echoes sentinel

long hill library officials should focus on installing computer filters

29 january 2004

by jean middleton - © recorder newspapers 2004

editor:

i would like to thank the library board for their hard work on behalf of long hill township.  it is truly appreciated.

with the upcoming move to a new, larger facility, it is time to discuss the need for computer filters.

the children internet protection act (cipa) requires libraries receiving federal funds to install filters on their computers.  however, just because we do not receive such funds does not mean we are apathetic or don't care about our children.

i attended a meeting in december in order to gain insight into the board's viewpoint.  many of the arguments against filters have already been discussed in previous letters, so i won't repeat them.  i would like to mention an additional concern that was highlighted at the meeting.

the board suggested that having filters on the computers would invite lawsuits from the people of long hill who would be expecting perfection in filter technology, a disclaimer could be easily posted.

in fact, in order to protect themselves from lawsuits, many businesses install filters since employees may sue for sexual harassment, even if they are unaware of the incidents.

a reasonable attempt should be made to protect library patrons from visual harassment.  because filters have improved greatly, are modifiable and removable, simply by adult request, no questions asked, the question becomes, "do the majority of long hill residents wish to see pornography while at the library or run into people who do"?

i thank the board for taking the initiative and seriously considering this matter.

(editors note:  several township residents told the library board of trustees they would like to see filters installed on library computers.  please see related article elsewhere.)

reader comments:

with the majority of people in this township already having their own internet access, any argument not to filter does not hold water.  most parents don't want their kids to knowingly or unknowingly run into the perverts that are out there or their pervsions.  being the ala is moaning and groaning about cooperating with the us government on national security issues, i truly don't give a darn about what they have to say, as it is the people of this community who pay the bills.  i love libraries.  i love our library.  society is going down the tubes faster than most of us might think.  i don't want to knowingly contribute to that trend.  filter.

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