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Seattle Library Lets Man Watch Porn On Computers Despite Complaints 584

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-little-privacy-please dept.
The Lake City library is making news for their staunch position on the First Amendment, censorship, and the right to watch porn in the library. The problem started when library patron Julie Howe found a man watching some questionable material and asked him to move to another computer. The man refused and the librarian also refused to intervene when asked saying that the library doesn't censor content. "We're a library, so we facilitate access to constitutionally protected information. We don't tell people what they can view and check out," Seattle Public Library spokeswoman Andra Addison told Seattle PI. "Filters compromise freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. We're not in the business of censoring information."
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Seattle Library Lets Man Watch Porn On Computers Despite Complaints

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  • by HBI (604924) <kparadine@gma i l . c om> on Friday February 03, 2012 @05:58PM (#38921163) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately, some politician is going to smell opportunity and make them regret it.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:21PM (#38921209) Homepage Journal

      Unfortunately, some politician is going to smell opportunity and make them regret it.

      How do you know the man in question isn't one?

      Seems better than even odds to me...

    • by Squiddie (1942230)
      There's nothing wrong. As long as the man doesn't whip it out right there and then, everything is fine.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Columcille (88542)
        Why? If it's already on display via the computer, what difference does it make if it's on display from his actions? Why not let him whip it out, since he's already allowed to put those images in front of everyone? The whole thing is crazy and the censorship arguments are ludicrous. Libraries absolutely need to filter this kind of content.
        • by X0563511 (793323) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:41PM (#38921487) Homepage Journal

          Because allowing him to watch it is an exercise in free speech or something, that can be argued to be protected (what the whole story is about). Whipping it out and going "to work" would run afoul of indecent exposure or other such statutes.

          I guess? IANAL and all that.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @07:11PM (#38921877)

            Except the complaint is less about his right to view pornography and more about his lack of a right to subject others to it. If the library doesn't washer to stop him, OK but make him go some place in the library where others don't have to see it. There is plenty of precedent and common sense that makes it clear that our first amendment rights have limitations when they infringe on the rights of others. I would say it's a fair argument to say this infringes on this woman's right to use the Library in peace.

            • by omfgnosis (963606) on Friday February 03, 2012 @07:21PM (#38922003)

              There isn't any sound precedent I'm aware of that establishes any kind of freedom from speech. There are certainly limits on what circumstances you are entitled to subject others to your speech (you are not entitled to hold an audience hostage), but there are no "free from speech zones" in public. If a person is in a public space voluntarily, they do not have the right to operate in a bubble and be shielded from speech.

              That's the principle of the law. Whether watching porn is a speech act is another question, but if it is, it is absolutely protected.

              • Time, place, and manner. Long established restrictions on speech in public forums.

                Also the AC who said you cannot yell fire in a crowded room is wrong. You can be restricted from falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater is the classic example. If there is a fire you are certainly allowed to do so.

              • I believe it is a protected thing, mostly because I do not want to have any slippery slope. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean it should not be protected. I applaud the library for obviously being staunch supporters of the first amendment.

                All of that said, I think the guy is quite an asshole.
                Talking about no taste in public behavior.
                -nB

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by omfgnosis (963606)

                  I believe it is a protected thing, mostly because I do not want to have any slippery slope.

                  I don't want one either, but is that a convincing argument? It's not for me.

                  I applaud the library for obviously being staunch supporters of the first amendment.

                  It's not clear to me that 1A is even relevant. Is it a speech act to consume pornography? The closest I can reason to that is the implicit (but not explicit) right to hear speech being integral to a thorough right to speech, but I have no idea if that would stand up.

                  All of that said, I think the guy is quite an asshole.
                  Talking about no taste in public behavior.

                  Very probably true.

              • by Sulphur (1548251) on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:49PM (#38923365)

                There isn't any sound precedent I'm aware of that establishes any kind of freedom from speech. There are certainly limits on what circumstances you are entitled to subject others to your speech (you are not entitled to hold an audience hostage), but there are no "free from speech zones" in public. If a person is in a public space voluntarily, they do not have the right to operate in a bubble and be shielded from speech.

