City of Livermore Press Release.
Re: Kathleen R. v. City of Livermore.

Case No. V-015266-4, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.
Date: January 14, 1999.
Source: Livermore Public Library.  This document was created by scanning a fax, and converting it into HTML.


(925) 373-5500

Susan R. Gallinger
Library Director

January 14, 1999

For Immediate Release
For Further Information:
Susan Gallinger
Livermore Public Library
Dan Sodergren
Assistant City Attorney

Judge Rules In Favor Of Livermore Public Library and City of Livermore

Today, Alameda County Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez, Jr. dismissed a lawsuit (Kathleen R. v. City of Livermore) filed by a woman claiming that the Livermore Public Library's policy of free and open Internet access violated her son's constitutional rights.

Last October, the same judge dismissed the original complaint filed in the lawsuit, which alleged that the Library's open Internet policy constitutes a public nuisance, a waste of public funds and a dangerous condition of property. This first dismissal was based on the Judge's holding that the Federal Communications Decency Act prohibits the imposition of liability on the Library for providing access to material that is transmitted over the Internet by others.

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Press Release
Livermore Public Library
Internet Access Case

These rulings validate the Library's existing policy of free and open access to the Internet. Library Director Susan Gallinger stated "The Livermore Library Board evaluated several approaches for providing access to the Internet and ultimately decided that the Library did not want to be in a position of telling anyone what they can read, see or hear. The Board feels very strongly that it is a parent's responsibility to determine what their children are investigating on the Internet."

The Livermore Public Library Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks Policy states that Internet access is available for all users of the Library and is intended as an information resource. The policy acknowledges that the Internet may contain materials of a controversial nature but goes on to say that the Library has no control over the Information accessed through the Internet.

The policy notes that "Individuals must accept responsibility for determining what is appropriate. [The Library] upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected materials and also affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children's use of library materials and resources."

Further, the policy expects parents to monitor and supervise their children's use of the Internet. The policy firmly states that "the Livermore Public Library does not provide monitoring or supervision."