Scholarship on rural libraries, including some of the research in this volume, has argued that rural public libraries provide an invaluable service by offering both access to and guidance in using the Internet. While these publications commonly discuss the socioeconomic benefits of providing this access, they often treat the motivation for providing such services as self-evident. This chapter analyzes policies and legal precedents to argue that Internet access for rural residents, through public libraries and other means, is not merely a privilege that will benefit people if funded, but instead a human right that cannot be ignored.
I would like to thank Dr. Paul Jaeger and Fiona Jardine of the University of Maryland’s iSchool for their guidance and feedback in developing this chapter.
Petri, C. (2017), "Rural Libraries and the Human Right to Internet Access", Real, B. (Ed.) Rural and Small Public Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities (Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 43), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 13-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0065-283020170000043002
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