Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Friday, June 23, 2006

Is library censorship coming to Howard County?

Under the guise of protecting children from whatever they might find in their computer searches, it seems like a real possibility that we're going to get a little more censorship in our Howard County libraries. That's what I read into the article by Jennifer Surface in the June 22 Times and Flier. You can check it out at

To date, the formulators of our county library policy have resisted the federal government's computer censorship attempts to bring us all down the level of six-year-olds. We've told them we won't be bought with their money and that they can keep their prudish attempts at censorship to themselves. But now there is talk of reconsideration and even a Howard County Times poll on the subject.

I would argue that the existing policy of the county library system is more than adequate and that we need no more in the way of Big Brother-style oversight. The activities of children are the responsibility of their parents. If some of the latter choose to try to keep their children ignorant about sexual matters or whatever, they can keep them out of sex education classes, away from their home computers, and even out of libraries. That doesn't seem educationally productive to me, but it would be plenty protective. Just don't require that others be subjected to governmental or library censorship based on puritanical prudery. I submit that no change in the library's computer policy is either required or necessary. Say NO to filters on the library computers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never having used the Internet at a County library, I'll admit my naivety regarding how they currently deal with it.

Would you at least be amenable to the County posting disclaimers at Internet terminals something like either of the following?

"Information and media accessible via the Internet is not compiled, edited, or quality checked by the County Libary and some content may be found by some to be untrue, misleading, objectionable, offensive, sexist, racist, obscene, inappropriate for some age groups, dangerous, cause ill effects, or promote unhealthy, dangerous, antisocial, or illegal behavior - much like many of the texts that have been purposefully compiled and made available for circulation here."
"The Internet is like being able to instantly visit both the best libraries, museums, and performance venues in the world and the worst trash dumps in the world."

11:04 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

I'd have no problem at all with that. In my view, the best way to combat what you may regard as bad "speech" or expression is with your idea of good "speech" or expression. The worst way is censorship.

9:18 AM  
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