Guidelines on Public Internet Access in Libraries
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions new Guidelines on Public Internet Access in Libraries offer both a firm reiteration of support for the value of such access, but also practical guidance in dealing with the issues that this may raise. It acts as a checklist, establishing principles and sharing examples which should serve as reference points for libraries globally.
Access to the internet provides a major opportunity for libraries - and in particular public libraries - to expand their offer of access to information, and so the value they provide to users.
They have brought new audiences to our institutions and allowed for the development of new services and types of support, building on the existing expertise and values of library and information workers.
Nonetheless, limitations on resources, pressures from community members, laws, and the attitudes of library and information workers themselves may affect how much of this potential can be realised.
Drawing on extensive research, as well as views from across IFLA sections and around the world, the new Guidelines offer a practical checklist of issues, as well as principles and examples which can serve as a reference to library managers and others looking to let users get online.
The Guidelines were prepared by the IFLA Advisory Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) under the leadership of Professor Louise Cooke.