Rochester Board President Defends Internet Policy

Anonymous Patron writes “The president of the Rochester Public Library Board of Trustees, John Lovenheim, has published his response to the critics calling for a stringent Internet filtering policy in the local newspaper:

“Some have argued that pornography on the Internet is a collection issue. They say we censor books every day by not including them in our collection. They are wrong. The RPL acquisition policy has no references to the type of material that will be excluded, only what standards will be used to choose material given limited resources and limited space. The library never has and never will exclude a piece because it may be offensive to some.

There is a body of law that has developed that likens the Internet to an encyclopedia. Like an encyclopedia, the library may include it or exclude it, but it may not remove portions of that encyclopedia that it does not like based on content.

Others have argued that even though pornography is legally protected speech, the library is not bound to supply it. We do not supply pornography to our patrons, we supply Internet access. There is a big difference.”

The full article can be accessed here on the Democrat and Chronicle web site.