ALA Report on Internet Filtering

Bravo to the American Library Association for compiling this report!

Over-filtering in schools and libraries harms education, new ALA report finds by Jazzy Wright (posted on June 11, 2014)

In addition to raising essential points regarding the negative impact that over-filtering the internet has on education and learning (and disproportionately for the poor), the article highlights an issue that I feel very strongly about:

“[S]chools that over-filter restrict students from learning key digital readiness skills that are vital for the rest of their lives. Over-blocking in schools hampers students from developing their online presence and fully understanding the extent and permanence of their digital footprint. … Filtering beyond CIPA’s requirements results in critical missed opportunities to prepare students to be responsible users, consumers, and producers of online content and resources.”

This echoes an argument that I’ve made before—censorship does our children a vast disservice in the long run. When it comes to libraries, I would also reiterate—it’s not a library’s job to police people.

What I like best about this report from the ALA is that it tells us the same things about internet filtering that the Librarian in Black has been telling us for years. It’s good to see her message recognized as an official stance of the ALA.

Read the full report here (PDF).

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