May 18, 2022

Bowdoin College: Library Opts Against Restricting Online Access to Explicit Material

From the The Bowdoin Current:

According to the Bowdoin administration and the Office of Safety and Security, Hawthorne-Longfellow Library (H-L Library) will continue its policy to not restrict Internet access, though the public computers in H-L Library have been used to view pornographic materials.

In the interest of providing free and open access to information, no public computers on campus block or censor Internet material. This policy was re-examined in 2008 after a student spotted a non-Bowdoin community member downloading pornographic material in H-L.

Librarian Sherrie Bergman described how the student had walked past a public computer on the first floor of the library and spotted the man viewing pornographic material. The student contacted Security, but by the time an officer arrived, the viewer was gone and no pornography remained on the computer.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.