Applied First Amendment Jurisprudence for Public Libraries

29 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2016

See all articles by Marc Lovell

Marc Lovell

University of Illinois; Amer. Assoc. of Law Libraries

Date Written: April 1, 2016


Whether the physical space of a public library is entitled to some degree of special protection under First Amendment jurisprudence is of great import to public library administrators for a variety of reasons that include the development of patron behavior policies, patron interaction and staff training, and reducing the probability of litigation involving the infringement of First Amendment rights of patrons. This paper discusses the legal intersection of First Amendment protections and public library spaces and suggests constructive steps public libraries may take to reduce risks of litigation, legal costs, and exposure to First Amendment hazards with patrons.

Keywords: public libraries, First Amendment, patrons, rights, freedom of speech, library, libraries, patron behavior

Suggested Citation

Lovell, Marc, Applied First Amendment Jurisprudence for Public Libraries (April 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Marc Lovell (Contact Author)

University of Illinois ( email )

Mumford Hall
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-244-0173 (Phone)

Amer. Assoc. of Law Libraries ( email )

53 W. Jackson, Suite 940
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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