The group Sex Work Awareness is conducting a research study to gain a better picture of what sexuality information is available at public libraries in the United States, and specifically the way internet filters effect the accessibility of information about human sexuality. They write
We are investigating the use of content filters on public library computers with Internet access. The priority research areas are access to information about sexuality and sexual reproductive health. We need help with this work, and request that people all over the United States visit their local public library and do some simple searches using the computers provided by the library. In places with filters, the items that are filtered are not standard across systems. Filtering today cannot be fine-tuned to exclude only pornographic or violent content rather than health information. For example, in a large east coast city, only the word “anal” seemed to be filtered, which prevented people from gaining access to information about anal cancer as well as any potential sexual content.
In order to get as large a number of site visits as possible, they are calling on volunteers to visit their local public libraries and complete a short two page survey. Visit the project’s website at www.infoandthelibrary.org for more information about the study and how to participate.