Life Issues / Family Ethics Political Action Committee of Southwest Washington

 Vancouver City Council Candidates
Review On Library Pornography


  FVRL Porn Chronology  

Oct 2013
A Brief Review Of Candidates Regarding Removal Of Pornography At FVRL
By Life PAC
Jack Burkman was a Vancouver City Councilor from 1998 to 2001. During those years, citizens brought concerns about the distribution of pornography to and near minors in Vancouver libraries to the Vancouver City Council, and Burkman did not respond to the concerns.

Jeanne Stewart,
elected in 2001, was the only Vancouver City Councilor to publicly speak up during the city council meetings for decent Internet service in light of the kids and teens in the library.  Library records of complaints showed lewd behaviors and screens associated with library Internet porn use, made available to and near minors in the library. In addition to Internet hardcore pornography made available to children, the library also distributed pornographic magazines to children, over the objections of parents.

Tim Leavitt and Larry Smith, elected to Vancouver City Council in 2003 and 2004 respectively, did not respond publicly to citizen concerns expressed repeatedly at city council meetings over the years. The mayor and council have the authority to recommend some FVRL library board members, and the Vancouver Representatives were unresponsive to community concerns.

cheline Doan attended library board meetings to advocate decent library service, and wrote publicly in support of filtering out pornography in public libraries.

The Children's Internet Protection Act was passed into law  in 2000, requiring libraries to filter out pornographic an obscene material on library computers with Internet access. The American Library Association and the ACLU filed a lawsuit to overturn CIPA, but the law was upheld by the Supreme Court in June of 2003. 

The FVRL library board finally voted to filter out pornography, but  only for children 12 and under in August 2002, but didn't get around to implementing the decision until a year later, around July 2003 or so.  In March of 2003,  Jack Burkman was appointed to the Ft. Vancouver Library Board and served until 2008.  He advocated for the library policies of porn distribution to and near minors for several years. 

In October 2003, the board decided to filter for minors 16 and under only, porn still available to those 17 and up.  Meanwhile, similar size library systems in WA state based in Tacoma and Wenatchee took the approach to filter out obscene or pornographic materials for all and did not offer pornographic magazines to minors.  Burkman had an excellent opportunity to advocate decent Internet service for FVRL libraries, but didn't. It took FVRL until April 2004 to actually implement the 16 and under policy, after a failed library bond.  Citizens did not support the second attempt for a library bond, due in part to the continued distribution of hardcore pornography to and near minors. Jack Burkman continued to defend the library pro porn policy, and was not responsive to the citizen concerns.  It was not until Feb 2006, that Burkman finally voted to filter porn for all ages. 

In 2012, the WA State Supreme Court upheld the right of libraries to filter out pornography in a ruling involving the 28 branch North Central Regional Library system based in Wenatchee.

For an in depth record and chronology of the library porn issue at FVRL, see here.