QUESTION: Wikileaks

question / pregunta: 

Are Wikileaks sites (main, mirrors) being censored by government filters in US public libraries?


The short answer, to my knowledge, would be no. From the public library in which I work, I had no trouble accessing the wikileaks homepage or the documents therein on Saturday, Sept. 29 2012.

The Library of Congress has blocked access to Wikileaks, because as a Federal agency they feel bound to comply with the classification of documents, even if they have been (illegally) made public. As far as I know, no public libraries have followed suit.

You can find more information on libraries and Wikileaks on the ALA website in the emerging issues section. It is worth noting that a documentary on Wikileaks was featured at this year's ALA convention.

I look forward to being corrected by my more aware colleagues.

Answer posted by:
jim miller gets 7 hits for: wikileaks "public libraries" , 39 for: wikileaks "public library" , 16 for wikileaks libraries filters , and 12 for wikileaks libraries filter. does include many STATE as well as federal sites and documents, but it still pays to try individual states. gets only 3 hits for the search : wikileaks, that barely mention it, but gets about 8 results, and gets 10.

In addition to these "official" sites, it's well worth trying Google searches limiting to edu sites; or even adding the phrase "k 12" to get public school sites. The search: wikileaks "public library" filters site:edu gets 105 actual hits (of "about 9890" ); wikileaks policy "public library" site:us displays 177 (of "about 130,000) ; wikileaks "school library" "library policies" "k 12" gets 10.

There has been too little time for many journal articles to get published on this topic. Newspaper articles may help, of course. LexisNexis Academic (available at most large academic libraries) gets 237 articles for wikileaks and libraries, when you click "NEWS", then "US Newspapers and wires". This big list is manageable if you change the title list to "Expanded List" -- to see the search words in context and hot-linked. Factiva, known as a business database, is also very good for general news. It gets 58 hits for wikileaks and libraries, limiting to "past year". It automatically gives search words in context - but not hot linked. But LexisNexis "US Legal"/"Law Reviews" is far less promising. The search: wikileaks w/40 libraries (to get the words within 40 words of each other in those LONG articles) gets only 7 hits, and most seem to be about Library of Congress.

Ebsco databases (available at almost all academic, and many public libraries) have a bit more on Wikileaks. Library and Information Technology Abstracts gets 59 hits (18 of them scholarly) for: wikileaks (no need to add the word "library" in a library science database!); and Library Literature & Information Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson) gets 18 (8 scholarly). If you "Select a field" TX-All Text, Wikileaks gets 100 (15 scholarly) in Library Literature…Full Text. Compare Academic Search Premier (very big database of ALL subjects): 12 results (2 scholarly) for wikileaks AND librar*; or try proximity search in TX All text: 39 (4 scholarly) results for: wikileaks n50 librar*. Note different proximity - n50 instead of w/50.

JSTOR, a highly respected full text scholarly journal database, gets zero hits for its comparable proximity search: "wikileaks librar*"~50, but it's worth skimming through the 51 hits for: wikileaks. NOTE: JSTOR comes in many different "packages" - results may well be less at some libraries, though very many academic libraries get at least SOME of JSTOR.