Rochester Library to extend Web ban as it writes policy

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.