently developed strong policy against filtering mechanisms. In the absence of empirical evidence in a wide variety of libraries on information loss directly as a result of filters, librarians have worked towards compromises of both professional directives and community demands. Libraries and librarians recognize their allegiance to their communities and their profession by developing strategies that meet the concerns of both parents and colleagues, without compromising First Amendment guarantees of free speech.

Full Text:



A Great Cities Initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library.

© First Monday, 1995-2019. ISSN 1396-0466.