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LSTA Grants


What is CIPA, and how does it relate to LSTA grants?

CIPA is the Children's Internet Protection Act, which was enacted by Congress in 2000. Basically, it requires public libraries and K-12 school libraries to install Internet filtering software on all of its computers (public access and staff) if the library uses federal money to purchase computers that will access the Internet or to purchase Internet access. In addition, libraries that receive an E-Rate discount for internal connections or Internet access must comply with CIPA. More information on CIPA can be found on the ALA and FCC websites.

Under 20 U.S.C. Section 9134(f), the State Library of Oregon must assure the Institute of Museum and Library Services that public libraries and K-12 school libraries are CIPA compliant if they use LSTA funds to purchase devices to access the Internet or pay for the direct costs of accessing the Internet.

A note on hotspots: Review this document from ALA regarding hotspot filtering.

How do I become CIPA compliant?

1. Filtering

You must have a technology protection measure (i.e. filter) on every computer/device in the library with Internet access (public & staff). CIPA does NOT apply to patron-owned computers and devices.

The filter must “protect” users from "visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors" [20 U.S.C. Section 9134(b)(7)]. There are several types of filters:

  • Client-Side Filters (installed as software directly on devices)
  • Content Limited ISPs (controlled by the Internet Service Provider)
  • Network-Based Filters (affects each and every user in the network)
  • DNS-Based Filters (attempts to prevent lookups for domains that do not fit within a set of policies)

The choice of which filter to implement is a local decision. Here are a couple of guides which offer more specifics on filtering options:

The library should have a procedure in place for authorized individuals to disable the filter upon request by an adult (patron or staff), without significant delay.

2. Internet Safety Policy

You must adopt and enforce an internet safety policy that includes the use of your filtering solution. The policy must be adopted at a public meeting with reasonable prior notice.

Here are some good examples from Oregon libraries:

How do I let the State Library know I am CIPA compliant?

When applying an LSTA grant, you will be asked to verify one of the following:

  • CIPA compliant. Your entity is a public library, an elementary school library, or a secondary school library and has an Internet safety policy and technology protection measure in place. (For schools, the policy may be school- or district-wide).
  • Not subject to CIPA requirements.The CIPA requirements do not apply because: a) you will not be using LSTA grant funds to purchase devices used to access the Internet or to pay for direct costs associated with accessing the Internet; or b) your entity is not a public library, a elementary school library, or a secondary school library.