LEBANON — The Lebanon library system isn’t going to install any internet filtering software, though it is open to continuing to look at the issue, said Steven Taylor, a member of the Library Board of Trustees.
“It’s something that we know is an ongoing issue and something we’ll need to review on a regular basis,” Taylor said Tuesday.
The board set up a task force last year to look at possibly adding internet filters after Jim Vanier, youth center coordinator at the Carter Community Building Association, expressed concerns that children could access online pornography at the library computers.
The task force recently decided not to install filtering software.
Vanier said Tuesday that he had overheard two boys talking and he thought he heard them say they saw pornography on a library computer.
“I asked them about it and the kids said more or less, ‘No, it didn’t happen,’” Vanier said.
“But things have happened at the Kilton Library” in West Lebanon.
The task force found that currently available internet filtering software isn’t precise enough, and will block out information and websites that are not problematic.
Vanier wants to see something done, however.
“They’re saying these filters and blocks are radical,” Vanier said.
“You talk about computers you might as well be talking aerospace to me.”
Taylor said that the filter options available on the market now are not ideal for the library, but said that may change as technology improves.
“We know we need to address this,” Taylor said.
Current library policies state that it is up to parents to make sure children use the internet in a safe and responsible manner.
“Parents/legal guardians are encouraged to be present and supervise their child’s Internet use at the Libraries,” the policies state.
“As is the case with all other library materials, any restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the child’s parent/legal guardian.”