School and public libraries in Arizona have been filtering online content for years to protect minors from accessing obscene materials on their computers.
A new state law, which goes into effect Aug. 1, establishes significant consequences for those entities that don’t have a strict policy against such materials.
House Bill 2712 specifies the types of material the schools and libraries must block and includes a tough penalty — the state can withhold 10 percent of its funding if the school or library doesn’t comply.
The new law has several requirements: Schools and libraries must filter and block questionable websites from minors and the general public; they must establish a policy to enforce the ban on these materials; and they have to make the rules available to the public.
Kathleen Sullivan, collection development coordinator for the Phoenix Public Library, said the library also has been operating under CIPA. They work with an outside company, Websense, to block harmful sites, and all computer users must agree to the policy before logging on.
“There really isn’t anything they need to do to comply with the law because they already are,” Sullivan said.
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