Molinari's response to my letter in the NY Times

William J. Frost fros at
Thu May 1 20:17:57 EDT 1997

On Wed, 30 Apr 1997, KAREN SCHNEIDER wrote:

> Just a quick note that today's NY Times has a response to my
> letter on filters; the response is  from Staten Island borough
> president Guy Molinari.  My letter, on the 24th, warned that filters
> that prevent access to their site lists are "unacceptable," and noted
> that Molinari was reportedly pressuring NYPL to use them. 
> Molinari, in the 4/30 Times, says he has a responsibility to protect
> folks from porn.  He completely bypasses my argument that
> "responsible adults have a right to this information."  
> I will respond to this letter (tonight, from my home address), but it
> would be nice if someone else  in the "if you use filters, use them
> responsibly" camp could send a letter to editor at  
> Y'all should know what I think--I'm not crazy about filters, but I
> sense many libraries feel compelled to at least explore their use,
> and if libraries use filters that have viewable, editable site lists, at
> least they haven't outsourced their selection to private entities
> with unknown agendas.  It would be a tragedy to see a system as
> big as NYPL forced to use a tool such as Cyber Patrol.  (Hmmm....
> as I write that it occurs to me, given the typical New Yorker,  it
> might be the best thing in the world.  ;-)  )
> fyi,  I am now writing a book on filters (short, due out quickly) and
> organizing a filter assessment project (next phase, due out
> tonight--I worked on the email on the train in today).  
> Why didn't we go into an easy profession--such as neurosurgery
> or air traffic control?  ;-)
> Karen G. Schneider/schneider.karen at
> Contractor, GCI/Director, US EPA Region 2 Library


I have a high regard for your opinion (read: they're similar to my own),
but I think you overstated Molinari's reply to your letter in the NY Times
(4/30/97, A20:3.

As you state, he did not address the problems of Internet filters.  But he
did claim that he had "suggested that the library consider blocking
software on Internet computers located in the children's section of the
public library as one possible solution." 

	Bill Frost                       Harvey A. Andruss Library              
	Reference Librarian              Bloomsburg University
	717-389-4126                     Bloomsburg, PA  17815
	fros at                  Fax 717-389-3895   Listowner CAPi-L

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