On April 4, 2019, bill H194aaS became enacted legislation. Effective July 1, 2020. public libraries will have to filter access on their internet services so that obscene and pornographic material can't be accessed. This prevents minors from using personal laptops, tablets, smartphones or other devices to access pornographic sties. The addition of WiFi amends a previous law that only dealt with publicly accessible computers. Library policies will need to be updated to include the new law. Additional equipment may need to be installed at each library.
This is an unfunded mandate. The Idaho Library Association dedicated countless hours to communicating our concerns and continued negotiations for funding assistance. We lobbied heavily for more time to perform cost analysis and evaluate implementation of the law. Friendly negotiations were dismissed and flat out refused.
Link to bill text: https://legislature.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/sessioninfo/2019/legislation/H0194.pdf
In the future, we may see more 'decency' issues. It is our goal to draft needed legislation that includes libraries as partners in meaningful efforts, and provides funding.
We also hope to lobby heavily for amendments to this law and funding. If you would like to get involved in future efforts, please don't hesitate to contact us.
LeAnn Gelskey, ILA Co-Chair