Date Approved

5-3-1999

Embargo Period

8-8-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship

Department

Special Educational Services/Instruction

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Willett, Holly G.

Subject(s)

Censorship; Internet; Public libraries

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

Where do we stand as educators on the debate involving Internet filtering vs. unrestricted access? The focus of this study was to examine Internet access privileges in local public libraries and kindergarten through twelfth grade school media centers. Data was collected using a survey questionnaire sent to 100 randomly selected public library directors and school media center specialists throughout the eight counties in southern New Jersey. They were asked if their libraries offered Internet access and if filtering software had been installed on their Internet terminals. Other questions involved the successes and/or failures of implementing (or in not implementing) filters, requiring Acceptable Use Policies, and providing Internet training for both staff and patrons. It is impossible to control the content on the Internet but not impossible to assist in developing informed users to use good judgment and become self-regulated when using the Internet. This study showed that librarians in all types of libraries have an ongoing mission to train their users to learn to find and assess reliable online information.

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