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IFLA Guidelines on Public Internet Access in Libraries

“These Guidelines are presented by the IFLA Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) Advisory Committee. The overall objective of IFLA FAIFE is “to raise awareness of the essential correlation between the library concept and the values of intellectual freedom” (IFLA FAIFE 2018). As an organisation deeply committed to the values of intellectual freedom, IFLA opposes censorship of any form, including the use of filtering software.


However, it is recognised that librarians and other information professionals need to operate within the limits of local and national legal frameworks, whilst simultaneously taking an informed ethical stance against any constraints on access to information. Librarians and other information professionals are uniquely placed and qualified to advise their host organisations, and to take the lead role in decision-making, concerning any legal requirements for constraints on access and for eliminating any unnecessary constraints on access.


The Guidelines, therefore, are intended to act as a framework of fundamental principles to support all those responsible for decision-making with regard to the provision of public Internet access, and to provide them with a tool for advocacy, such that they are supported in the difficult task of prioritising consideration for intellectual freedom while maintaining appropriate use of their services as required by their core organisation and community norms.”