                That's the principle of the law. Whether watching porn is a speech act is another question, but if it is, it is absolutely protected.

                The porn talks to him.

              • by sycodon (149926) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @02:06AM (#38924681)

                Bullshit.

                Drive down the Vegas strip. Do you see ads for strip clubs? Are they nude? No. Because a city ordinance prevents it. If you think that hasn't been litigated then you're smoking something.

                This stupid, sanctimonious bitch wouldn't let her kids sit next to someone viewing porn, but she's perfectly willing to let someone other person's kid sit there.

            • Except the complaint is less about his right to view pornography and more about his lack of a right to subject others to it. If the library doesn't washer to stop him, OK but make him go some place in the library where others don't have to see it.

              As you are walking past a computer screen on your left..., you see
              PORN!

              You quickly avert your gaze to the right... guess what? No more porn!

              WOWEE!

              And the guy didn't even have to move. I love the simple solutions.

              -AI

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Grishnakh (216268)

            What's the difference between the guy whipping it out and indecently exposing himself, and the images on the large-screen monitor in front of him, right out there for every passerby to see, showing other people indecently exposing themselves? You can't allow one and not allow the other. Just because one is real and the other is an image is irrelevant; unless you reach out and touch the man yourself, he's nothing more than an image to your eyes, the same as what you see on the monitor.

            I also really wonder

        • by Alsee (515537) on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:05PM (#38923029) Homepage

          censorship arguments are ludicrous

          Fuck you.

          Libraries absolutely need to filter this kind of content

          Fuck no.

          Librarians tend to have extremely strong views on the subject of censorship. The American Library Association actively promotes [ala.org] books that are targeted for censorship. Most librarians would happily stock Playboy magazine if it didn't cut into their budget for buying other materials.

          How about I quote the American Library Association: [ala.org]

          Library policies and procedures that effectively deny minors equal and equitable access to all library resources and services available to other users violate the Library Bill of Rights. The American Library Association opposes all attempts to restrict access to library services, materials, and facilities based on the age of library users.

          Article V of the Library Bill of Rights states, "A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views." The "right to use a library" includes free access to, and unrestricted use of, all the services, materials, and facilities the library has to offer. Every restriction on access to, and use of, library resources, based solely on the chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation of users violates Article V.
          []
          Libraries should not limit the selection and development of library resources simply because minors will have access to them. Institutional self-censorship diminishes the credibility of the library in the community, and restricts access for all library users.

          Children and young adults unquestionably possess First Amendment rights, including the right to receive information through the library in print, nonprint, or digital format. Constitutionally protected speech cannot be suppressed solely to protect children or young adults from ideas or images a legislative body believes to be unsuitable for them. Librarians and library governing bodies should not resort to age restrictions in an effort to avoid actual or anticipated objections, because only a court of law can determine whether material is not constitutionally protected.

          The mission, goals, and objectives of libraries cannot authorize librarians or library governing bodies to assume, abrogate, or overrule the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians. As Libraries: An American Value states, "We affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own children's use of the library and its resources and services." Librarians and library governing bodies cannot assume the role of parents or the functions of parental authority in the private relationship between parent and child. Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that only parents and guardians have the right and the responsibility to determine their children's - and only their children's - access to library resources. Parents and guardians who do not want their children to have access to specific library services, materials, or facilities should so advise their children.

          Lack of access to information can be harmful to minors.

          -

        • Libraries absolutely need to filter this kind of content.

          Is there anything else that offends your delicate sensibilities that the library should censor too? Never mind that. We'll just install this censoring system and you can come and tell us if we need to add anything to it that offends you later.

          Proposing censorship is always a slippery slope!

