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Access To Internet Porn In Kids Area Worries Mt. Vernon Library

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon Public Library is looking at its policy for filtering the Internet for computers in the children’s section, and also is looking at its overall code of conduct, which hasn’t been updated since 1986, Library Director Donna Hurwitz said.

Hurwitz said the library has no censorship policies because of the need to protect the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Hurwitz said neighboring libraries have similar policies, but the concern is for the children’s section of the library, where inappropriate material can potentially be viewed.

“We are concerned about pornography and violent images,” Hurwitz said. “We know that other libraries feel it’s the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their children don’t see things that are inappropriate. We certainly feel that adults are responsible for themselves and shouldn’t be told where to go on the Internet, no matter how offensive the material might be.”

Hurwitz said the best way to make people aware of the policy is to add signs stating the Internet policy in the library, especially in the children’s section.

Internet use was among library policies that the library Board of Trustees discussed at its meeting Wednesday night. The board also discussed updating the library’s code of conduct. Newly elected board President Na’Im Tyson said that over the summer, a young man had complaints against him for sitting in an area where construction was taking place, even though the code of conduct didn’t specifically ban patrons from that area.

“For the next meeting, we need a draft of changes with some caveat that you are prohibited from being in an area of construction,” Tyson said. “We had another instance where people were blocking others from walking into the old law collection. We need to keep in mind any revisions so we can post them on our website for the patrons to see.”

The trustees will meet again on Nov. 21, when changes to the code of conduct will be further discussed.

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