Does the library use filtering software on its computers?
Lewis & Clark Library believes that filtering software can be a helpful tool for parents in the home but is not appropriate in a public place such as the library for several reasons.

First, filtering technology has not been perfected. It does not allow for individual choice and imposes filtering on everyone - whether or not they wish to have their choices subject to filters.

Second, filtering is a one-size-fits all "solution." It treats a 6-year-old, a 16-year-old, and a 60-year-old the same. It may even block useful information. For example, one system was found to filter the phrase "sexual harassment."

Third, it’s impossible to block all inappropriate sites, both because of the way filters work and the fact that the Internet changes very fast. Filtering software can give parents a false sense of security and could even make the library liable if parents believe their children have been protected from "offensive materials."

Lewis and Clark Library encourages parents to come to the library with their children and supervise their internet use. We believe parents should decide for their own children what they wish them to see and read.

Show All Answers

1. Does the library have an electronic access policy?
2. A lot of people, especially parents, are concerned about children’s access to the Internet, and the fact that they might encounter "X-rated" material. How does the library protect children?
3. Does the library use filtering software on its computers?
4. Why can’t Lewis & Clark Library let parents decide what their children will access in the library?
5. Why should my tax dollars pay for access to offensive materials?
6. The Lewis & Clark Library does not subscribe to offensive materials like Hustler, why should the library allow access to offensive materials online?
7. Why doesn’t the library protect children from offensive materials, whether or not it is legally obscene?
8. How do I guide my child when I can’t be with them 24 hours a day?
9. Why doesn’t Lewis & Clark Library restrict access?
10. How can I voice my opinions to the library if I am offended by materials on the Internet?