Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sensible Censorship: Surfing for Porn Shouldn't Be a Public Library Service

Sensible Censorship: Surfing for Porn
Shouldn't Be a Public Library Service

by Elizabeth Hovde, Oregonian columnist
The Oregonian
Saturday, July 11, 2009

Libraries can't and don't house every book ever written or every magazine in circulation. And library employees are continually making decisions about what goes on the shelf and what gets left out of a given collection. Rarely are they criticized for what is left behind, accused of censorship or sued.

But when libraries don't supply unfiltered Internet access to the masses (or even to children), the American Civil Liberties Union and others go after the taxpayer-funded institutions, treating them as if library board members were standing in the parking lot burning every copy of "Pride and Prejudice" and "To Kill a Mockingbird."

The North Central Regional Library District in Washington state is one library district that has decided it isn't a library's job to peddle Net porn and that filtering software for library computers can help create a more family-friendly library experience. For that reasonable stance, the Wenatchee-based district has been sued. Late last month, the case finally made it all the way to the Washington state Supreme Court. And now the court will decide whether public libraries can refuse to disable library Internet filters for adults who want access to blocked content.

The ACLU of Washington is representing three library users and a pro-gun foundation in the case. The organization found the right test cases. The three library patrons the ACLU is representing were trying to access information that would upset no one. The patrons include a woman who was doing research on tobacco use by youth, a photographer who was blocked from using YouTube and a man who was unable to access his blog, as well as information related to gun use by hunters.

It's easier to gather sympathy for ACLU's cause when a library policy hinders the Internet searches of people seeking benign information. It's much harder to do so for middle-aged guys who go to the library to look at pornography in a building frequented by children.

That's what filtering policies are all about, of course. They are an attempt to keep: libraries safe for all patrons and library workers; children away from materials they can't legally buy in a store; and taxpayers from having to finance someone's porn habits.

Instead of imagining the limited Internet searches of students and hunters, picture the 25-year-old man accused of downloading illegal child pornography at the Lake Oswego Public Library last October or the Milwaukie man who was arrested for repeatedly downloading child pornography from a public computer in Milwaukie's Ledding Library last fall.

Like a lot of libraries, the Lake Oswego Public Library offers patrons the option of filtered or unfiltered Net access and doesn't monitor the use of legal materials and information. But child pornography is not legal and violates both libraries' policies.

It should make all of us uncomfortable that pedophiles have access to pornography in public places where children are present. And there are many examples across the nation of library patrons who've left pornographic images where minors or librarians can come across them. When the fight over Internet filtering on library computers was going on in Seattle in the 1990s, the crusade for filtered Net access was led, in part, by a well-spoken librarian who didn't feel comfortable helping men access pornography or being exposed to the peep shows.

Concern for librarians and children led the federal government to tie some federal dollars for library Internet access to a requirement that libraries have the ability to block minors from pornography and other potentially harmful sites. The ACLU opposed even this modest move, calling it a threat to free speech and saying parents, not libraries, should control what kids view.

But some library districts listened to common sense and constituents instead of the ACLU. And like North Central Regional Library District, they chose to filter out smut not only for minors, but for adults, too. Sometimes, an unintended consequence resulted: Other content was blocked along with offensive materials -- leading to the current case before the Washington state Supreme Court.

I hope the library district wins, despite the valid searches for YouTube, gun use and teen smoking habits. Libraries are financed by taxpayers and offer a lot of information to the public. But they don't offer every piece of information available and shouldn't have to.

Limiting what's on the shelves -- or accessible on a public computer -- is not censorship. It's discretion. And pornography and other materials blocked by some filtering programs are still widely available for personal use and purchase elsewhere.

Elizabeth Hovde writes a Sunday column for The Oregonian and also posts during the week on Reach her at

© 2009 Oregon Live LLC. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission of the author.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Proof of ALA Pro-Terrorist Censorship; ALA Challenged to Explain and to Include Censored Speaker Next Time

Here is the smoking gun of the American Library Association's [ALA] hypocritical use of censorship to control what Americans think, in this case about terrorism, thanks to "internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security," Steve Emerson. From "Library Association Buckles Under Pressure by CAIR; Censors Critic of Islamism," by Steve Emerson, Hudson Institute, 23 July 2009, emphasis mine:

CAIR subsequently pressured the other panelists to withdraw, until finally, with Spencer the only remaining participant, the ALA canceled the panel. [Myra] Appel[, chairperson of the ALA's Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable (EMIERT)] told [CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed] Rehab, according to sources close to the situation, that she wanted to disinvite Spencer, but would be accused of censorship if she did so. The indirect method was a face-saving solution. And then, according to CAIR, the ALA agreed to work with CAIR to "schedule a future event on the same topic as the canceled panel discussion."


It is disturbing to see the ALA acquiesce in CAIR's attempt to silence Spencer's perspective, and uncritically accept the organization's defamatory characterization of him as a "bigot" – a term CAIR officials throw at anyone who exposes the nature of their organization and who works to resist the advance in the West of the global jihad in all its forms. Most disturbing of all is the fact Appel and other ALA officials seemed unconcerned about CAIR's ties to Jihadist and Islamist organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. And so they have set yet another precedent in which a group with numerous ties to terrorist and Islamist organizations determines what Americans will learn about Islam, jihad, and the terror threat.

I have written about ALA involvement with terrorism previously:

I did not write about the Robert Spencer snub, until now, because I did not know, until now, that the ALA may have actually committed censorship. As Mr. Emerson points out, this from the group promoting "Banned Books Week," which is used to convince people to voluntarily give up legal means to keep children from sexually inappropriate material in public libraries. See also, "Library Association Abandons Principle, Allows Censorship," by Muslims Against Sharia, Muslims Against Sharia, 22 July 2009 (where I got the photo above). And the ALA is seen as authoritative in local communities on setting local policy for access to inappropriate material by children—basically, anything goes (sample).

However, the Steve Emerson article puts the icing on the cake. Those statements by a renown terrorism expert represent the smoking gun.

It appears the ALA supports terrorism. It appears the ALA practices censorship. It appears the ALA practices censorship in support of terrorism. Inquiring minds want to know more.

I challenge the ALA to provide more information in response to Steve Emerson's report. I challenge the ALA to include Robert Spencer in next year's panel.


