contact: mark gould
pio director

for immediate release
july 25, 2003

cipa decision response: a statement from ala president carla d. hayden and the ala executive board

july 25, 2003

the american library association (ala) has a long-standing commitment to ensuring access to information for all. it advocates for a free and open information society and for equitable access to knowledge and information resources in all formats for all people. 

in december 2000, congress passed an appropriations bill that included a requirement that any library receiving federal e-rate or library services and technology act (lsta) funds would be required to filter all of its internet terminals. because filtering blocks access to constitutionally protected speech, the children�s internet protection act (cipa) provisions were challenged by ala, and in may 2002, a district court in philadelphia unanimously ruled that the requirement violated the first amendment rights of library users. the government appealed this decision, and on june 23, 2003, the u.s. supreme court reversed the lower court decision (united states v. american library ass'n. inc.). the supreme court ruled that the:

while ala did not prevail in having the law declared unconstitutional, the association�s efforts yielded important and tangible benefits to libraries and library users, in that the justices also ruled that:

in the wake of the cipa decision, the priorities of the association are to:

in order to accomplish these goals, a variety of long and short-term efforts will be pursued by ala, its committees, divisions and offices. these activities include:

as the association moves forward with these activities, we will post information on the ala web site:  working with the library community, we will continue to explore ways to minimize the impact of the cipa decision on libraries and to advocate for the public�s right to access constitutionally protected speech.

to begin this process, ala president carla d. hayden is convening a meeting of key member leaders and staff to discuss implementation of the activities outlined above and to develop a more detailed plan for responding to the decision over the coming year.  the meeting will be held on august 23, 2003, in chicago. 


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