Part of the Problem: American Library Association

Please see our webpage about the ALA and their opposition to safety measures at libraries.


Below are quotes from leaders of the American Library Association regarding filters and child safety at public libraries:

Comments made by Judith Krug, former President, American Library Association:

“You should have access to ideas and information regardless of your age,” Krug said. “If anyone is going to limit or guide a young person, it should be the parent or guardian—and only the parent or guardian.” New York Times quoting Judith Krug (accessed 2/9/12)

“Parents who would tell their children not to read Playboy ‘don’t really care about their kids growing up and learning to think and explore.’” 9/18/95 Citizen, quoting Judith Krug. (accessed 2/9/12)

“A librarian is not a legal process. There is not a librarian in the country—unless she or he is a lawyer—who is in the position to determine what he or she is looking at is indeed child pornography.”- Quoting Judith Krug  (Accessed 2/9/12)

“I get very concerned when we start hearing people who want to convert this country into a safe place for children…” quoting Judith Krug (Accessed 2/9/12)

“Blocking material leads to censorship. That goes for pornography and bestiality, too. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it … Every time I hear someone say, I want to protect the children, I want to pull my hair out.” Quoting Judith Krug,5771053 (Accessed 2/9/12)

Comments by Ann Symons, former American Library Association president, 1997:

“If the library didn’t own [pornographic] material and you as a 13-year-old asked for an inter-library loan, that should be granted to you ….” (Accessed 2/9/12)

Quotes from American Library Association’s Website

“The Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights entitled Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks calls for free and unfettered access to the Internet for any library user, regardless of age…The Resolution and Statement condemn as a violation of the Library Bill of Rights any use of filtering software by libraries that blocks access to constitutionally protected speech.” (Accessed 2/23/16)

“Knowing what materials are actually obscenity or child pornography is difficult, as is knowing, when minors are involved, and what materials are actually “harmful to minors.” The applicable statutes and laws, together with the written decisions of courts that have applied them in actual cases, are the only official guides. Libraries and librarians are not in a position to make those decisions for library users or for citizens generally.” (Accessed 2/23/16)

“As for obscenity and child pornography, prosecutors and police have adequate tools to enforce criminal laws. Libraries are not a component of law enforcement efforts naturally directed toward the source, i.e., the publishers, of such material.”

American Library Association, “Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policy,” (accessed 2/23/16)

“Moreover, libraries should be aware that the legal framework and context of regulation is rapidly changing; federal, state, and local governments have begun to legislate specifically in the area of library Internet use. Libraries should actively oppose proposed legislation that exposes them to new liabilities and negatively impacts intellectual freedom…” (Accessed 2/23/16)

“By embracing values over filters, we are expressing trust in our children, that they will decide wisely when the opportunity for misjudgement presents itself. By stressing values over filters, we send the clearest message to our children: As is true of the real world, you can go anywhere you wish, and it is ultimately up to you to decide what is right and wrong and face the consequences of your judgement. This, over time, would help enforce personal accountability and a permanent sense of responsibility and self-respect. Nowhere in this process can we turn to cold, impersonal, valueless technology and expect that to help define the moral element of our global civilization.”

Robert J. Tiess, “Encouraging Values Over Filters,” quoted at (Accessed 2/23/16)


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