Thanks Matt! [was: one civic request]

From: Janie Wilkins (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 16:10:41 PST

I would like to publicly stand up and applaud Matt for his concise and
well-written overview of the problem with CIPA and how it will affect our
public libraries. Bravo and thank you for a much needed public service
announcement and call to civic action.

As a professional librarian I am dismayed at the effects that this bill will
have upon an individuals right to freely access information. Information is
power and any limiting of this power is censorship pure and simple. Yes,
children can access inappropriate sites on a public workstation at a
library, but by the same token they can also check out sexually explicit
books at the library as well. If they were to pass a bill in congress that
made it mandatory for libraries to restrict its purchases to those that are
appropriate for people of all ages, including children, then the shelves of
most libraries would begin to look barren within a short while and I suspect
that there would be a public outcry against such censorship.

Congress talks about wanting to close the "digital divide", but this bill
will limit the ability of people who do not own computers to seek the
information they need. CIPA expands the digital divide at a time when the
gap between the information haves and have-nots needs to be urgently closed.

Go back and read Matt's message if you have not already done so and then
please take action! I, like Matt, am not usually a person to get on my
soapbox and urge political action ... but this is one of those times when
action is truly needed. The bill does not come in to effect until April 20
... we still have 80+ days to make ourselves heard.


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