Workshop: Evidence-based policy making regarding internet access in public libraries

There are currently no formal UK wide guidelines for the provision of public internet and wifi access in terms of issues such as managing acceptable use, content filtering and blocking, and monitoring technologies. Research by Dr Louise Cooke from the School of Business and Economics and her team has shown that this has caused issues for librarians, other information professionals and technical personnel and ultimately creates barriers to the equality of access to information and engagement with e government for UK citizens.

On 27th April 2017 Dr Louise Cooke hosted a one day networking and public engagement event that brought together stakeholders from a range of domains including government policy makers, practitioners, NGOs, Internet Service Provider representatives and activist organisations. The event facilitated the co-production of a set of practical and evidence-based guidelines to assist personnel in public libraries and their parent bodies in their decision-making in the provision of public internet and wifi access and informed the content of a White Paper aimed for relevant policy making bodies.

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