Social media researcher Danah Boyd has a question for librarians regarding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA): Why are some libraries choosing to restrict children’s access to public information?
We understand that abiding by CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) is required to retain federal funding & discounts, but why COPPA? Boyd says:
I don’t know how popular online library access is with under-13s, but it depresses me to no end that libraries aren’t going out of their way to welcome children to their communities. I think it’s super important that children are free to be accessing library information, with or without their parent’s permission. What they can get through their public library is so much richer, so much better curated, so much better contextualized than generic online information. Why aren’t libraries actively inviting and encouraging children to join them? Why aren’t they targeting young people directly?
Seems like a broad overstatement, but is it true? I’m sure there are librarians out there who have a better grasp on this topic than us, so please go comment on her post. The discussion is lively and librarians need to join in!