Timberland Regional Library Internet Access Protest

February 27, 2002

Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees:

Arthur A. Blauvelt III, President, Grays Harbor County Representative

Doug Mah, Member-at-Large

Patricia Shults, Vice-President, Pacific County Representative

Peggy Meyer, Mason County Representative

Ken Bragg, Thurston County Representative

Janelle Williams, Member-at-Large

Edna J. Fund, Chehalis River Council, Lewis County Representative


Dear Trustees:

My name is Dave Palmer. I've been a resident of Oakville for 12 years. I retired after 30 years with IBM.

I've raised and sold horses. I am the founder of a successful environmental nonprofit corporation, the Chehalis River Council.

I am married. I am a father. I am a grandfather. Like most people here tonight, I am a taxpayer.

Taxpayers pay for Timberland Regional Library facilities. Taxpayers pay for Timberland Regional Library librarians and staff. Taxpayers pay for Timberland Regional Library administration and directors.

Many local taxpayers have concerns about the Timberland Regional Library internet policies.

When I learned of this meeting I did some research. I am not a researcher so I spent only 4 or 5 hours on this and then 20 hours overcoming stage fright.

When I did my research, I asked this question: "Would it be reasonable?" as a test. When I did my research, I took different roles.

What about simpler things?

.

So Timberland Regional Library has chosen not to stock those books.

So, students, readers, researchers or curiosity seekers on any of the above topics would have to go outside for their research and information.

That outside research and information is acceptable and expected and has been a long tradition of Timberland Regional Library staff and management. The local communities have accepted this practice.

There are other books and other titles that some are interested in.

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It seems Timberland Regional Library has historically been selective in its' choice of titles.

These last 6 titles are on a published list of banned books and yet Timberland Regional Library has most of the list in stock but still is selective about the list.

My point in all of this is rather simple.

My research showed me that Timberland Regional Library has for years been selective. For years Timberland Regional Library has told researchers and readers to find a certain amount of their information elsewhere.

This long time practice of being selective has worked for Timberland Regional Library and local communities.

Now comes the internet.

Now Timberland Regional Library board members seem unable to continue their long term practice of selectivity.

The mere printing of books and magazines did not force Timberland Regional Library to stock them. Timberland Regional Library made selection decisions in the past. Those decisions were not seen as threats to the first amendment or free speech.

The mere storing of information on the internet does not mean Timberland Regional Library has to make it available to anyone. Again, Timberland Regional Library has made selection decisions in the past.

If filtering blocks someone from finding out about some aspect of sex, medicine or law, let them do what we have done all these years. Go find an appropriate and legal solution. Again, Timberland Regional Library has made selection decisions in the past.

There are local businesses which would love to be able to provide commercial internet service but cannot afford to compete with a taxpayer supported library which gives away an expensive resource.

If one wants to view porn or copy porn then there are permitted, licensed and regulated taxpaying businesses which are able to provide that service to adult aged people.

Again Timberland Regional Library has made selection decisions in the past - you can make those same decisions today and the members of the taxpaying communities ask that you do.

Respectfully, <

Dave Palmer

cc: The Chronicle
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