15 Years Later: Considering the ALA/CIPA Dispute Through Uncertainty Reduction Theory
Keywords:Uncertainty Reduction Theory, Children’s Internet Protection Act, American Library Association
AbstractUncertainty reduction theory describes how individuals and organizations react when faced with a new relationship, including information seeking about the new entity. In 2002, the American Library Association entered into conflict with the new Children’s Internet Protection Act, and this paper will demonstrate how the resulting lawsuit (and defense against the Department of Justice’s appeal) illustrate information seeking behavior on behalf of the American Library Association in order to reduce uncertainty regarding the new Act. This paper offers uncertainty reduction theory as a theoretical framework for conceptualizing this series of events, and will describe the American Library Association’s uncertainty, consider possible factors behind their uncertainty level, and describe the uncertainty-reduction information seeking behavior demonstrated.
Research & Librarianship