HB 1727- Mandatory Internet Filters on all Public and School Libraries

This bill passed the Illinois House of Representatives on May 2. It is now headed toward the Senate. It will affect those under 21 since they will need to request that the filter be removed even for research or other legitimate purpose. For Action Alert and talking points from the Illinois Library Association, read here. For the bill’s full text, see here. For more information, see the Illinois Library Association site.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

About Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.
Bookmark the permalink.

3 Comments

  1. I am happy to see this blog on HB1727 acknowledge the Illinois House action on Internet Filtering HB1727 (vote=63 to 51). But why is the Library Journal not reporting on the story? It did when a similar bill lost in the House. Why not when it won in the House?

  2. Jami Schwarzwalder [Member]

    I understand that you are upset about the safety of today’s children and young adults, but I find it better to educate our teens and young adults about internet safety than to keep it away from the until a certain age. If we do not help our youth learn how to handle these adult situations when they turn 18, or whatever age limit is set on the laws, they are no more ready to handle the situations than today. I would gladly accept money from the government to support internet safety education in response to current problems, but the government is choosing to insead step in as parents telling all youth what is acceptable and not. I know as a caring citizen you would be upset if the government passed a law that forbid fiction books from being included in schools because there are many titles that are marketed for adults and mature teens that unfortunately make it into the hands of children. Who are we to universally decided what is appropriate for all teens, when each individual is unique, and every situation is different. How can we have our patrons best interests in mind when we decide to limit there experiences with difficult subjects even when as adults they will have to deal with it.

    I am saddened by the Illinois government, who has chosen to ignore the benefits the internet can provide, to instead show teens mistrust and disrespect by not allowing them the chance to show how safe and smart the majority are.

  3. Jami Schwarzwalder,

    Thank you for your excellent response. It is refreshing to speak with someone addressing the issues instead of the messenger.

    I agree with you quite a lot. But the issue is not trust or respect of teens. I do trust and respect them. The problem here goes deeper. The problem is the criminals attracted into the public library by unfiltered Internet terminals. These people then go on to rape and molest the children we all trust and respect.

    The problem is not even the safety of today’s children and young adults. The problem is that laws and US Supreme Court decisions have been created to provide legal protection, and communities might avail themselves of these protections, but the ALA steps in to ensure this does not happen, in many instances, by essentially misleading the public.

    For example, HB1727 is being fought tooth and nail by the ILA in part on the claim that filters do not work. This is out and out false information. It is not true. How do we know? From the ACLU’s own experts, filters are about 95% effective and no longer block out health-related material. I urge you to read ACLU v. Gonzales yourself at http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/07D0346P.pdf You see, I rely on the law to make my arguments, not on sentimentality.

    Now I am not saying filters are a must. I am saying people must be properly and truthfully informed so that they may come to their own informed decision. The ILA telling people a total falsehood does not move toward that goal. And likely as a result of being misinformed, computers remain unfiltered, criminals still criminalize, and children are harmed again and again in a way the law was designed to stop, but for the misinformation provided by the ALA, the ILA, and the like.

    That’s what most burns me up. Perfectly good laws being circumvented due to ALA propaganda, possibly resulting in continuing harm to children despite the law. People need to be fully informed and allowed to say what goes on in their own libraries.

Comments are closed