State Representative Tim Fritz (R-Loveland) has recently introduced House Bill 1376. This bill mandates the use of "electronic protection measures" - commonly known as filtering software - on all Internet terminals that can be used by minors. It also allows for the disabling of that software, whether for adults or for children, if, in the opinion of the librarian, the person is doing "bona fide or legitimate research."
The Colorado Library Association is opposed to this bill. Here's why.
First, we're doing a great deal about this issue right now.
Technology can be worrisome. My grandmother worried about her daughter on the telephone. Who knew what she'd hear?
My mother worried about my sister in her friends' cars. Who knew where they'd go?
My wife worries about my daughter's use of the Internet. Who knows what she'll see?
And as everyone remembers from their own childhood, you did indeed hear things, go places, and see things you know your parents didn't want you to.
Imagine that your mind is the front door of a refrigerator. Throughout the day, you stick all kinds of notes on it, using either sticky notes, or paper and magnets.
By the end of the day, and definitely by the end of the WEEK, let's face it, your mind is a mess. Some of those notes are very important. Some of them are trivial. But even very important things don't need to be attended to today.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. In a culture so dominated by television that the racy image commands more attention than anything so subtle as an idea, OF COURSE politicians focus on "sex on the Internet."
Here's something that always surprises people. Your local library was one of the first entities to recognize the potential of the World Wide Web. Long before "broadband" found its way into common parlance, libraries were laying the infrastructure for digital communication in Colorado.