Faithful Christian Canadians Not Welcome On Library Boards

"Homosexual Groups Petition Library Board to Refuse Pro-Family Man,"
Alex Bush,,
22 July 2009,
emphasis added.

EGANVILLE, Ontario, July 15, 2009 ( [LSN]) - Ken O'Day, a pro-family advocate who is applying to fill a vacancy on the Bonnechere Union Public Library Board in Eganville, Ontario, is being opposed by homosexualist groups for holding positions that "condemn gay and lesbian people in the area of social acceptance, legal rights, and education." The accusations come from a petition signed by 33 people, including the local provincial NDP candidate, which says that O'Day "has publicly stated that his personal agenda is to condemn members of the gay and lesbian community."

The woman who started the petition, who wishes to remain anonymous, commented to LSN, saying that O'Day's potential admittance to the board caused her to let the township know that "there is gay and lesbian community that would be very concerned."

"The reason they would be concerned is not only because of Mr. O'Day's fundamentalist Christian attitudes but that he has also made it very clear that he condemns the gay and lesbian lifestyle and he is quite aggressive about that viewpoint," she said.

"The board should represent a diversity of philosophies and attitudes," she commented, while admitting that the board generally consists of those who adhere to "inclusive liberal philosophies."

Furthermore, she said that she does not have a problem with expressing one's beliefs on the board as long one doesn't attempt to push an "aggressive agenda."

"It's more his strident aggressive tone than what he believes in," she said.

However, O'Day said that "her fears are based on conjecture."

"What the board is looking for is to have things run the way they have been," he commented, saying that at the meetings he has attended he has seen plenty of aggressive behavior coming from those who support the homosexual lifestyle.

"It's funny that the woman who started the petition accuses me of being aggressive when the present librarian and the chairwoman are very aggressive themselves," O'Day said.

"I think it's pretty standard now right across Canada since same sex 'marriage' was voted that you can bully any Christians, and in my case a Catholic Christian into not applying."

"What they're saying," he said, "is, if you're Catholic then don't apply for the job because you can't be a faithful Catholic and work on the board at the same time."

The petition was signed by the local provincial NDP candidate, Felicite Stairs, and the former federal Liberal Party president of the Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke Riding Association.

O'Day said that he applied for the position because he noticed that the library had added a pornographic movie, causing him to argue with the librarian and eventually being thrown out of her office. He also said that the librarian has filled the library with other feminist literature. He decided to take a stand and apply to fill the spot on the library board, saying that "If nobody is going to take a leadership role, then somebody has to."

The head librarian, Jennifer Coleman, refused to comment on the matter.

O'Day told LSN that four of the six members of the board agreed with what the librarian has done.

He also said that if he is prevented from joining the board because of his beliefs he would be willing to take legal action. "I'm a knowledgeable Christian as well as firm in my beliefs, I'm not going to waiver, I'm not going to give up. I'm going right through to the end on this," he said, "When they make this decision I want them to make a careful decision and weigh everything."

Contact[: ] North Algona/Wilberforce Council[.]

Copyright © Reprinted with permission.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting Away With Murder in Holyoke, MA

Someone in Holyoke, MA, is getting away with murder. Getting away with murder is an idiom for not being punished for what would bring punishment to others. In the Holyoke Public Library, someone is getting away with child pornography, and in my opinion, it is library director Maria Pagan. Might it also be the library board itself for covering up a cover up?

Residents again feel safe to bring their kids to the Maple Street library, but aren't sure the director, the one accused of a cover up, should go unpunished.

"The first thing she should've done is bring it to somebody's attention and that should've been the police," says Brenda Cruz.

However, the library, admits no wrong.

[Source: CBS 3 Springfield, linked below.]

The library admits no wrong. That does not mean someone is not getting away with murder.

Residents think the director should be punished, but the library admits no wrong. Is this scandal spreading to the entire library board for a failure to act in the interests of the community? Is this more evidence of a loss of local library control? Maybe the media should investigate this as well—a library board covering up for a library director who covered up illegal activity that harms children.

But your opinion is more important. See if you agree that Maria Pagan and perhaps the library board itself are getting away with murder. Watch the CBS 3 Springfield (WSHM) video newscast here:

"Holyoke Library Bolsters Security Post Porn Incident,"
Matthew Campbell, CBS 3 Springfield, 21 July 2009.

By the way, Holyoke citizens, congratulations on getting Internet filters. But according to the librarian who outed the library director, the library director claimed opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act as why she failed to act.

Is it Holyoke policy to defy USA law, or is it Pagan's policy? Has that policy been changed or will someone continue to get away with murder? This is one more angle for the media to investigate.

What's your opinion? Please comment below.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Terminal Cancer in the Council Bluffs Public Library

There is terminal cancer in the Council Bluffs Public Library in Council Bluffs, IA, and it is metastasizing. The cancer is nearly unimpeded child pornography viewing, let alone the adult variety.

Local mom Judi Wheeldon, pictured at right, is carefully documenting the spread of the terminal cancer:

I had previously written to the government about this topic generally, but apparently nothing has been done. See "ALA Ruse Keeping Porn Widely Available and Media Inaccuracies Force Council Bluffs, Iowa, Citizens to Endure Public Library Porn," by SafeLibraries, SafeLibraries, 25 August 2008.

See also, "Porn at the Public Library," by Molli Graham, KMTV Action 3 News, August 2008, and "Library Porn Report Inaccurate, Says Attorney," by Jeff Johnson, OneNewsNow, 13 August 2008.

To reward Judi Wheeldon for her persistent, excellent investigative activities, and to encourage others to do the same, SafeLibraries hereby awards her with a delicious cake from another mother working hard to protect her own family, Angela Logan.

The cake is described as "Mortgage Apple Cakes (M.A.Cs), made with loads of fresh Gala and Delicious apples and whole grain flour, covered with buttercream cheese frosting, made with vanilla and organic confection."

Are you drooling yet? Run, don't walk, right now, to Mortgage Apple Cakes and reward your own local library cancer fighter, or anyone else, for that matter.


ALA Change-Agents Seek Local Control of Public Libraries

The American Library Association [ALA] has been directly targeting local communities for so long that it no longer hides its goals: "Members of the American Library Association are change-agents within their communities." This from the ALA's "MemberBlog" mission statement.

Excuse me? ALA members are "change-agents within their communities"? Previously, voting citizens were the "change-agents." No longer, I guess.

