Monday, April 26, 2010

Revive the Iowa Internet Filtering Law for Public Libraries; Davenport Public Library Director LaWanda Roudebush Misleads the Public on Internet Filters

The Davenport Public Library in Davenport, IA, has a library director who misleads the public.  To explain why the library refuses to use Internet filters, LaWanda Roudebush makes materially false or misleading statements.  See, "Porn on Library Computers," by Alexis Hunt, KWQC-TV6, 23 April 2010.

The library director said, "One of the main reasons we aren't using filters is because we have found that they are only about 50 to 55% in doing the job we think they'll do."  That implies Internet filters do not work.  They do.  Even the ACLU now admits Internet filters are 95% effective and no longer block health-related information; see ACLU v. Gonzales, E.D. Pa., March 2007, which found filters so effective that it invalidated the Child Online Protection Act.

The library director also said, "They ... can see the children's area very well and they work very carefully to make sure they know who's in that area and what's going on."  That's nice.  What she neglects to mention is that the criminals viewing the unfiltered porn in the adult section rape or molest the children from the children section in the public library bathrooms.  In Iowa, among other places.  See generally, "Library Sex Offender Incident Fuels Internet Filter Push; Offender Admitted Viewing Porn on Library PCs," by Abby Simons, The Des Moines Register, 21 November 2005.

The worst is, in explaining why the Davenport Public Library does not have Internet filters, she said, "We do that in conjunction basically with the intellectual freedom policy."  So some policy is supposedly sufficient to protect children from harm.  Ask the little girl molested in the Des Moines Public Library if that is true.

And that policy?  It is from, you guessed it, the American Library Association [ALA].  See the library's policy page.

And the Des Moines Public Library?  It also refused to filter in deference to the ALA.  Result?  A molested child.

Did you know it was my personal intervention in the Des Moines Public Library case in 2005 that resulting in media reports of the connection between the molested child and the porn on the unfiltered computers?  Did you know as a result of those reports the Iowa state legislature attempted to pass a state law requiring Internet filtering in all Iowa libraries in a fashion similar to other state laws and the federal Children's Internet Protection Act?  See SF 2108, 2006, reproduced below. 

Given my direct stake in this matter, I declare it is time the Iowa legislature reconsider a state public library filtering law.  It is time to wake up to the reality that Iowa public library directors may be purposefully misleading Iowa citizens so the citizens will acquiesce with the ALA's anything-goes policy, as this LaWanda Roudebush matter shows.  It is time to consider blame for children molested in Iowa libraries may be laid at least in part at the feet of the ALA acolytes running Iowa's libraries, and possibly at the feet of the ALA itself.  A state law may be the only way to wrest control of Iowa's public libraries from the ALA and its followers so as to restore local control.

Who is more important, library directors following ALA policy and intentionally misleading the public, or the public itself whose taxes pay for the library and who have common sense views:

"There should be filters because other people can walk by and see stuff.  It's a public place, there should definitely be filters," said one patron.

"There's a lot of sexual predators out there that like to profile people and try to get in touch with them, so there should be filters in all computers," said library goer Tyrone Milton.

I hereby welcome requests to assist with drafting legislation intended to protect Iowa's children in Iowa's public libraries by the legal application of Internet filters.

By the way, what does pornography have to do with "intellectual freedom"?

Senate File 2108 - Introduced [2006]

                                       SENATE FILE      
                                       BY  ANGELO, BEHN, and ZAUN

    Passed Senate, Date               Passed House,  Date            
    Vote:  Ayes        Nays           Vote:  Ayes        Nays        

                                      A BILL FOR

  1 An Act relating to a requirement that public libraries which
  2    receive state funding adopt certain policies.
  4 TLSB 5637XS 81
  5 kh/gg/14


  1  1    Section 1.  Section 256.51, subsection 1, Code 2005, is
  1  2 amended by adding the following new paragraph:
  1  3    NEW PARAGRAPH.  l.  Require a public library that receives
  1  4 state funds to do the following:
  1  5    (1)  Adopt an internet filter policy designed to eliminate
  1  6 access to pornography on the public library's computer
  1  7 equipment.
  1  8    (2)  Adopt a policy to restrict the content of video
  1  9 materials a child under seventeen years of age may borrow from
  1 10 the library to those video cassettes or digital video discs
  1 11 (DVDs) that receive a G, PG, or PG=13 rating under the motion
  1 12 picture association of America's rating system.
  1 13                           EXPLANATION
  1 14    This bill requires the division of libraries and
  1 15 information services established within the department of
  1 16 education to require a public library that receives state
  1 17 funds to adopt an internet filter policy designed to eliminate
  1 18 access to pornography on the public library's computer
  1 19 equipment, as well as a policy restricting the content of
  1 20 video materials a child under 17 years of age may borrow from
  1 21 the library.
  1 22 LSB 5637XS 81
  1 23 kh:nh/gg/14.2

1 comment:

  1. Though it is a travesty that a girl was molested in the public library bathroom, who's to say that porn caused it? By saying that looking at porn leads to molestation and rape, you are saying that everyone who looks at porn must do those awful things. This is patently untrue.
    Children are molested and raped in all kinds of places, private and public, so why are you going after only public libraries?
    By placing filters on public library computers, you are taking away freedom. It is the duty of the government to uphold our freedoms, and a public library is part of the government. Go ahead and filter away in private libraries, but don't you dare take away my liberties because you're jumping to a shaky conclusion.


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