Filtering Discussion
In-Class Exercise

You are librarians at the Pobrecitos Public Library. Your library serves a very poor neighborhood.

Library funds are scarce but you are a major resource for the community. Few of your patrons can afford to purchase books for themselves or their children. They rely on the library for their reading needs. Very few of your patrons have computers, let alone Internet connections at home. They rely on the library to help them find information on jobs, public services, and health matters available on the Web.

You have a difficult choice to make. In order to get the e-rate, a discounted rate for Internet connectivity, CIPA mandates that you must purchase and install Internet filtering software on your computers. If you choose not to filter and thus do not qualify for the e-rate, you will need to severely restrict purchases of both print materials and electronic databases in order to afford an Internet connection.

What will you do? What are the issues here? What are the consequences for either choice? Please give your reasoning regarding your choice.