"From public to academic to school to research and special libraries, ALA members have an immediate, dynamic impact on the quality of life in a community...."

You can say that again.

Claim ALA rules control local communities,
Refuse to call the police,
Get angry when librarians call the police on porn viewers,
Apply ALA propaganda in local communities,
Claim forgetting reports of child pornography,
Are themselves child molesters,
Mislead the library board,
Are not sure how porn got past the selection process,
Seek to lift R rated movie restrictions.

They are having "an immediate, dynamic impact on the quality of life in a community." But what kind? And these people are supposed to be "change-agents within their communities"?

Quick poll. Is this what you want for your community?


Friday, July 17, 2009

The American Library Association is Dying

The American Library Association [ALA] is dying. That's the picture I get from reading the Annoyed Librarian's latest blog post at the Library Journal.

"It seems to me that the ALA is declining as a professional organization. .... I've been trying to list some benefits, but the list is pretty short."

See if you agree with the library world's most popular blog by far:

"ALA 2009: Cui Bono?," by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 16 July 2009.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ALA Supports Animal Cruelty Depictions; What Does This Have to Do With Libraries

The American Library Association [ALA] advocates First Amendment protections for animal cruelty depictions (not animal cruelty). Can anyone tell me what this has to do with libraries? What do pictures of animal cruelty have to do with reading?

What the ALA is doing may be a worthy goal for First Amendment jurisprudence generally, but will someone tell me why the American Library Association is defending rights regarding the sale of animal cruelty pictures? Wouldn't the ACLU be better suited for such a defense?

I didn't rejoin the ALA last time because the dues were too high. Now I know why the dues are too high. Now I know why the ALA no longer pays for scooters for disabled attendees at its own conferences. I am happy my dues are not supporting the defense by librarians of animal cruelty depictions. Does freedom for animal cruelty sales takes precedence over disabled librarians?

You've got to read this to see truth is stranger than fiction. It takes up the highest percentage of space on the report—must be important for librarians:

"Report to Council; 2009 Annual Conference — Chicago, Illinois,"
by Judith Platt,
Freedom to Read Foundation (ALA),
undated (circa. 16 July 2009), pp.3-4.
(will update URL when exact one is available then remove this comment)


An important part of the Foundation’s mission is to prevent the erosion of fundamental First Amendment rights and freedoms. In a case that will be heard by the Supreme Court in its 2009/2010 term, the government is arguing that a whole category of speech can be denied First Amendment protection based on the radical proposition that the “value” of the speech should be weighed against a compelling government interest. Such a balancing test would allow the abridgment of First Amendment rights with respect to broad categories of speech found to have “low value” and could easily encompass many forms of expression, including real or virtual depictions of violence against persons or property. The case, U.S. v. Stevens, is being characterized as the most important First Amendment litigation since the CDA challenge.

At issue is a federal statute that prohibits the creation, sale or possession of “a depiction of animal cruelty” with “the intention of placing that depiction in interstate or foreign commerce for commercial gain,” if the act depicted is illegal where the depiction is created, sold or possessed. The law provides an exception for depictions having “serious” value. It should be noted that the underlying acts of animal cruelty ostensibly targeted by the statute are already illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Robert J. Stevens, a dog-trainer, pit bull aficionado and resident of Virginia was indicted under the statute by a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania, and was convicted and sentenced to 37 months in prison for selling videos containing footage of pits bulls fighting and attacking other animals. Stevens did not create the footage; some of it was old footage; other footage came from Japan where dog fighting is legal. The videos are sold online through Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The district court refused to dismiss his indictment on First Amendment grounds, finding it justified by a compelling government interest.

Stevens’ conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which held the statute unconstitutional. The appellate court, in a 10–3 en banc ruling, rejected the government’s argument that depictions of animal cruelty should be excluded from First Amendment protection, as are depictions of obscenity and child pornography, and held there to be no compelling government interest in banning speech to compensate for under-enforcement of existing animal cruelty laws. It further ruled that the “serious value” exception did not render the law constitutional.

The government appealed the Third Circuit ruling to the Supreme Court, not only asking the Court to carve out an exception to the First Amendment—something it has not done since 1982 in New York v. Ferber—but also asking the Court to restrict the ability to bring facial challenges for overbreadth, severely limiting the ability to challenge a statute because of its “chilling effect” on protected speech.

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari. FTRF is filing an amicus curiae brief that will ask the Court to uphold the Third Circuit ruling. The brief will argue that there is no basis for removing depictions of harm to animals as a class of speech from First Amendment protection, and that strict scrutiny must be applied to the law, as was done by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Presently, the Association of American Publishers and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will be joining FTRF on the amicus curiae brief.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Tweet Censorship at the ALA Gangbang

The following article is very interesting for ALA-ophiles, but I warn you, it (and this blog post) contains salty language and the picture to the right from the site:

"Library Conference Secret Twitter Proves Librarians Sexy, Stern," by Amanda Hess, The Sexist, 13 July 2009.

Dig the part about the likely ALA member censoring other ALA members, then preventing access to past tweets. Don't you love the double standard when the ALA censors people (like Robert Spencer of JihadWatch? Ginny Maziarka of West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries? Greg McClay of SHUSH? Myself?), but legally keeping inappropriate material from children is derided by the ALA as censorship?

Notice how the censorship was done in a surreptitious manner:

Well, it saddens me that a member of the library profession took exception to @alasecrets and shut it down by logging in and changing the password. They protected the updates thereafter so, supposedly, people couldn’t see them.

You’re going to have to pardon my language here but FUCK that. I despise censorship in any form and I especially loathe the idea that a librarian shut down that Twitter account. So I did something about it.

I set up another anonymous Twitter account, @ALASecrets2009. But instead of giving out the password, I’ve set it up so anyone can post to it via SMS or e-mail. ....

Source: "ALA Secrets," by sonorandragon, . .Not All Bits . ., 11 July 2009.
I'm considering adding these librarians who oppose ALA censorship to my "Good Librarians" page.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Somona County Wants Internet Filters; Library Director Sandra Cooper Defies Grand Jury Claiming “Slippery Slope"; Local Library Policy Plagiarizes ALA

Dear Sonoma County Leaders,

In "Sonoma County Grand Jury Urges Library to Protect Kids From Adult Web Sites," by Martin Espinoza, The Press Democrat, 10 July 2009, we see a community standing up to protect its children, and a library director standing up to stop the community from protecting its children.

