February 06, 2012
What are the boundaries of the free access to information? That’s
currently a hot topic in Washington, with a public outcry over a Seattle public library’s refusal to block
pornographic material from public computers. Meanwhile, Wenatchee area libraries are being sued by the ACLU of WA
over their aggressive obscenity filters on computers.
Last week Seattle PI reports a Seattle woman complained that
she was at the Lake City library with her kids, when she saw a man watching hard-core porn on a computer. She
asked the librarian to move the man to a more discreet location. The librarian refused, saying the library is
not in the business of censorship.
Meanwhile our local libraries take a decidedly different track, employing internet filters that detractors
claim block even legitimate sites on health, guns, music, and other topics. The ACLU is suing, asking the North
Central Regional Library system to allow adults who request it free access to the internet, no questions asked.
The ACLU originally filed their law suit in 2006, and it is ongoing.
Today we will look at this issue from both sides.
Of course the issue of pornography on public library
computers, and the debate over the right to free access to information, is ongoing. We now visit the topic of
filters on our local library computers, from an official with the North Central Regional Library