Communicating patron rights and responsibilities transparently: creating a model internet acceptable use policy for UK public libraries

Robinson, E. and McMenemy, D. (2022) Communicating patron rights and responsibilities transparently: creating a model internet acceptable use policy for UK public libraries. Public Library Quarterly, 41(4), pp. 381-405. (doi: 10.1080/01616846.2021.1936883)

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Abstract

Facilitating access to the Internet is an important part of the public library mission, and is crucial in ensuring that all citizens have the possibility of access to contemporary digital information and public services. Part of managing this access relies on the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), an agreement between the library and the user regarding the conditions of access. This article reports on a national UK study of public library AUPs and the development of a new national model policy for public libraries, and which can be considered as ‘best practice’. The article reports analysis of AUPs across the UK, with specific focus on how they communicate the use of filtering, and surveillance. This research adds new insight by studying the content of AUPs and contributes to the limited research that exists on public library AUPs in the UK. The research analyzed AUPs from 205 authorities in the UK, a return rate of 99.5%. The resulting conclusions and synthesis of relevant guidance on AUPs led to the formation of the model policy presented in this article.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [ES/J500136/1].
Keywords:Public libraries, acceptable use policy (AUP), qualitative content analysis, filtering, surveillance.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McMenemy, Dr David
Authors: Robinson, E., and McMenemy, D.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies
Journal Name:Public Library Quarterly
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0161-6846
ISSN (Online):1541-1540
Published Online:07 July 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in Public Library Quarterly 41(4): 381-405
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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