It is that simple. The article reads:

The civil grand jury's report recommends that the library install Internet filter software "as a means of protecting minors against pornography" and to relocate computer screens at the central library so they cannot be seen from the main aisle.

Library officials have long resisted such recommendations. On Friday, Library Director Sandra Cooper described the use of pornography filters as a "slippery slope in terms of First Amendment rights."

Long resisted? Slippery slope?

Somona County residents need to know the American Library Association [ALA] is running this very week a training session on how to oppose those seeking to protect children. See "ALA Mocks 'Protecting the Children,'" by SafeLibraries, SafeLibraries, 1 July 2009.

Sonoma County residents need to know the ALA makes regular use of the "slippery slope" argument, which is a "classical informal fallacy." See "Slippery Slopes Okay for Gays, But Not Kids, Not National Security, According to the American Library Association,'" by SafeLibraries, SafeLibraries, 8 July 2009. Your own library director follows suit.

Sonoma County residents need to know pornography is not automatically legal in public libraries. Just read US v. ALA. Or would you rather believe this guy:

Byron Hendrix, 49, casually viewed lewd images at the downtown Santa Rosa library on Friday afternoon, exercising what he described as his First Amendment rights.

As teens walked past the Internet station where he sat, Hendrix clicked through one escort ad after another, each displaying women in various positions, some less clothed than others.

Sonoma County residents need to know privacy screens do not work. Acceptable use policies do not work; see also F1 and R1. Security cameras do not work. Moving computers to make the screens harder to see is like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. "'We’re looking at other ways to deal with the problem that don’t interfere with people’s access to information,' Cooper said." Don't believe her. She's really looking at excuses not to use Internet filters.

Sonoma County residents need to know even the ACLU has said Internet filters are 95% effective and no longer block out health-related information. See ACLU v. Gonzales, 2007.

Sonoma County residents need to know exactly how they are being misled by the library. Let's look at the Sonoma County Library's so-called "Internet Access Policy," which should really be called an "Anything Goes Policy":

The Sonoma County Library, in response to advances in technology and the changing needs of the community, endeavors to develop collections, resources and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of its diverse community by providing access to electronic information, services, and networks.

The Library offers access to the Internet. It does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The Internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population and Library patrons use it at their discretion.

All Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all Library users. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Parents - and only parents - may restrict their children - and only their children - from access to Internet resources accessible through the Library. Parents are advised to supervise their children's Internet sessions.

The Library does not censor access to materials or protect patrons from information. The Library does not select material available on the Internet, it provides access to it. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information.

The information in bold is false or substantially misleading:
  • "has no control over the information accessed through the Internet" - False. Internet filters could provide that control.
  • "at their discretion" - False. Internet filters could perform properly to control indiscretion
  • "not the Library or its staff" - Misleading. The library and its staff could legally and effectively filter the Internet information selected and/or accessed by children. Adults too.
  • "only parents - may restrict their children" - False. Legal and effective Internet filters may restrict children in the selection and access of Internet materials. And I see the grand jury report has already come to this conclusion.
  • "does not censor access" - Misleading. Internet filters legally and effectively applied do not constitute censorship. The ALA lost on this issue in US v. ALA. The library knows this, yet it chooses instead to imply the use of Internet filters constitutes censorship. So Internet filters can be applied, and this statement might remain true, only it would no longer be misleading. More on "censorship" below.
  • "or protect patrons" -Misleading. Recall above how the ALA mocks "protecting the children." The use of Internet filters would go a long way toward protecting patrons, including children.

Talk about misleading, you know what is really insidious? You what is really misleading? You know how the Sonoma County community is being is being purposefully and knowingly misled by the library? Look again at the library's "Internet Access Policy." See anything missing? Read it again:

[P]arents—and only parents—have the right and responsibility to restrict access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.

Do you see it? No?

What's misleading is akin to plagiarism. Your local library has not attributed the source of its policy statements. Whom did it leave out? Who is not disclosed as the true author? What a coincidence, why it's the ALA! The ALA wrote that statement quoted immediately above—sorry, I tricked you to make a point. Do you see how it is substantially similar to your own library's policy? Here again is yours:

Parents - and only parents - may restrict their children - and only their children - from access to Internet resources accessible through the Library.

The ALA statement comes from guidance it gives to all local libraries. Your library has lapped it up and not even told you. In my book, that's plagiarism. Even the Santa Rosa Central Library Revisited grand jury report didn't make the connection. See for yourself how that statement and so much more of Sonoma County Library policy is substantially similar to ALA directives, and your library doesn't even tell you: "Access for Children and Young Adults to Nonprint Materials; An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights," American Library Association, Adopted June 28, 1989, amended June 30, 2004, ISBN 8389-7351-5.

So in 2004, even after the ALA lost US v. ALA in 2003, even after the US Supreme Court said, "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree," even after the Court found CIPA constitutional, the ALA still advises communities, "The 'right to use a library' includes free access to, and unrestricted use of, all the services, materials, and facilities the library has to offer. Every restriction on access to, and use of, library resources, based solely on the chronological age ... violates Article V."

And your Sonoma County library continues to buy into that and not even tell the public it did a cut and paste job from the ALA, the very organization that essentially does the opposite of what the US Supreme Court said. I suppose "Article V" trumps the US Supreme Court, right?

Now back to false claims of censorship. Your own resident Bianca Stebbins, a Santa Rosa mother, couldn't have said it better:

Bianca Stebbins, a Santa Rosa mother who visited the library Friday with her two daughters, said the issue is not a matter of free speech or censorship. Stebbins, a business and life coach, grew up in communist Romania, where “censorship was our middle name.”

Stebbins said that since the library does not carry “XXX” magazines, there’s little justification for allowing “XXX” Web sites.

“Filtering Web sites is not censorship,” Stebbins said. “My children have the right to come to the library and be safe in their intellectual development, which is what the library is here for.”

She's a business and life coach? She clearly has her head on straight. Seems she's read US v. ALA too. I urge people to seek out her services. Don't let the library tell you Internet filters are the "slippery slope" to "censorship."

