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Anonymous Patron writes "Here's a letter to the editor from a local citizen assailing the proposed Illinois mandatory filtering bill:
"If Joyce or Smith [the sponsor and a promoter of the filtering bill] wishes to censor things coming into his own home, that is their right. I respect that. But neither man was appointed or elected to be the official censor for this area.
The library is not your home. It is a public forum. The library exists as a repository for information in many forms and media. It is a public resource and is open to all. Censorship is antithetical to the basic function and purpose of a library.
I also wish that any would-be censor would have the courage to simply state that he or she does not believe in freedom of speech.
Just say that you do not trust your fellow citizens to decide for themselves what they can safely read, or see or hear. Just tell us that you have appointed yourself to be the official judge of what free Americans can do."
Interesting commentary, given all the talk by some lisnews.org commenters that "the people" want filtering in the library."
A task force will recommend that the Central Library of Rochester (NY) block patrons from viewing "pornographic and explicit" websites unless prior authorization is given by library administrators. The recommendation is offered in an attempt to keep County Executive Maggie Brooks from pulling $6.6 million in funding.
If she cut the library's money, it would essentially have to close. As a result, the library's board in February put a moratorium on unblocking Web sites picked up by the library's filtering system, and a task force was established to decide what to do.
More from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
Seth Finkelstein writes "For mainstream coverage of the Illinois Librarian Protest, see
Library group looks to pull plug on Internet for a day
Demonstration to cut Danville library's Internet service.
Illinois Library Association executive director, Robert P. Doyle,
"said the filters provide a false sense of security and block important information"."
The Battle Continues in Rochester NY. The Central Library of Rochester today is expected to extend a ban on viewing explicit Web sites there as it grapples with establishing an Internet policy that appeases Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and saves millions in county aid from the chopping block.
The library has been under fire from Brooks over a longstanding policy that let patrons, upon request, unblock potentially inappropriate or pornographic Web sites. The library says the policy complies with federal law and free speech.
Yet Brooks counters that the library isn't required by federal law to unblock Web sites deemed inappropriate. She is threatening to strip $6.6 million in county aid to the Central Library, a cut that would likely force it to close. Brooks' response was spurred by a television report that showed people viewing pornography on the library's computers.
An Anonymous Patron writes "An intrepid citizen has posted a video to YouTube that catches Sacramento City Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell saying "screw constitutional rights" and then voting to do just that by imposing an unconstitutional filtering policy in the Sacramento Public Library.
One From Rochester, NY where The debate involves Internet access at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County specifically, County Executive Maggie Brooks' threat to pull funding unless the library stops allowing adult patrons to view pornographic and other sites blocked by its filtering system.
More than 100 people turned out Thursday at the downtown library for the first of three public forums organized by city-county task force addressing the issue.
Roughly one-third of the audience spoke, with comments running 2-to-1 in favor of allowing adults to request such access.
Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine (D) just signed into law a bill that requires all public libraries in the state to install Internet filters to block pornography and "obscene" materials that may be harmful to minors. Those choosing not to do so will forfeit all state funding. The new law will take effect on July 1st.
More on the story here.
"If a control system works for parents using it for what teenagers can
see, it will work for governments using it for what citizens can
see. Likewise, if citizens can escape government control of what they
can read, teenagers will be able to escape parental control of what
they can read. Now, pick one.""
News From Baruch CUNY: For three years several departments in the Weissman School of Liberal Arts have twisted the nipples of the Newman Library for the instillation of an erotic literature and film section. Once a department from the Zicklin School of Business joined the fight, the Newman Library could no longer disregard the need for a sexually explicit media section.
The section will open on the south-west quadrant of the fourth floor, converting a large study room into a secluded, dimly lit filth-pot. Since some freshmen below the age of 18 enter the college, a second form of identification will be checked near the beaded entrance by a bulky bald man named Ivan.
Libraries around the country are struggling with whether the need to protect children and other patrons outweighs the rights of visitors to view legally protected pornographic images on library computers.
That debate simmered Thursday in Sacramento, with the board governing the Sacramento Public Library ultimately adopting an Internet-use policy aimed at maintaining a "safe, welcoming and comfortable environment."