Raizel Liebler has a forthcoming law review article on libraries and the Supreme Court titled Institutions of Learning or Havens for Illegal Activities: How the Supreme Court Views Libraries.
During the course of its history, the Supreme Court has had three major cases addressing the appropriate role of libraries and the activities allowed within library premises.
The Supreme Court has attempted to describe the role of libraries as the providers of the best materials available and also as the providers of information sought by patrons. I argue that the Supreme Court's views are limited, unfortunately not understanding that libraries and the services they provide fall within the scope of a public forum. Instead, the Court walks a fine line between viewing libraries as purveyors of high culture and dangerous places. This uncertainty about the role of libraries runs throughout the Supreme Court opinions as well as the opinions that come after these important rulings. This article takes the position that the views of the Supreme Court often conflict with how librarians view themselves. These views of libraries have had a strong effect on patrons by limiting the information options of patrons, such as school library books and public library Internet-access and the library profession, by forcing librarians to act in accordance to the Supreme Court's views of their appropriate role.
She is offering her draft for comment and criticism. You can download it as a doc or you can use QuickTopic a free web-based group commenting tool. You might need to do a 20 second registration .. I used a disposable bloglines email address which worked fine. With QuickTopic, you can click on any paragraph and add your comments - you can also see anyone else's comments for that paragraph. She just posted it - so you may be the first.
I'll probably be away from the blog for a few days - but if you have questions, leave them in comments below this post and Raizel can probably answer them.