Council installs internet filters on library computers
  • Monday 17 August 2009

Sunshine Coast Regional Council has begun installing internet filtering services on library computers in response to community concerns that some members of the public were accessing inappropriate material.

Councillors were today given a rundown of the latest measures being implemented to limit the availability of this material at public libraries.

The forum was told that earlier this month, Telstra was instructed to install filtering that would block access to pre-determined categories of classification, including pornography, on both desktop PCs and the wireless network. The technology will be effective from 25 August.

Council libraries offer the public free access to the internet on 70 computers across the Coast. Approximately 100,000 hours of internet access were used by visitors to the libraries in 2008.

Mayor Bob Abbot said council recognised that the safety of community members was paramount.

Cr Abbot said this had to be balanced with providing the community with access to legitimate information.

“Library staff are continually looking at ways to improve public safety while keeping this great community asset as useful as possible,” he said.

“Once it is installed, we will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the filter services.”

The Mayor said staff would also continue to use a number of other measures to discourage inappropriate use of the internet in council’s libraries, such as staff training and placing computers in public spaces away from the main children’s areas.