Boulder City Magazine® March 2007 Issue
by Duncan R. McCoy, Director
Boulder City Library
The internet is an amazing and versatile modern tool which allows communication, information and recreation for computer users around the world. Along with the good, though, comes some bad.
Boulder City Magazine®
|Those of us with the leisure to listen to daytime talk radio may have heard Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s periodic rants about the ubiquitous internet porn on public library computers across the country. Viewing of internet pornography does happen at Boulder City Library too, but not very often. Perhaps twice a year we have to talk to library patrons about viewing pornographic websites.
The Library Board prohibits viewing of pornographic websites on library internet computers, relying on the provisions of the Nevada Harmful to Minors Statute (NHMS), NRS 201.256, et seq., which says essentially, that display of prohibited images in areas accessible to minor children is a violation of the law. Since the Library’s computers are in public areas, anyone who displays prohibited images on a computer is in violation of NHMS.
The Library provides unfiltered computers for adults (over 18). Children under 18 are assigned to computers equipped with website filtering software which helps prevent access to pornographic websites, unless their parents have agreed to allow unrestricted access. Parents can come to the Library and grant their permission for their children to have access to unfiltered (adult) computers if they wish. Parental permission for children’s unrestricted computer access must be done in person.
Patrons are required to complete an agreement form which contains, among other provisions, an agreement not to access pornographic websites or materials on library computers. When library staff members notice library patrons viewing porn websites, we consider that the use agreement has been violated, the patron is removed from the computer and computer privileges are revoked. If the offending patron is an adult, the library director will communicate directly to the patron, either in person or in writing. If the offender is a juvenile, the library director will attempt to contact the child’s parents.
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