Process means listening to the state
SUMMIT COUNTY – While Summit County Libraries haven’t received federal funding for some time, pressure from state organizations to comply with federal mandates could mean changes anyway.
At times, federal funds are granted to the state, which then has to decide where to send the funds, according to Bonnie McCune, library community programs consultant for Colorado State Libraries.
If enough libraries refuse to comply with a recent Supreme Court ruling on adding Internet filters, it could lead to a decision by the federal government to bypass Colorado for funding. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling stated that Congress can force public libraries to equip computers with anti-pornography filters – or, it can take away their federal funding.
“If a library receives S a grant, that is federal dollars, and that is part of the telecommunications costs,” said Donna Jones Morris, president of the Colorado Association of Libraries, independent of Colorado State Libraries, which is a government agency. “It’s a huge issue that libraries have to discuss. The truth is, we don’t know exactly how this will work out.”
Federal budget cuts to libraries are already a concern. In Washington, D.C., the government has cut more than $5 million in the past five years, prompting concern from the likes of Ralph Nader. Joyce Dierauer, director of Summit County Libraries, attended a conference last weekend in Canada that discussed such budget issues – and featured Nader as a speaker.
“(Nader) has taken on the cause of the D.C. library, and he thinks it’s atrocious that our nation’s capital’s library is in such bad shape,” Dierauer said. “He wants libraries to host civics courses, which will encourage people to go and attend town meetings and county meetings to voice concerns when things start happening.”
– Ryan Slabaugh
For more details and text of the bill, go to http://www.house.gov, and search for the law titled Children’s Internet Protection Act.
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