Managing access to the internet in public libraries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the management of internet access in the public library. It stresses how important professional access management is, addresses practical and ethical challenges and dilemmas with regard to managing access, highlights management strategies and emphasises the librarian's enduring ethical principles in the “internet age”.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a critical literature review.

Findings – First, there is not necessarily a difference between managing internet access and “traditional” stock selection. Second, managing internet access must not be understood as synonymous with limiting the information that is accessible through it. Third, the librarian must be aware of the risks that filters and other “technological fixes” pose to the library and the librarian's principles. Fourth, a number of strategies exist which protect these principles and allow information literacy and user independence to develop.

Practical implications – The paper highlights practical challenges to a librarian's everyday work and provides a discussion that is relevant to public librarians everywhere. It raises awareness of the potentials and pitfalls of a number of internet access management tools and assures the librarian of their important position as an enabler to information access and its use.

Originality/value – The paper raises awareness of important issues pertaining to internet access and its management in the public library. It asks pertinent and timely questions of relevance to the practical work of the librarian.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-318
Number of pages11
JournalNew Library World
Issue number7/8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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