American heartland votes for uncensored Net content

The little library that could

Presidential ambition wasn't the only contest on voters' minds during the Michigan Republican primary last night. A small, conservative Michigan town put the issue of Internet censorship in public libraries on the ballot as a referendum. Voters in Holland, Michigan defeated a proposal to install filtering software on Web-enabled library computers, urged by some lest sprouts be subject to pornography and violence and other forms of political incorrectness on line. Had the proposal passed, it would have cut off public funds to the library. Holland is the first US municipality to put Internet censorship to a referendum, but the issue is on the front burner in thousands of towns and cities across the US, and often hotly contested. The library board took a bold stand, indicating it would close the facility rather than install the software. Fortunately, common sense prevailed over child-protective hysteria, and the good citizens of Holland will be able to keep their library open, and their information free from government filtering. We wish it were always this easy. ®

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