I call for an investigation by the Michigan government and/or media. That's my money that may have been fraudulently obtained.
Dear Michigan Governor Rick Snyder,
Having spoken today with one of your legislative aides, I submit the following information regarding Michigan libraries.
I am aware some library advocates are urging those in the library community to contact your office to pressure you to act as they wish. For example, see "Michigan Libraries At Risk," by Anthony Molaro, The Information Activist Librarian, 15 April 2011.
I am writing to inform you that some Michigan libraries may be defrauding the federal government of millions of dollars. This information may be of value to you as you consider the matter of library funding.
In a nutshell, some Michigan libraries are getting federal funding under the E-Rate program for Internet access (as opposed to telecom access) that is available only after certifying all library computers are filtered. However, a Michigan state law requires all libraries that filter to have at least one unfiltered computer. Even one unfiltered computer eliminates access to federal E-Rate funding for Internet access. No Michigan library should be getting funding for Internet access due to that state law, yet many do, and for years. They must have certified they filter all computers. But they know they do not due to compliance with state law. Libraries are a great community resource, but they should not obtain funding fraudulently. Worse, they should not demand more money on top of the money fraudulently obtained as first the fraudulently obtained money needs to be returned to the federal government.
It is the Michigan Library Privacy Act that requires one computer to remain unfiltered. 397.606: "By reserving, to individuals 18 years of age or older or minors who are accompanied by their parent or guardian, 1 or more terminals that are not restricted from receiving any material."
Of course, I could be wrong. But it is likely a simple matter to research. If it is true, Michigan libraries may have fraudulently obtaining millions. Should people/organizations with unclean hands now have their financial demands rewarded? Governmental leaders or the media should perform an investigation. This is a starting point for research on what library received what, how much, and when: http://www.universalservice.
org/sl/tools/search-tools/ search-commitments/ (To me, any funding received in 2004 and beyond is relevant as US v. ALA finding CIPA constitutional was decided in 2003.)
Perhaps consideration should be given to changing that state law.
I have been examining this issue for years and have already reported three libraries (non-Michigan) to the FCC. If I may assist in any way, please let me know. In particular, if you obtain contradictory information from a library source, contact me for additional information as such information is often merely "dogma."
Library News: http://delicious.com/
NOTE ADDED 20 APRIL 2011:
It seems my call for changing the state law to avoid CIPA fraud is engendering a call for statewide filtering. And I appreciate receiving and am happy to add an opinion of the Michigan Attorney General:
| Safe Libraries |
Attorney General says ALL library computers can lawfully be filtered
| AFA-Michigan ||Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 7:02 PM|