Cover image for Neal-Schuman Internet policy handbook for libraries
Neal-Schuman Internet policy handbook for libraries
Smith, Mark, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Neal-Schuman, [1999]

Physical Description:
vii, 219 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z692.C65 S66 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The introduction of public Internet access has raised a host of policy questions for librarians, such as: where should terminals be located?; how can users be trained?; and how can copyright violations, sexual harassment and other inappropriate uses be prevented? Beginning with an overview of the policy development and implementation process, this handbook identifies policy options - and the pros and cons of each option - for a wide range of issues. Individual sections then deal with physical considerations, access issues, acceptable use policies, filters and training. Additional material on measuring use, handling challenges to library policies and procedures, and a compendium of representative library policies should make this book a useful reference for any library offering Internet access.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Open access to the Internet has made libraries vulnerable to a new round of public challenges, raising censorship and filtering concerns. The first reaction to a crisis is to write a policy. Smith, director of communications for the Texas Library Association, saves library administrators valuable time and frustration by providing the essential questions and answers on Internet policy development. Within each chapter he illustrates critical issues with representative selections and URLs for actual library policies. Extensive appendixes contain library association policies, a policy development checklist, and a landmark court opinion. Smith offers pros and cons with an easy-to-follow Q&A format and provides references for further research. The handbook is oriented toward K-12 and public libraries but is useful for academics as well. Highly recommended.ÄLaverna Saunders, Salem State Coll., MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. v
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 The Policy Development Processp. 1
When Should Policies Be Written and Adopted?p. 1
What Should Policies Cover?p. 2
Who Should Develop and Write Policies?p. 4
What's the Difference between Policy and Procedure?p. 5
How Should the Public Be Made Aware of Internet Policies?p. 6
2 Linking the Internet to the Library's Missionp. 9
How Can a Library's Internet Policy Reflect Its Mission?p. 10
What Values Should the Policy Articulate?p. 12
3 Physical Location and Access Considerationsp. 19
How Can Logistical Arrangements Help Implement Policy?p. 19
Who Can Use the Internet?p. 24
How Do Libraries Implement Scheduled Use Policies?p. 27
What Special Access Considerations Affect Academic Libraries?p. 29
What about Children and Young Adults?p. 31
Are Acknowledgment Forms Helpful?p. 35
4 Defining Acceptable Usep. 39
What Is Acceptable Use?p. 39
Can Libraries Restrict Access to Internet Content?p. 41
Are Interactive Internet Services Acceptable Uses?p. 42
Should Libraries Provide E-mail Services?p. 44
Is Telnet an Acceptable Use?p. 45
Can the Library's Internet Connection Be Used to Conduct Commercial Business?p. 46
What about File, Disk, and Directory Access?p. 47
How Have Libraries Written Acceptable-Use Policies?p. 50
5 Prohibited Uses and Their Consequencesp. 59
What Uses Have Libraries Prohibited?p. 60
Should Patrons Have to Sign an Acceptable-Use Statement?p. 66
What Are the Consequences of Unacceptable Use?p. 66
How Have Libraries Incorporated Unacceptable Uses into Their Policy Statements?p. 67
6 Filtering Considerationsp. 75
What Considerations Should Inform the Filtering Decision?p. 76
What's the Difference between Filtering and Materials Selection?p. 79
What Are the Choices?p. 80
How Does Filtering Software Work?p. 82
What Alternatives to Filtering Do Libraries Use?p. 86
How Can Policy Statements Reflect Filtering Choices?p. 94
How Does Filtering Policy Work in the Real World?p. 96
7 Guided Use and Library Policyp. 101
Should Policy Impact Guided Use?p. 102
What Kinds of Guidance Do Libraries Offer?p. 104
8 Web Publishing Policiesp. 115
What Should a Web Publishing Policy Include?p. 116
9 Next Steps: After the Policy Is Writtenp. 131
A Sample Internet Policiesp. 133
Public Library Policiesp. 133
Academic Library Policiesp. 144
School Library Policiesp. 159
B National and State Library Association Policiesp. 167
American Library Association Policiesp. 168
State Library Association Policiesp. 185
C Internet Policy Checklistp. 193
D Loudoun County Court Case Memorandum Opinionp. 197
Indexp. 217