Yakima County Libraries Filtering Out Adult Websites

<p>Blocked Adult Site</p>

Blocked Adult Site

18 libraries in Yakima County adopt a new internet policy that restricts users from accessing adult content -- and many library goers are happy it is finally happening.

Samantha Dobbs is a frequent visitor at the Yakima Valley Regional Library, and was shocked to see what web site a fellow patron was logged on to recently.

"I looked over, and somebody was looking at pornography, and I was kind of appalled that somebody would do that in a public place," said Dobbs.

The Yakima Valley Regional Library Board voted to restrict online content earlier this week.

That decision came after people petitioned for a policy change, following an incident where a man was arrested last month for allegedly masturbating at one of the library's computers.

Library officials say the old policy involved a waiver adults needed to sign in order to be granted internet privileges.

"Everybody who acessed the internet had to sign the policy saying that they knew what the benefits and the challenges might be on the internet," said Library Director Kim Hixson.

That policy has been in effect since 1997, and many library goers say, it's about time that was changed.

"It's a public place, it's not for people to be looking at those things and looking them up on tv with kids, or on the internet with young kids, and influencing them, said Patricia Tucker.

As for Samantha Dobbs, she thinks the internet policy should be adopted by every public place in the state.

"My child could do that, or my cousins, or my sisters, if they can do that anywhere they wanted, that's just not really appropriate. They could stumble onto a site like that and it...Wouldn't be very nice," said Dobbs.

As for other libraries in our region, the Mid-Columbia libraries computers are filtered, and don't allow for pornography. 

Adults can request the filter be turned off, but the libraries have a conduct policy that prohibits the viewing of pornography.