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Statement on Filtering

Providing filtered Internet access for children using Library computers

The Internet: No other medium has provided us with so much information so easily. The New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) is dedicated to helping people of all ages make the most of the Internet and become information literate. The Library is the number one point of access to the Internet, especially for children and other people without computers at home, work, or school.

Since the NOPL cares deeply about children, the Board of Directors during the December 20, 2000, meeting ratified a proposal to provide filtered Internet access for children using Library computers. The Library defines a child as anyone under the age of 12. Children must provide proof that they are 12 years or older and/or be accompanied by an adult, in order to use a computer without a filter.

The Library’s use of filters is also in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) which was passed by Congress and signed in to law by President Clinton in December 2000. This law requires that schools and libraries applying for e-rate discounts install filtering software that blocks access to visual depictions that are obscene, include child pornography, or include materials harmful to minors.

While filters will help promote a positive online experience for children, the best protection is to teach them to use the Internet properly and to make good choices. Our librarians answer questions and guide children to quality websites the same way they recommend books and other resources.