The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act (NCIPA) are two laws aimed at creating Internet safety policies to protect minors from viewing questionable online content in libraries. Specifically, the laws require libraries receiving E-rate funding to have documented Internet safety policies.
Your library is required to have these types of policies in place if you receive E-rate funding for any of the following services:
- Internet Access
- Internal Connections
- Managed Internet or Broadband Services
You do not need Internet safety policies if your library is only receiving E-rate funding for telecommunications service. If you would like assistance with your policies or have questions on how the law applies to your library contact the Vermont Department of Libraries or your local regional librarian consultant.
Basics of CIPA and NCIPA
- Official CIPA Law
- Official NCIPA Law
- American Library Association (ALA) CIPA Information
- E-rate funding and compliance with CIPA
There are three requirements for libraries receiving E-rate funding.
Internet Safety Policy
- Libraries are required to adopt and enforce an Internet safety policy that includes a technology protection measure which prevents access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.
Technology Protection Measure
- A technology protection measure is a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access. The school or library must enforce the operation of the technology protection measure during the use of its computers with Internet access.
Public Notice and Hearing or Meeting
- The authority with responsibility for administration of the school or library must provide reasonable public notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address a proposed technology protection measure and Internet safety policy.
The Vermont Department of Libraries has created detailed information on CIPA requirements for those who need it.
Certification for Undertaking Action
Libraries receiving E-rate funds, but who have not yet complied with all CIPA rules, must certifiy they are working towards compliance. Details for how to do so can be found in the Undertaking Action document provided by the Department of Libraries.