February 02, 1998


4 min



MAINSTREAM LOUDOUN, et al.     )                                )     Plaintiffs                 )         v.                     ) Case No. CA-97-2049-A                                ) BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE       ) LOUDOUN COUNTY LIBRARY, et al. )                                )     Defendants.                )

  • My name is Cindy Timmerman, I am the Technical Services Director for the Loudoun County Library system. I make this declaration at the request of counsel for the Defendants in the above-referenced matter for their use in support of a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint or render Summary Judgment in favor of the Defendants. All matters discussed in this Declaration are known personally to me and have arisen in the course of my duties as technical Services Director. I am more than 18 years of age and competent to make these declarations.
  • The Loudoun County Library system did not offer its patrons access to the Internet until November 24, 1997. From that time until today we have provided access to the Internet through nine (9) separate stand-alone terminals in six (6) separate library locations in Loudoun County. Each of those separate terminals is connected to the Internet through a dialup connection.
  • At all times since the Internet access has been available to library patrons, each of the public access terminals has had the Library Edition of the X-Stop software installed. The only feature of that software that has ever been activated by the Loudoun County Library system is a Uniform Resource Locator ("URL") filter known as the "Internet Monitor". That feature of the software operates to prevent patrons from retrieving information from certain pre-designated Internet sites on the World Wide Web.
  • The Loudoun County Library implementation of the X-Stop software does not block access to any of the following URLs: www.quaker.org, www.aauw.org, www.biology.yale.edu/graduateprogram.html or www.aidsquilt.org/aidsinfo.
  • I understand that the X-Stop software does offer other blocking features, such as a so-called "foul word monitor" that operates whenever certain words are keyed into the computer, and a "search engine monitor" that precludes users from entering certain words into the various search engines used to locate information on the World Wide Web. The Loudoun County Library system has never implemented any of those additional features.1/ The only filtering function installed on any of our terminals is the URL blocking feature described in the preceding paragraph.
  • The use of the Loudoun County Library terminals is governed by the terms of the attached policy that was adopted by the Library Board of Trustees on October 20, 1997. (Exhibit 1) The X-Stop filter software is a tool of administrative convenience that the Library uses as a first step in ensuring compliance with that policy. We are aware of the fact that, given the inherent nature of the World Wide Web, any filtering software will be imperfect. It may block some sites that perhaps should not in fact be blocked and it may allow access to some sites that, under our policy, should not be accessed. In order to provide Library patrons the greatest access consistent with the policy, we allow patrons who are prevented from accessing a particular site to request that the block be removed. That request is made by filling out the form that is attached as Exhibit 2. The patron gives that form to the Library staff and we review it and the specific site in issue to determine whether access is consistent with our policy. If access is consistent, the site is then unblocked.
  • Because each of our access terminals operates as a stand-alone terminal and because the terminals are disbursed at various locations throughout the County, we implement the decision to unblock a site by advising the software vendor to delete the block from the next day’s edition of the blocked site list. The vendor does not participate in our decision whether to remove a block. The vendor’s only role is to delete the block in the daily update. We use the vendor only as a matter of convenience to ensure that all of our dispersed terminals have the same blocking database.
  • Since the Internet access program has been implemented we have received less than ten (10) requests to unblock sites. In each case we have reviewed the site in question. In each case we have deleted the block. We have not had a single instance of a request to access a blocked site where we have declined to permit access to the site.
  • Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. &#sect; 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.


    Dated: February 2, 1998



    Cindy Timmerman


    1/During a brief period in December, the foul word monitor was inadvertently activated when a re-installation of the software on some of the terminals caused the settings to revert to the defaults.