In conclusion, Sonoma County residents have been misled for a very long time with plagiarized material. They are currently being misled with fallacious "slippery slope" arguments by Library Director Sandra Cooper. Internet filters are the best means to achieve the goals of the Sonoma County Grand Jury. Anything else the library tells you is immediately suspect due to its past and current efforts to mislead you.

Library Director Sandra Cooper has been wrong before on library Internet filters. See "North Carolina Senate Approves Internet Filters for Libraries, Schools," by American Library Association, American Libraries, 30 April 2001:

State Librarian Sandra Cooper told American Libraries that librarians were able to convince the Senate Judiciary Committee to remove the library filtering requirement, but the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Howard Lee (D-Orange), restored it on floor, where it was approved by a wide margin [42-4].

Well now she's wrong again. Don't be misled.

(As an aside, notice Democrat Sen. Howard Lee restored the Internet filtering bill. Don't let anyone tell you this is only a "conservative/Republican" interest.)

UPDATE 12 JULY 2009:

The Sonoma County Library has in the past covered up child pornography.

From "Dangerous Access, 2000 Ed: Uncovering Internet Porn in America's Libraries," by David Burt, Family Research Council, 2000, pp.12-13, 54, see this:

At the Sonoma, California, Public Library, a staff member sent an e-mail message to his supervisor stating:
There are 3 men on my shift who come in regularly, perhaps daily. One views child porn of nude boys in tubs. . . . These images are clearly visible. . . .What does it mean to have child molester posters up in our staff lounge & yet we make daily Internet appointments for someone to watch kiddy porn in the library on the library comp? Isn’t this crazy?
But the supervisor responded:
I don’t like it either, but there is nothing we can do about it. The best thing for staff is to ignore it . . . please use your time in more constructive ways. 17
17. E-mail message of administration of the Sonoma County Public Library to a staff complaint about a patron regularly viewing child pornography, October 5, 1999.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Library Protest Parade Float Pictures; July 4th in West Bend, Wisconsin

Four pictures of a library protest float at the July 4th parade in West Bend, Wisconsin, are worth a thousand words. So I'll just show the pictures and let you fill in the narrative. The float was prepared by "West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries."

The pictures come from "A Few More Float Pics From the 4th of July Parade.. WBCFSL," and there are even more pictures at "Safe Libraries promoted in West Bend Parade."

Note, the "Safe Libraries" indicates that libraries should be safe or is part of the name of the local organization; it does not reference this SafeLibraries blog or the web site.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Slippery Slopes Okay for Gays, But Not Kids, Not National Security, According to the American Library Association

The American Library Association [ALA] is at it again, promoting social engineering that has nothing to do with libraries. Gay marriage is the ALA's latest love: "This time it seems the hot topic is going to be same-sex marriage."

The Annoyed Librarian takes apart the ALA's latest escapade phrase by phrase. In doing so she points out the "slippery slope" the ALA uses to claim any social engineering whatsoever can be justified by claiming potential involvement of "library workers or library users." That means everybody.
"WHEREAS, same-sex couples, including those who are library workers or library users, who live in states where only heterosexual couples may wed legally do not receive the same rights, including library privileges for partners, family and medical leave, tax equity, inheritance rights, hospital visitation, insurance and retirement benefits, family health care coverage, housing benefits, tuition remission benefits, adoption or birth leave;"
My goodness, they're reaching here. Since there are librarians in every state, then any laws affecting librarians in any way (and not just as librarians) is relevant for the ALA to comment upon. That's the typical argument of the radicals, the slippery slope that makes everything relevant. Very convenient.

Source: "ALA 2009: The ALA Council and Same Sex Marriage," by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 8 July 2009.

This got me thinking. What is a "slippery slope"? Wikipedia defines it this way: "In debate or rhetoric, a slippery slope (also the thin edge of the wedge or the camel's nose) is a classical informal fallacy."

A fallacy! Does the ALA employ this fallacy by warning against slippery slopes?

The ALA decries slippery slopes any time it opposes something that impinges on its social engineering efforts. Here's a peek into the ALA's mind:

Peek for yourself:

"Officially Speaking," by Kathleen T. Horning, ALSConnect, December 2005, v.3, no.4:
As I compose this column, the twenty-third annual Banned (and Challenged, in some jurisdictions) Books Week, the last full week in September, is in full swing. My theory is that we are beginning to see the result of descending the slippery slope we have so long feared: would-be censors in cities and counties that have enacted filtering provisions are emboldened to continue their quest to restrict the choices of young readers.

"FBI Seeks to Search Journalist's Archives for Classified Documents," by ALA, American Libraries, 21 April 2006:
Once you begin taking records out of library archives that researchers rely on for free inquiry and research purposes, it would be very difficult not to see it as a slippery slope toward government controlling research in higher education and our collective understanding of American history....

"Judith Krug: Tribute and Thoughts," by Michael Golrick, Thoughts From a Library Administrator, 17 April 2009:
The next head of the OIF *must* continue to express unqualified support for all that the First Ammendment [sic] stands for. To do anything less will allow us to slide down a slippery slope.

Is there another view?

The Annoyed Librarian and I are not the only ones criticizing the ALA for its fallacious slippery slope arguments. Here are others:

"James Taranto Mocks ALA Ethics And Rightly So; ALA Leadership 'Blatantly Violates Ethics,'" by SafeLibraries, SafeLibraries, 6 February 2009:
Now, we know what you're thinking: Surely in this case an exception is in order. Revealing the story didn't do Sullenberger any harm, and it was an inspiration to us all. But this is a slippery slope. Today it's Sullenberger, tomorrow no one's privacy will be safe. Maybe the next victim will be some innocent terrorist checking out books on how to make bombs, or a poor pervert who just wants to look at porn. Once you start cutting ethical corners, you're on the way to total moral breakdown.

"Culture of Fear," by Gregory McClay, The Notebook (SHUSH), 12 May 2007, Comment 25:
And spare me the slippery slope. It slides both ways. There have been cases where library staff have filed sexual harassment charges because the porn viewing got so bad and management wouldn’t do anything. That’s a little more severe then a book challenge.

Teen Maintains Stance Against Disputed Books; High-Schooler Says Decision to Have Titles on Shelves is 'Against the Values of Carroll County,'" by Gina Davis, The Baltimore Sun, 25 January 2006.
[Westminster High School junior Joel] Ready said he hopes people will not be deterred by charges of censorship and will continue to object to books they believe are inappropriate for schools.
"I'm not convinced there is an ultimate slippery slope," he said. "Just because we're not sure where this could end doesn't mean we should do nothing. We're never going to stop drug use or end violence, but that doesn't stop us from trying."

