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Library Board Seeks Public Comment On Internet Filtering

Deadline is Dec. 31

Fort Vancouver Regional Library District's Board of Trustees would like to hear district citizens' responses to the following question:

The library's current Internet-access policy requires mandatory filtering of sexually-explicit Web sites, with adults 17 and older able to turn off the filter. Should the district change its policy to eliminate the ability of adults to turn off the filter?

The district's current Internet access policy, adopted by the Board in 2003, complies with the federal Children's Internet Protection Act.

The library encourages residents to submit comments by Dec. 31 to be included in materials the Trustees will review for a Jan. 9 board discussion about Internet filtering.

The discussion will be the focus of a workshop to be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, at Washougal Community Library, 1661 C Street.

The Board will take no public comment nor action during the workshop. The regular monthly Board meeting will follow at 6:15 p.m.

The public can submit comments to the Board in several ways:

Send an email to trustees@fvrl.org

Complete an online comment form at www.fvrl.org

Call the district at (360) 695-1561, or (toll-free from area code 509 only) 1-888-546-2707

Complete a patron comment form at any of the district's 13 branches or three bookmobiles

Mail comments to FVRL, 1007 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, Wash. 98663

The Jan. 9 workshop on Internet filtering evolved from a Dec. 12 public hearing held in Vancouver. The focus of the December hearing was to gather ideas about the Board's next steps to "solve Vancouver's library building problems" following two failed facilities bond measures.

However, testimony at the hearing and other public comments largely focused on public concern about Internet access in the library, and the impact of that concern on election results.

The Board will return to the question of next steps for Vancouver facilities separately in early 2006.

Comments about Vancouver facilities are being received online through the end of the year at www.fvrl.org, as well as through any branch, or by phone or mail.

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