(04/15/2002)

Calhoun County Library seeking support for operating levy

The interim director of the West Virginia State Library Commission, J. D. Waggoner, says if the law is upheld to install filters on library computers, libraries will be forced to spend thousands of dollars they don't have on filters that don't work. The filters appear to be a mandated item with no specific funding stream.

Currently, federal law says filters must be placed on the computers to protect children from inappropriate material and pornography. If libraries don't install the filters, they can loose their funding.

Waggoner says local communities and libraries should set their own standards regarding computer use, and indicates nearly all of them have.

A federal three-judge panel in Philadelphia is expected to rule on the matter in May.

One of the lawsuits against the filters contends the law is unenforceable and censors free speech.

Local librarian Glada Stump is concerned about trying to keep the local library going, and fears increased overhead. A small operating levy is on the May ballot, which the library says would cost the average Calhoun taxpayer a few dollars, about the cost of a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, each year.


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