February 17, 2018

CIPA Update, Part III: Technical Questions, Help From Some States

By LJ Staff

Though the Supreme Court’s decision in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) case, gave no instructions on unblocking, many libraries plan to let adults choose unfiltered access without asking for help. According to guidance on ALA’s CIPA web page, a commonsense argument would support the policy, as long as the library has adopted reasonable procedures to ensure that only an adult can use the filter-disabled computer.

Many libraries are testing filters. SOLINET trainer Max Anderson said he recommends certain products for libraries of different sizes, based on how easy it is to disable the filter and customize the block page (to say Ask a Librarian rather than the filter name), among other issues. Libraries should then test blocking performance. He also suggests that libraries try to prepare for July 1; one library places handouts at the circulation desk explaining what will happen and why.

Some state libraries have gotten involved. Notably, the Kansas State Library offers Kanguard, a free filter for its public libraries. Kanguard began as a service of the Northeast Kansas Library System, using the open source Squid and squidGuard systems. Some 60 out of 330 libraries were using it by February. The block list, which is updated weekly, is likely smaller than commercial versions, but the state library’s Jeff Hixon said there’s been only one request–to unblock a site–over two months. The Washington State Library is also working on a centralized filtering solution to help small libraries.

This is the third of a five-part daily series this week. See also:

Deadline Approaches, Large PLs in Poorer Areas Squeezed
Tactics Vary, No Statistics Yet
Technical Questions, Help From Some States
Can Implementation Be Challenged?
CIPA Update, Part V: “Son of CIPA Bills” Proposed