Posted by Lori Ayre on April 8, 2004

As promised, here's the link to Mary Minow's First Monday article Lawfully Surfing the Net: Disabling Public Library Internet Filters to Avoid More Lawsuits in the United States.

The title says it all but if that isn't clear enough for you, here's an excerpt from the conclusion:

Disabling procedures should be either readily administered at the branch level (without undue delay) or self?service upon certification by patrons that they are 17 or over (for disabling) or any age (for unblocking). Self?service could take the form of automated disabling (for adults), "soft?blocking" (warning?instead?of?blocking for adults) or click?a?librarian remotely for either disabling or unblocking (for adults or children). Unless the librarian has reason to believe the site has images of child pornography, obscenity or "harmful to minors" material, the request should be met as quickly as possible.

Someone once described Mary Minow as a "state treasure." I couldn't agree more. Thanks for a great article, Mary, on a difficult topic.