Tukwila Talk

Building a better community every day!

How do people feel about access to pornography in public libraries? We're getting a new library in Tukwila, should we ask King County to put filters on the internet or eliminate access to the internet altogether?

Views: 187

Comment by Chuck Parrish on February 8, 2012 at 4:51pm

I am glad that this has been brought up. I am not clear how to think about this. I know that I want computers and internet access at the library. I don't like censorship. I am hoping that someone has some creative thoughts on the subject.......

Comment by Jenna Smith on February 9, 2012 at 8:01pm

I understand the issue with censorship, we live in a free society and that censoring one thing can lead to censoring other things. But libraries are public places and we do retrict certain things in public places. Maybe the easiest solution is to require the library to provide a separate place where people over the age of 18 can use computers without filters, and another place where computers have filters.

Comment by Gerie Ventura on February 9, 2012 at 10:43pm

I work in a library and there is no way libraries in the 21st century can "eliminate access to the Internet" because then...how would the community have equal access to information like every other public library in the city, state, and country?

There are usually separate areas these days for children's computers. Visit the new Fife branch of the Pierce County Library system to see how they setup their newest branch. Even the Southcenter branch has a cute little area for kids with low tables and headphones.

Censorship is never the answer. Of course, I would say that. Ha.

Comment by Jenna Smith on February 10, 2012 at 5:33pm

Hi Gerie, thanks for your comments but that statement, "censorship is never the answer" feels so simplistic and dismissive. Our society does censor certain material from minors to protect them and has made some material just plain illegal to view. . . so sometimes censorship is the answer. Why the libraries don't believe they have a legal obligation to protect minors is beyond me. Do you think it is reasonable to put parental type controls on computers in a children's section and have restricted access to computers without filters in the adult section?

Comment by Chuck Parrish on February 12, 2012 at 4:31pm

One of the things that I consider when thinking about public policy..ok, What is the problem that needs to be solved? Currently, I am not aware of any local evidence..either anecdotal or actual..of a problem..or more importantly..a pattern of a problem. A one time event is not the basis for a change of policy in most cases. It seems like a reasonable thing to run by KCLS to see if they have any thoughts about it. Have they had a pattern of problems of this type in other communities and, if so, how did they deal with it? Jenna, I wonder if you have contacted KCLS about this or do you agree that we don't really seem to have a problem in Tukwila?

Comment by Jenna Smith on February 13, 2012 at 5:36pm

From what I read on-line of the recent Lake City event and all the comments that followed, I would say there is a problem and a pattern of parents taking their children to public libraries and witnessing adults as well as underage people viewing pornography. Whether it has happened in Tukwila, I don't know but I can't imagine it hasn't. Typically when I think of public policy, I think the same thing about the "problem" but then I think who are the stakeholders, what are their interests and how can we compromise to find a solution everyone can live with and that won't create other issues to try to fix later on. In this case Chuck, I don't think we need to find a pattern to determine that children should not view pornography at the library, even if it is over the shoulder twenty feet away. I'm sure there is a solution here that everyone can live with. I haven't talked to KCLS yet but I will and then I'll ask my city representatives to get involved. What about you, are you interested or have other ideas?

Comment by Marie Parrish on February 13, 2012 at 6:42pm

The King County Library System (KCLS) has an Internet Filtering Policy. It complies with CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) and does provide filtering on KCLS computers. There are two levels of filtering - one for general computers and a more restrictive one for computers in the children's area. As I read the policy, even the least restrictive would screen for adult material/pornography, so I doubt the need to request further filtering. I have never heard of any problems. The full policy can be found at http://www.kcls.org/usingthelibrary/computers_internet/Internet%20F... . Other KCLS policies can be accessed at http://www.kcls.org//usingthelibrary/policies/. If you have further questions about KCLS, please attend the next meeting of the Tukwila Library Advisory Board - Wednesday, Feb. 15th at Foster Library. Friends of the Library starts at 7:00 with the TLAB meeting shortly thereafter. There is a time for citizens comments and we would love to have you join us. Both the managing librarian, Darth Nielsen and his supervisor, John Sheller will be there if you have questions about the Internet policy (or others).

Comment by Gerie Ventura on February 14, 2012 at 4:59pm

Hi Jenna, sorry if I sounded dismissive with that "never the answer" comment but it's hard to have a real conversation like this in writing on a blog. It's easier to explain the library position on censorship in person.

As Marie suggests, it would be best if you and anyone else who is interested in knowing more about this topic would either attend the library advisory board meeting or ask a librarian directly in your local branch.

And my answer to your last question "Do you think it is reasonable to put parental type controls on computers in a children's section and have restricted access to computers without filters in the adult section?" is yes, absolutely. That is more than reasonable.

This topic comes up all the time in libraries. Filters are used most public and K-12 school libraries.

Comment by Jenna Smith on February 15, 2012 at 10:55am

Thank you Gerie and Maria,
I think you have answered my question about the Library's position. . . in case my email sounds like I'm being sarcastic, I'm not! I appreciate you taking the time to provide more information about how the internet is managed for people under 18. I'd love to join a meeting but I'll be out of town until after the 22nd. When is the next meeeting? Since I can't attend, what I'm most concerned about is how the design of the new Tukwila library will address this issue. Do you know where they are in regards to the design process?

Comment by Marie Parrish on February 15, 2012 at 2:39pm

The next meeting of TLAB(Tukwila Library Advisory Board) will be March 21st at 7:00 - Foster Library. Friends of the Library meet first but are generally done in 10-15 minutes. Please come.

As for the new library, there will be at least one public meeting for input soon. As soon as I have the details, I will post it on Tukwila Talk.



You need to be a member of Tukwila Talk to add comments!

Join Tukwila Talk

© 2017   Created by Chuck Parrish.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service