January 27, 2022

New Research Article Reports on the Use of Internet Filters in Britain’s Public Libraries

The following peer-reviewed article appears in the latest issue of Library and Information Research (Vol 38, No 117; 2014) published by the UK group CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).


You Don’t Come To The Library To Look At Porn And Stuff Like That: Filtering Software In Public Libraries


Louise Cooke
Loughborough University

Rachel Spacey
Loughborough University

Claire Creaser
Loughborough University

Adrienne Muir
Loughborough University


Library and Information Research 
Vol 38, No 117 (2014)


Should public libraries filter the content of internet services offered to their users?

We discuss this question in the light of findings from the AHRC-funded MAIPLE project, which has been investigating measures taken by UK Public Library Services to manage public internet provision in their libraries. Initial findings  suggest that filtering software is extensively used, and that librarians and users alike are mostly content with this solution. It could be argued that this position is at odds with our professional and ethical duties towards clients to provide uninhibited access to information and ideas.

However, we recognise the social norms and realities in which services must operate and go on to discuss clear and transparent policies and procedures that public libraries might adopt to mitigate the potential for misuse of their internet facilities.

Direct to Full Text Article (15 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.