Positioning the public library in the modern state: The opportunity of the Children's Internet Protection Act, CIPA

Joyce M. Latham


It is the position of this paper that the public library in the United States today is an essential avenue for the development of debate on the entire range of topics - political, social, economic, and recreational - that engage the American public. In order to fulfill that function the public library must be immune to the imposition of any particular orthodoxy of belief. The public librarian, functioning as a professional, is fully equipped to determine the policies and practices that will ensure that function. The public library patron must be unencumbered by apprehension when approaching a librarian for assistance in research.
Through an investigation of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that may determine the legality of the recent Children's Internet Protection Act, this paper investigates the strengths and weaknesses of the position of the public library in executing its historical charge to present viewpoint free materials to enhance the independent investigations of any user of any public library.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v6i7.873

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

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