January 19, 2022

Montana: Four Unfiltered Public Internet Terminals Will Remain Available at Billings Public Library

From the Billings Gazette:

A library policy that provides patrons with four computers with unfiltered access to the internet will remain in place.

In January, the Billings City Council asked the library board to create a policy for blocking access to obscene material on the library’s public computers. Eighty-five of the computers have filtered internet access. The four computers that are unfiltered have recessed monitors, making it difficult for passersby to see what’s on the screen.

The Billings Public Library Board voted unanimously Thursday to leave its current internet usage policy in place. Board members and library staff will meet with the city council next month to explain the board’s policy.


The city council’s request came during its Jan. 25 meeting after Councilman Chris Friedel, according to the meeting minutes, “referenced a recent news story describing an incident at the library” in which a library patron walked by a computer and saw obscene material being viewed by another user.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Full Text of Memo to Library Board by Library Director Bill Cochran and Assistant Director Michael Carlson (5 pages; PDF) and Embedded Below)

Billings Public Library: Statement of Concern_About Library Resources

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.