Delaware’s Governor Signs Legislation Enhancing Library Internet Protection For Children

June 16, 2010

June 15, 2010

Governor Jack Markell today signed legislation aimed at protecting children who access the internet at Delaware’s public libraries. House Bill 340 updates a law first enacted in 2004 by employing more technology-neutral language in order to accommodate the growing use of wireless access and the inevitable introduction of other technologies. The bill also enhances the original established protections for children who use library computers.

“Computer use in our libraries is on the rise and is now one of the most sought-after public library services,” said Governor Markell. “While broadband and wireless access replace older technologies, one thing that hasn’t changed is that we continue to have a duty to ensure responsible use of technology in our libraries.”

House Bill 340, sponsored by Representative John Atkins and Senator Robert Venables, reaffirms that parents/guardians will continue to make decisions about whether their children should have no access or limited access to the Internet through library computers. It also allows libraries to offer improved age-appropriate options for limited Internet access.

A recent study published by the Institute of Museum and Library Services reports that 45 percent of the 169 million visitors to U.S. public libraries over the past year connected to the Internet using a library computer or wireless network during their visit. Many of these individuals have internet access at home, but chose to use library networks for a variety of reasons.

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