"Laurie's Noble Crusade," by Mike Masterson, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4 April 2005:
Yes, I am well aware of the "slippery slope" arguments that are raised when humans try to restrict free expression. But there also have to be logical boundaries in our society. And I’m one who dearly values common sense as well as decency and taste when it comes to drawing reasonable lines for our children’s sake.

What do you think? Another double standard?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Diane Chen Leads ALA Troop Support Effort

Diane Chen, American Library Association [ALA] Executive Board Member, is leading an effort by the ALA to support American troops by "improv[ing] library services to these men and women serving our country during the time of war."

Dear Council Members,

Some of you know I have two sons (of 4) serving in the US Army and we have been waiting to see the resolution on libraries and the wars. Why? Because when I have discussed library services to military troops, my sons and their friends invariably ask me why ALA doesn't help them get more reading materials to the troops serving overseas.

Both sons have visited their base libraries in the U.S. and we used army post libraries in Europe while stationed there. However, I receive requests from soldiers every week through a program called Soldier's Angels and every week the soldiers request reading materials including books and magaz[i]nes to be shipped to them often at remote locations.

I'd like to request your help in identifying agencies and means to send these materials on a regular basis. It does get expensive to ship them myself and I have a long list on their wishlists.

One morning my son currently in Afghanistan called at 4:30 a.m. to read me the wishlist of 5 people in his unit for titles like fitness magazines, Anita Blake vampire books, manga, Small Businesses for Dummies, and many nonfiction titles. I'd appreciate any information you have on how we can improve library services to these men and women serving our country during the time of war. Thank you in advance.


This is significant because the ALA used to support American troops. See:
  • "Books for Soldiers and Sailors in World War I," by Larry T. Nix, Wisconsin Library Heritage Center, 1 April 2009. "When the United States did enter the war in 1917, ALA took on a leadership role in providing books to the soldiers and sailors in our armed forces."
  • "Libraries for our Soldiers and Sailors," by State Council of Defense for Oregon, Oregon State Archives, undated. "Drives for both books and the money to buy them began just after the American entry into World War I. The government recognized the boost to morale that books could provide and asked the American Library Association for help."
  • "The American Library Association & World War I," by Larry T. Nix, The Library History Buff, 3 April 2009. This site is perfect for deltiologists.
  • "Knowledge Wins--American Library Association Advocacy during World War I," by Carrie Marsh, Pictures & Conversations (The Claremont Colleges), 22 May 2009. "During WWI, ALA created the War Service Committee, which established more than 30 libraries at training facilities and other encampments for soldiers."
  • "Photo #: NH 45345; USS Mercury (ID # 3012)," by E.E. Thompson, Department of the Navy—Naval Historical Center, 24 June 2003. "Note books at left, placed on board by the Red Cross and the American Library Association."
  • "British Camps Library WWI," by Larry T. Nix, Library History Buff Blog, 28 March 2009. "The American Library Association (ALA) played a major role in serving the military in World War I."

More recently, ALA people use their positions in the ALA to knock Americans, its government, and its troops. For example:

Now that Diane Chen has gotten the ball rolling again, others are joining in to support the troops:
  • Joseph Eagan, ALA Executive Board: "I am very disappointed to know that our troops continue to lack even basic recreational reading while they serve our country."
  • Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor: "We have a round table that is specifically charged with doing this kind of work. It is the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table. The President is Nancy Gomez Faget. .... I would be happy to support another resolution."
  • Susan Pieper, ALA Councilor: "[M]any times we wait for the DOD or other 'government agencies' to 'do the job'. Why can't we start a nation-wide campaign like the one described above? I know that each community will rally with good used books and magazines."
  • Rob Banks, Kansas Chapter Councilor: "We need to know what else is happening, so that we make sure that books are available to all groups of soldiers and some aren’t left out. I completely support this as a worthy ALA activity. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Diane."
  • Linda Blake, West Virginia University Libraries: "I too am appalled that there are people serving us who need reading materials they are not receiving. There's something wrong with our priorities for this to happen."
Bravo ALA! Brava Diane Chen for getting the ball rolling! Mostly, bravo to all ours troops! And thank you, Diane Chen, as the mother of brave troops, for your service to our country.

See also:


Monday, July 6, 2009

Plagiarism by ALA Executive Board Member Diane Chen

An American Library Association [ALA] Executive Board member, Diane Chen, has committed plagiarism. Diane Chen writes for the School Library Journal.

On 30 June 2009, she wrote, "ALA Event Meet West Bend Community Library Supporters," by Diane Chen, School Library Journal, 30 June 2009. On that very same date, Deborah Caldwell-Stone of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom had already written the words Diane Chen copied and more. See, "West Bend Librarians and Community Activists Share Censorship Stories at ALA Annual Conference," by Deborah Caldwell-Stone, OIF Blog, 30 June 2009. Take a look. It is a word for word copy, 100%. Only the title has changed. Nowhere does the real source of the wording appear.

Incredibly, Diane Chen proclaims everything she writes is her own, and nothing she writes is the ALA's! See for yourself: "All blog posts reflect the opinons [sic] of Diane and not her district or ALA."

Is this plagiarism, or is this plagiarism? Will there be any consequences for this from the School Library Journal or professionally generally?

Do any ALA Code of Ethics apply to Executive Board members who plagiarize?

(If some of the links in this blog post no longer work or suddenly the wording is attributed to Deborah Caldwell-Stone, it might be due to appropriate corrective action as a result of this blog post. I have kept a copy of the original page in case anything changes and I am required to defend my statements.)


Here are before and after pictures:

BEFORE (as of 6 July 2009):

AFTER (as of 7 July 2009):


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Library Board Member Rips Off Public by $22,000 per Year in Excess Pension Benefits

Thanks to Blake at LISNews, I have become aware of this:
The guy showed up for his "volunteer" position at the Malden Public Library Board of Trustees six times in four years. As a result, he enriched himself by $21,991 per year in extra pension benefits, more than doubling his state pension!

When he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he "volunteered" again! He voluntarily gave up the excess pension and repaid the related payments already received.

