Internet Access Toolkit

"Taking into account both the draft amendents to the OLA statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual [approved at the 1998 Annual General 
Meeting] and the legal opinion, the practical implication for libraries supporting the OLA's draft statement would be that offering only filtered 
Internet workstations to the public would not meet the spirit of the OLA Statement on the Rights of the Individual or the Charter of Rights and 
Freedoms." 
- OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee's Report on Internet Access


The Internet Access Toolkit is a service of OLITA for the library community in Ontario and elsewhere to provide resources for offering Internet access on public stations. At the 1998 Annual General meeting in November, a resolution was passed that the Ontario Library Association  develop a position statement on internet access and filtering in libraries. OLITA has been charged with helping develop this position.  Following the OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee's report, the OLITA guidelines for internet access stations are as follows:

  1. Libraries offering filtered workstations for certain age groups and individual patron preferences, should also make a "preponderance" of unfiltered workstations available in a large branch, and an equal number of unfiltered workstations available in a smaller branch.
  2. Libraries should develop and publicize Acceptable Use Policies (AUP), and make acceptance of these policies a crucial step in obtaining internet access.
  3. Stations limited to a targeted group of Internet resources, such as a specific database made available on the web, should not be considered "filtered" if the library is utilizing the web strictly as an access and interface tool rather than offering any kind of browsing environment.
  4. Certain kinds of activities, such as games, e-mail, and chat rooms, could be blocked or overall time limits can be established if based on "function" rather than "content", that is, if the intent is to maximize limited computing resources for the greatest number of patrons.

The following resources may be useful in following these guidelines.

Acceptable Use Policies - Examples and Documentation

Web Resources