Best Display Of Grace Under Pressure

Austin Public Library vs. The Monster in the Closet

The monster being cyberporn or censorship, depending on your tastes. No one is thrilled with the limited, customized filtering on APL's public-access Internet terminals, but imagine what Library Director Brenda Branch could have done. She could have gotten herself arrested for distributing pornography to minors (a felony in our state). Or she could have blocked access to the word "breast" in any context (which the off-the-shelf \'Net filters do). Or she could have dispensed with public \'Net access entirely (like all too many Texas libraries). The current setup is a compromise, and thus offensive to some ideals, but it does just what public services are supposed to - provides the greatest good to the greatest number.


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