Do you think during those four years he might have cared less about the safety of children in that public library?


Library Director Extols Internet Filtering; Porn Should Be Excluded From Libraries; Dynamite Reading For Library Directors, Trustees and Patrons

You have to read this absolutely dynamite letter from Dean Marney, director of the North Central Regional Library, subject of a current filtering lawsuit, Bradburn v. North Central Regional Library District. He is definitely not an American Library Assocation [ALA] acolyte. He knocks the ALA's instigation of a lawsuit against the library—another example of the ALA attempting to usurp local control.

He also says a library is not required to allow pornography. What heresy! A hostile environment? Really? Civility! Common sense! The ALA will never allow this.

Harmful to children? How can he say that? Isn't the ALA teaching librarians to ignore those "protecting the children"?

Look at these choice quotes, emphasis mine, and know the ALA thinks nearly the exact opposite:

  • The ACLU of Seattle, with the help of the [ALA], searched for and found four plaintiffs to bring as applied challenges against your library’s filtering policy, because we choose not to disable our filter upon the request of an adult.
  • If we were to take Mr. Warner’s viewpoint to its logical end, it would imply that it is appropriate to use public funds for adults to search for and view online pornography in our public libraries or turn them into illegal casinos.
  • It ignores that pornography is harmful to children, creates a hostile environment for the staff and other patrons, and overshadows any of the benefits of the free Internet access we provide to our communities.
  • Imagine an adult viewing pornography, or leaving sexually explicit images on a printer, while a child does her homework at a nearby computer or table. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too real.
  • The library embraces free speech and its print and digital collections reflect such principles. However, our community libraries are not Internet cafes. They should remain grounded in their essential traditions.
  • Our approach to filtering strives to balance common sense with the needs and interest of our diverse patrons. We filter very little Internet content. We filter Web sites having as their dominant content pornography, nudity and risqué, adult materials, and gambling. We also filter hacking, proxy avoidance, phishing, malware, spyware, spam URL, image search, and video search.
  • We filter because it is an efficient, effective means of including Internet-based resources in the collection according to our mission and collection development policy.
  • We filter because doing so is a condition for important federal funding.
  • We also filter because it enhances an appropriate, safe library experience for all — adults, staff, and children.
  • Newspapers, like libraries, should foster civility.
If your community is considering Internet filters, Dean Marney's writing is a must read. Then tell the ALA/ACLU you are no longer fooled or intimidated:

Filtered Internet: Safe, Appropriate
By Dean Marney
The Wenatchee World
Posted July 02, 2009

The staff and Board of Trustees of the North Central Regional Library, in their mission to "promote reading and lifelong learning," revere the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 5 of the Washington state Constitution. It is our belief that public libraries simply wouldn’t exist without the right to publish and a free press.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a facial challenge to the Children’s Internet Protection Act brought against the government by the American Library Association. The ALA argued that Internet filtering violates the First Amendment rights of adults, and lost. However, in their opinion, the court left open a door for an "as applied" challenge to the law.

The ACLU of Seattle, with the help of the American Library Association, searched for and found four plaintiffs to bring as applied challenges against your library’s filtering policy, because we choose not to disable our filter upon the request of an adult. That policy has been the subject of recent discussion, not all of it well informed.

Tracy Warner’s June 25 editorial "What you can’t see can hurt" criticizes a law which has already been declared constitutional under the First Amendment. Our case is about the rubber meeting the road when an adult patron demands that the filter be turned off.

If we were to take Mr. Warner’s viewpoint to its logical end, it would imply that it is appropriate to use public funds for adults to search for and view online pornography in our public libraries or turn them into illegal casinos. It ignores that pornography is harmful to children, creates a hostile environment for the staff and other patrons, and overshadows any of the benefits of the free Internet access we provide to our communities. Imagine an adult viewing pornography, or leaving sexually explicit images on a printer, while a child does her homework at a nearby computer or table. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too real. The library embraces free speech and its print and digital collections reflect such principles. However, our community libraries are not Internet cafes. They should remain grounded in their essential traditions.

Mr. Warner’s editorial does not express some facts and philosophies that are important to the issue of Internet filtering. For example, the library’s policies reflect its mission and the values of the communities we serve. Our approach to filtering strives to balance common sense with the needs and interest of our diverse patrons. We filter very little Internet content. We filter Web sites having as their dominant content pornography, nudity and risqué, adult materials, and gambling. We also filter hacking, proxy avoidance, phishing, malware, spyware, spam URL, image search, and video search.

Some may wonder why the library filters at all. We filter because it is an efficient, effective means of including Internet-based resources in the collection according to our mission and collection development policy. We filter because doing so is a condition for important federal funding. We also filter because it enhances an appropriate, safe library experience for all — adults, staff, and children.

The Wenatchee World rightfully has expectations of their contributors. Their own Use Policy states:

"We want to encourage an open exchange of information and ideas. But if you use inappropriate language (even when typographically obfuscated), or make potentially slanderous or libelous comments when using this site and its features, or engage in ad hominem attacks on fellow commenters, people mentioned in stories, contributors or any employee of The Wenatchee World or The World Publishing Company, we reserve the right (but assume no obligation) to remove any and/or all of your contributions.

"We believe it is absolutely possible for people from a variety of points of view to discuss issues in a civil manner; and we reserve the right, but assume no obligation, to remove comments and ban accounts of users that foster incivility."

The Wenatchee World does not believe their policy violates the First Amendment and we at the North Central Regional Library would completely agree. Newspapers, like libraries, should foster civility.

Dean Marney is director of the North Central Regional Library.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Whistleblower Confirms Library Cover-Up of Child Pornography and Confirms USA PATRIOT Act Used as Excuse

A whistleblower has confirmed a library director has covered up a child pornography incident. Further, she confirmed the USA PATRIOT Act was used as the excuse for the coverup. Watch the video and read the story here: "Allegations of a Child Porn Cover Up at Local Library," by Matthew Campbell, CBS 3, 2 July 2009.

