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Library filtering legislation needed
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 2/21/2008 12:10 AM

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Illinois Library Association misinformation is reported without balance in the media, e.g., "Librarians Want Local Control of Harmful Content," Feb. 19.

An ILA "lobbyist" deceives the legislators who are then reported to be in agreement with the misinformation.

Remember the possibly illegal public library computer boycotts the ILA staged and aimed at legislators? The media must provide balance or the ILA will gain another trick victory at the expense of children.

At the core of the false information is the claim that local libraries should decide whether to use Internet filters. What is not revealed is that:

1) Local control is sometimes impossible. The Oak Lawn Public Library still makes Playboy available to children despite 94 percent f the public and the village government itself opposing that. This lack of local control was a result of intervention by three American Library Association leaders.

2) Some librarians follow ILA/ALA guidance even to the point of intentionally failing to report crimes stemming in part from unfiltered computer usage.

3) The very reason statewide legislation is needed is that local citizens are often powerless to wrest control of the library from the grip of powerful library associations despite possible violations of library enabling statutes.

How can these people be seen as trustworthy? Even the ACLU says filters are legal, effective and do not block health-related material. The media must do more to balance out ILA misinformation, else crimes against children cannot abate.

Please tell your legislators to support statewide public library filtering legislation.

Dan Kleinman

SafeLibraries.org

Chatham, NJ