Sadly, the Providence Library Defense website is no longer going strong. However, there are two new websites that have been launched concerned with the layoffs and branch closings that have been happening in the beleaguered Providence Public Library system. The Library Reform Group and Not About the Buildings [read more here, here and here].
Remember that report the Rhode Island ACLU wrote about how libraries were overfiltering or erratically filtering the Internet access they were providing? The ACLU claimed that the libraries were blocking access to constitutionally protected material. The Rhode Island library consortium Cooperating Libraries Automated Network, which most RI public libraries belong to, has made its filtering policy less restrictive. Public library directors have been emailed instructions on how to turn off the Internet filters. The ACLU said in their press release that they are still monitoring the situation
[T]he ACLU is concerned that some libraries have independently chosen to block categories beyond CLAN’s minimum option. Four libraries reported such additional blocks on the ACLU’s most recent survey, while 18 libraries failed to respond to the survey, leaving the extent of over-blocking unclear. ACLU officials say that libraries that block these additional categories, which range from “gambling” to “illegal,” are creating a serious impediment to free speech.