Magazine article American Libraries

Filter-Policy Review Blocks Funding Threat

Magazine article American Libraries

Filter-Policy Review Blocks Funding Threat

Article excerpt

The board of the Monroe County (N.Y.) Library System agreed February 28 to conduct a 60-day review of its central library's longstanding policy of honoring requests by adults to unblock explicit websites and, in the meantime, to refuse all such requests. The action came in response to a threat from County Executive Maggie Brooks to withhold $6.6 million in funding if the library continued to disable filters temporarily at an adult's request.

MCLS established the unblocking policy after the Supreme Court upheld in 2003 the Children's Internet Protection Act. The ruling states that libraries receiving federal telecommunication discounts through the e-rate must filter websites providing content considered harmful to minors, but it allows librarians to honor the requests of adults asking to unblock a particular site. However, Brooks, who became aware of the library's policy after local NBC-TV affiliate WHEC captured on camera patrons viewing pornography within sight of other visitors, asserted in the March 1 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that her legal team disagrees with the prevailing interpretation of the ruling. …

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