ALA releases new internet tools, information for libraries

Contact: Larra Clark

ALA Press Officer


For Immediate Release

November 24, 2003

ALA releases new Internet tools, information for libraries

This week the American Library Association (ALA) has added several new or updated resources online to assist libraries making decisions about Internet filtering in response to requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

Resources now available at include:

  • Sample Request for Information (RFI) questions: ALA's E-rate Task Force has prepared a list of questions that libraries may find useful to include in the Requests for Information they send to vendors of filters or other technology designed to meet CIPA requirements. The ALA will continue to refine this document as we receive feedback from the library community. Comments or feedback can be sent to with the subject field indicating "Draft RFI.

  • Total cost of ownership worksheets: The E-rate Task Force also has prepared several Excel spreadsheets to help library administrators capture, understand and compare the overall costs of filtering. There is a tool to compare the costs of filtering to the benefits of E-rate discounts, a populated sample spreadsheet to serve as an example and a tool to compare costs from different vendors. These documents also may be refined over time based on user feedback. Please send comments or feedback to with the subject field indicating "TOC spreadsheets."

  • An updated fact sheet compiling research and data regarding Internet use in libraries and a cost comparison of filters used in libraries.

  • A timeline of important E-rate dates for funding year 2003.

  • A new CIPA Q&A related to LSTA funding (click Q&A at the top of the CIPA page)

An updated version of the popular "Libraries & the Internet Toolkit" will be available online in mid-December.

"The ALA is committed to providing practical, real-life assistance to our members, as well as developing best practices and ideals for the profession," said ALA President Carla Hayden. "The ALA continues to oppose the use of filters that block access to constitutionally protected speech, but we support librarians' efforts to make informed decisions that minimize restrictions on access to legal and useful information online in light of CIPA."

For the more current information from the ALA regarding Internet use in libraries, please visit