Thursday, August 27, 2015

Westfield Mom Calls for Filters on All Children's Computers at Library

Westfield Mom Calls for Filters on 

All Children's Computers at Library

TAP into Westfield
August 25, 2015 at 9:27 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ – Colby Sheppard, a Westfield mom who said her 11 year-old son stumbled upon pornography on a computer in the children's section of the Westfield Memorial Library in January, plans to create an online petition this fall and drum up local support to install filters on all computers with internet access in the library’s children’s section.

Sheppard has lobbied the library board of trustees and the town council on the matter. In April, the library installed filters on two of the four computers in the children’s section, but Sheppard wants to have all children’s computers equipped with filters.

She hoped the board would revisit the issue at its meeting on Aug. 20, but the meeting was canceled, she said. The next board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the library’s meeting room.

Sheppard says she has met with resistance from library officials on the question of filters.

“They’ve got their heels really dug into this one,” she said.


Enough Is Enough, a non-partisan organization dedicated to internet safety for kids, recommends “a layered approach of monitoring, filtering, time limiting, safe search settings among other tools to protect children," according to its website,, "but remember that these tools are no substitute for parental and adult supervision and guidance online."


Dan Kleinman, who co-founded SafeLibraries, a New Jesrey [sic] watchdog group, said that the Westfield library “is acting outside the law by allowing in porn and child porn despite the law.”

“Library law creates libraries for educational and recreational purposes for the use and benefit of the citizens. In other words, there are actual limits on what libraries can do,” Kleinman said. “They cannot do anything outside the law that created them. Porn is neither for the use nor benefit of the citizens, actually it harms the citizens, so it falls outside the law that created libraries. Municipal governments have the right and duty to stop libraries from acting outside the law, and they can do so without violating a library's veil of autonomy.


Source of above excerpts: TAP into Westfield (link) © 2015; hyperlinks in original, emphasis mine, original graphic omitted.

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