An assistant librarian blew the whistle on a patron who is accused of downloading child porn. But she didn't stop there. She speaks out against the higher-ups who, she says, tried to sweep the incident under the rug.
Assistant Library Director, Carla Wessels, alleges her boss tried to delete the images and keep the incident quiet, by not reporting it.
"She kept saying over and over, the police are going to want to know a name. And she told me to just relax," Wessels says.
And that's when she decided to blow the whistle. It was 3 days later on a Monday morning.
"First thing when I got in, in the morning, I went into her office, and said pretty much the same thing when I called her Friday night. And she gave me the same response that the police are going to want to know a name and she even brought up the Patriot Act saying that as a library, we need to keep patrons names and addresses confidential," Wessels says.
Fearing the incident would never be reported, Wessels called police. Holyoke's Cyber Crimes unit seized the computer.
Hours later, the images Maria deleted were resurrected. The photos were brought back to life and the man who allegedly surfed for them was identified.
"What about the allegations that you told the librarians not to do anything about it," we asked.
"That's what they're saying, I'm not going to say either way," Pagan says.
The Library Director still would not admit timing was an issue.
"The police was called, right," Pagan says. "The person was caught, so time doesn't matter," she states.
But Police Chief Anthony Scott says timing is everything.
"If they deleted files, it would've caused problems, but because of the actions of the assistant librarian, we were able to get the info and secure the computer," Scott says.
Our investigation discovered no changes at the library. Sex offender posters are not put up. There are no new firewalls in the library computers, nor are there any new policies for dealing with illegal activities.

Remarkably, I predicted both. See, emphasis in original:
"Citizens of Holyoke need to ask whether the library director is violating the public trust by looking the other way at criminal activity in the public library. That seems to be the case, at least as I understand what was reported."
"[I]t seems unavoidable to conclude that libraries actively thwart child porn investigations. And it seems this is motivated by the ALA's negative reaction to Bush Administration initiatives to keep Americans safe from terrorists!"

How much longer will Holyoke allow an apparent law breaker to run the library? Isn't there enough evidence to have Holyoke Public Library Director Maria Pagan arrested as an accessory to the crime of child pornography? Did you watch the video and see her continue her cover-up? At least that's my opinion.

Is opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act really a reason to allow child porn viewers to get off scot free? Is that what the community wants, or is that the American Library Association's radical agenda being quietly forced on local communities?

When will communities wake up? Wake up!

UPDATE 21 JULY 2009: Apparently, this community woke up a little. See "Holyoke Library Installs Anti-Porn Software in Wake of Michael Houle's Recent Arrest," by Mike Plaisance, The Republican Newsroom, 20 July 2009. Notice the story of the librarian's outing of the library director's actions to protect the child porn viewer is further expanded.


7-1 Vote FOR Internet Filters in Owosso, MI

A library board has voted 7-1 in favor of installing Internet filters. Here's likely why:
  • "'I went up to two of the unfiltered computers and did a history check,' Spencer said. 'I was curious to see if people were seeing any type of pornography still on the computers.' Spencer said the history search revealed that several Web sites may have been used for child pornography - which is illegal and against library policy."
It is refreshing to see a library board acting with common sense. And to the lone person who said, "Once you start filtering, it leads into the free speech issue," please read US v. ALA.

See: "Owosso Library Moves to Regulate Porn Viewing," by Nathan Bruttell, The Argus-Press, 3 July 2009, reprinted here under US Copyright Section 107 Fair Use:

Owosso Library Moves to Regulate Porn Viewing
Argus-Press Staff Writer
Friday, July 3, 2009 10:04 AM EDT

OWOSSO - The Shiawassee District Library Board has begun the process toward regulating adult material at the Owosso branch.

The Board voted 7-1 during is June meeting to filter online content. Travis Senk cast the lone dissenting vote. Shiawassee District Library Director Steven Flayer said he is researching optional online filters and would present them to the Board at its July 22 meeting.

“The Board has also directed me to increase the physical barriers around the unfiltered computers, which we have been doing,” Flayer said, adding that the measures for changing the library's policy may continue.

“I think the Board will look at this matter again (at the next meeting) to determine whether it's meeting the needs of our patrons,” he said.

The Shiawassee District Library's adult content policies came under scrutiny in May when Owosso resident Catherine Loxen told the Board her granddaughter witnessed a man using a computer to view adult material earlier this year.

Senk said while he wasn't happy with what happened with Loxen, he didn't agree the library Board should be the authority.

“I don't think limiting what everyone else can do is a fair response. I feel that if we start trying to filter everything we're going to be in violation of library policy acts,” Senk said. “Once you start filtering, it leads into the free speech issue.”

Loxen's story also brought the attention of local Internet filtering company Covenant Eyes. Vice president Bill Spencer presented information to the Board at its June meeting.

“I went up to two of the unfiltered computers and did a history check,” Spencer said. “I was curious to see if people were seeing any type of pornography still on the computers.”

Spencer said the history search revealed that several Web sites may have been used for child pornography - which is illegal and against library policy.

“What I told the Board is basically that there isn't anybody that would believe these images were not of young people under the age of 18,” Spencer said.

Spencer added he asked the Board about the library's policy of not allowing access to child pornography.

“The library, in its policy, has defined what obscenity is, yet for some reason (the Board members) think it's wrong to filter the Internet content,” he said.

Flayer said to his recollection, the Board could not make changes because Spencer could not present facts that the subjects of the Web sites were underage.

“He was basing his findings, the way he presented it to the Board, that it was child pornography based on how old he though the models looked,” Flayer said. “Of course we're attempting to eliminate these things, but it's not going to be perfect.”

Flayer said the library has begun to filter content on most of the computers in the library using current software.

“(Covenant Eyes) states on its own Web site that no filter is going to be 100 percent effective,” Flayer said. “How can they complain that our filter is not getting everything after saying that? The effort is being made to limit it as much as possible.”

Adult Services Librarian and assistant director Margaret Bentley said while she understands the problem, it is out of her hands.

“Whatever the Board decides, I will have to follow,” Bentley said.

Durand Memorial branch librarian and assistant director Nancy Folaron said she has not seen issues with adult content at the Durand branch.

“We only have seven computers and all of them are fairly close to the desk, so we can keep an eye on them,” Folaron said. “It's not like the Owosso branch where the computers are in a separate area and out of view.”

Folaron also said the branch currently uses no filtering software, but would make appropriate changes based on the Board's July vote.

Senk said he believed the issue might be continue at the library for some time.

“We're not done working on it at the library,” Senk said. “It's a complex issue and it's not solved easily.”

Copyright © 2007-2009 The Argus-Press Owosso, MI