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Abstract

In upholding the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the U.S. Supreme Court has forced public libraries to face difficult issues about filtering Internet content. The implementation of filters creates a range of practical issues for libraries and also raises myriad research issues related to the effects of CIPA on public library services and on access to Internet-based information in public libraries. Using a multimethod, iterative research strategy, this article explores selected areas related to filtering that may affect the provision of Internet content and services in public libraries. This study presents preliminary data about the impact of CIPA on public libraries and offers a perspective of what research is necessary to provide a better understanding of the impacts of CIPA and to determine what research would need to be conducted for potential future legal challenges to the application of CIPA in public libraries.