Drawing on and expanding previous graduate course research, this paper investigated and analyzed public libraries’ policies regarding patron use of legal, visual Internet pornography on public computers. Pornographic imagery that falls within legal boundaries is protected by the First Amendment. Incidents of, and library responses to, pornography viewing are not a new issue and have caused turmoil across the field of library and information science. In an attempt to understand the problem, the research question asks: how do public libraries respond to patrons viewing legal Internet pornography, while upholding First Amendment rights as well as the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and other legal requirements? Libraries tread a fine line to protect First Amendment rights, respect community laws, and uphold CIPA. Research indicated that responding to Internet pornography use in public libraries is heavily dependent on individual, community and library values. Policies are more likely to prohibit patrons from accessing Internet pornography, and most libraries have at least some Internet filtering software restricting what content may be accessed on public use computers. However, evidence also suggests that regardless of policy or filters, library staff will at some point encounter a patron accessing Internet pornography.
The purpose of this study is to probe biased library and information science (LIS) presumptions of digital divides among U.S. immigrants. The stance of the foreign-born as “digital immigrants” departs from migration and population research which hold that gaps in immigrant Internet and technology access are rapidly closing, even when accounting for immigrant type. The research is based on analysis of the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data. Black immigrant households’ ICT device and Internet access were determined and then compared to those of the general population. Findings suggest that Black immigrant households primarily access the Internet through smartphone and laptop devices along with mobile and at-home hi-speed Internet plans. When compared to the general population, Black immigrant households demonstrate significantly greater smartphone access, and they maintain comparable levels of hi-speed Internet and computer/laptop device access. This study adds to a growing body of research on the narrowing digital divide gap among U.S. immigrants. Immigrants rely on the Internet to transition and integrate into U.S. society.
African American women are 39-44% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. This stable racial disparity in mortality rates has persisted since the 1980s and is unlikely to improve unless specific factors leading to disparities are discovered. Racial health disparities should be understood in the context of stable racialized social structures that determine differential access to information. The purpose of this study is to consider how recent quantitative studies using HINTS data might benefit from a critical race agenda to capture the nuances of African American women’s information behaviors, genetic testing awareness, and testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.
Over the past few years, tensions between two core values in U.S. librarianship, intellectual freedom and social justice, have roiled the profession. This conflict was most recently seen in the insertion and subsequent removal of “hate groups” to the list of entities that cannot be denied access to library meeting rooms in the American Library Association’s Meeting Rooms Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. This paper is intended to provide context for this conflict. It begins by situating its arguments within ethical philosophy, specifically the study of values or axiology. It then provides an overview of the theoretical foundations of the values of liberalism. Next, the paper discusses the values of truth and freedom from harm in librarianship. Finally, it suggests that a fuller understanding of the library’s place within the public sphere is a possible model for mitigating the tensions currently found in American librarianship. The paper is intended to provide a theoretical foundation for further research.
Intellectual freedom is a cornerstone value of library and information studies (LIS) in the twenty-first century. However, LIS institutions have not always held intellectual freedom with the significance it has today. Historic analysis situates the development of intellectual freedom in the context of the European Enlightenment. This systematized review analyzes the use of the phrase “intellectual freedom” in primary sources from the mid-eighteenth century until the American Library Association (ALA) published the Library’s Bill of Rights in 1939 in order to examine the historic origins and development of intellectual freedom as a shared cultural value prior to 1939. I consider the development of intellectual freedom from two perspectives: as a shared value that developed in Britain and the United States during the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries and as a meaningful phrase found in primary sources regarding religion, politics, and education. By contextualizing the origins of intellectual freedom with Enlightenment values and discourse, it is hoped this study will illustrate the fundamental nature of intellectual freedom as a value within LIS philosophy and contribute to the conversation about intellectual freedom as a continually negotiated concept that must be held in balance with social responsibility.