Cover image for Libraries, the First Amendment, and cyberspace : what you need to know
Libraries, the First Amendment, and cyberspace : what you need to know
Peck, Robert S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : American Library Association, [2000]

Physical Description:
xii, 216 pages ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF4315 .P43 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A text discussing the role, rights and responsibilities of American libraries in relation to Internet access and freedom of speech. Topics covered include children and the First Amendment, the right to offend and pornography and the rights of adults.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Peck takes aim at the "misinformation about free speech [that] is circulated as if it were authoritative." He answers questions about the First Amendment, identifying common misconceptions about free speech in general, obscenity and pornography, the Internet, and those entities' effects on libraries. He discusses the First Amendment, its developing interpretation, and how it relates to state constitutional guarantees; the exceptions to free speech; and the concept of the public forum. Further chapters consider the religious connotations of free speech, free speech in the workplace, whether there is a right to offend, free speech and children, and other topics. Finally, he turns to the First Amendment in cyberspace and on the Internet.

Library Journal Review

Difficult First Amendment issues for libraries are now further complicated by the growth of Internet access. What may be or may not be legal is hard for the librarian, library director, or library board member to learn or understand. Peck (The Bill of Rights and the Politics of Interpretation) gives us a useful guide to these tricky constitutional issues. A good opening chapter presents 49 questions covering background information on the First Amendment. The next eight chapters discuss libraries, sexually oriented materials, materials considered offensive due to their political or moral content, religious issues, library confidentiality issues, workplace issues, children, and cyberspace. Peck presents complex laws and detailed court opinions with great clarity. His lengthy appendix includes the Library Bill of Rights plus model guides for access policies that cover Internet access. This easy-to-read and up-to-date overview on this complicated issue is recommended reading for all librarians and for use as a library school textbook.--Stephen L. Hupp, Swedenborg Memorial Lib., Urbana Univ., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. v
1 Questions and Answers about the First Amendment: Sex, Lies, and Cyberspacep. 1
2 Basic First Amendment Principles and Their Application to Librariesp. 25
3 The Sexual Conundrump. 45
4 The Right to Offendp. 62
5 Religious Motivations and Library Usep. 72
6 Just between You and Your Librarian--Library Confidentiality Lawsp. 84
7 Workplace Issues: Employee Free Speech and Harassmentp. 92
8 Children, Schools, and the First Amendmentp. 105
9 Cyberspace--The Last Frontierp. 125
A The Library Bill of Rights and Its Interpretationsp. 147
B Guidelines for the Development and Implementation of Policies, Regulations and Procedures Affecting Access to Library Materials, Services and Facilitiesp. 176
C Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policyp. 180
D Dealing with Concerns about Library Resourcesp. 188
E Conducting a Challenge Hearingp. 191
F Policy on Confidentiality of Library Recordsp. 196
G Policy concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information about Library Usersp. 198
Glossaryp. 201
Indexp. 203