The Georgia Library Association recognizes concerns regarding access to the Internet. The use of Internet filters to prevent such access has been widely suggested, but poses many problems for libraries. Filters can block valuable information, thus preventing the library from fulfilling one of its prime missions. In addition, filters may prove unconstitutional in public institutions, since some of the information they block is constitutionally protected speech.
Parents need to be informed that blind reliance on blocking programs cannot effectively safeguard children. Alternatives to filters include acceptable use policies, installation of privacy screens, content neutral time limits and library provided links to particular sites that have been recommended for children.
The Georgia Library Association cannot recommend the use of Internet filters in libraries and emphatically opposes attempts by federal and state governments to mandate their use. We believe that decisions regarding the use of Internet filters must remain with local boards.