Nearly $250,000 pledged by PLA, ALA divisions; FTRF to contribute to next phase in CIPA litigation

Contact: Larra Clark


For Immediate Release

November 21, 2002

Nearly $250,000 pledged by PLA, ALA divisions; FTRF to contribute to next phase in CIPA litigation

In anticipation of the Supreme Court hearing American Library Association (ALA) arguments against the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), ALA divisions, the Freedom to Read Foundation, and member leaders have pledged their financial support to the legal defense fund in the amount of nearly $250,000.

"With legal fees expected to top $1.7 million, the sustained commitment of librarians from across the profession is vital to our success," said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. "I appreciate the generosity and leadership provided by ALA divisions and affiliated organizations. We can’t win without you."

On May 31, 2002, a three-judge panel in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled unanimously that CIPA is unconstitutional. As a result of the court’s decision, public libraries are not required to install filters on their computers in order to receive federal funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which respectively oversee e-rate and Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) funds.

The U.S. Department of Justice formally notified the Supreme Court on June 20 that it would appeal the lower court decision. Arguments are expected to be heard in late winter or early spring 2003.

The following divisions and affiliated organizations have dedicated funds to the national effort:

  • Association of Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA)
  • American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
  • Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
  • Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), $25,000
  • Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), $100,000
  • Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)
  • Public Library Association (PLA), $100,000
  • Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
  • Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

"This is a fight that strikes at the heart of librarians’ commitment to intellectual freedom and access to information," Fiels added. "Everyone has a stake in this effort. If you haven’t contributed yet, please do. If you have contributed – thank you and thank you again."

ALA members and supporters can contribute to the CIPA legal defense fund by mailing checks, payable to the American Library Association, to ALA Development Office, 50 East Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, and earmark your important contribution for the "CIPA Legal Fund," or make a secure credit card donation online at