      • by DurendalMac (736637) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:58PM (#38921715)
        Actually, there is. Porn is age-restricted by law. A public library is not. Do you not see the disconnect here? The government can't (well, shouldn't) legislate what happens at home in regard to filtering, child access to computers, etc, but they sure as hell can control it at a public library. There ARE restrictions on use of public facilities, you know, and I think porn at the library counts. Any material that is age-restricted like that should not be accessible at public facilities unless they are also age-restricted. I like porn as much as the next guy, but really, digging it up at a public library? Come on.
        • Don't most libraries already enforce age restriction and segregation, as it is deemed that some books are not suited to a younger audience, either due to their racy and violent content or due to being "too damn boring" to the kids?

          In other words - what children? There are no children around in the adult section of the library.
          You know... that section of the library that holds the Marquis de Sade books.

          • by Alsee (515537) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:15PM (#38922613) Homepage

            Don't most libraries already enforce age restriction and segregation

            Hell no, not any library I've ever seen.

            Sure most libraries have a children's section and an "adult" section, but when I was in elementary school the children's section got too damn boring after about a half hour. I spent all my time in the very same section of the library that holds the Marquis de Sade books. Several times I went to the librarian requesting assistance finding stuff from the adult section. I took out lots of books, and probably every single one came from the adult section.

            Never once did any any librarian tell me I wasn't supposed to be there. They were all extremely helpful.

            As long as a kid isn't running and screaming, any good librarian is pleased to see a young person with the interest and ability to utilize the adult section. I dunno, maybe your community library was different. Did you grow up in some repressive fundie backwater?

            -

          • Don't most libraries already enforce age restriction and segregation...

            The presence of a "children's books" section doesn't mean that the library is enforcing segregation by age. It means that the library is making it easier for interested readers to locate books at a certain reading level. Many public libraries similarly shelve speculative fiction (sci fi and fantasy), mysteries, and romance novels separately from the rest of their fiction holdings, for the benefit of the readers of those genres.

            Granted, there's a certain amount of guesswork and judgement involved in sub

    • by bonch (38532) * on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:45PM (#38921541)

      They should regret it. The position is stupid. As noted in the article, librarians shush you if you talk too loudly. When obsession with unrealistic libertarian free speech ideas go so far as to reward insensitive, self-absorbed weirdos and punish normal people who are genuinely being distracted in a setting that's supposed to be quiet and conducive to research, it becomes a stupidly idealistic position with no practical applicability.

      If anything goes because OMG-MY-FREE-SPEECH-RIGHTS, then I can just stroll into the library screaming "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" for three hours straight, and those prudes shouldn't be able to stop me. And as a real-world troll, I'll successfully drive away library visitors and ruin the whole purpose of the damn place. All in the name of some head-in-the-cloud ideal of freedom.

      If you don't have any enforcement of civility, the jerks in society will ruin all good things. Please let's not allow weirdos to watch scat porn in the library just because you read Ayn Rand last week.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        As noted in the article, librarians shush you if you talk too loudly.

        There's still libraries that do that? Here in Arizona, that practice is complete gone. People talk openly and loudly in public libraries here in the Phoenix area, on their cellphones, to their companions, etc. If you find an older librarian and complain, she'll quietly agree with you but won't do anything about it because it just causes a big fight, causing the police to get called.

    • by decora (1710862) on Friday February 03, 2012 @07:29PM (#38922107) Journal

      people who have actually worked in a library do not believe in this bullshit. you are NOT protecting freedom of speech - you are destroying the freedom of kids to come into the library. the only people who believe in this idiotic idea of 'freedom' are pedophiles and ignorant, narrowminded douchebags who cannot manage to place themselves into another persons shoes.

      public libraries are, as they are, already a magnet for streakers, public masturbators, etc. its the unspoken secret of library work. assholes like to come into libraries and do awful stuff. i dont know what it is about libraries, but they do it.

      you cannot allow some guy to come in and watch porn while kids are around. there is nothing at all about 'free speech' involved in that concept. who decides what porn is? the librarians and the users of the library.

      you dont need a filter to enforce this rule, its just a tool that makes it easier and less labor intensive. because, the same fucktards who scream about 'free speech' would never in a million years attend a city council meeting to try to get more funds for the libraries, or to raise library salaries, or to help out with a library fundraiser. no, but hey, you want to kick out the convicted sex offender who jacks off in front of 5 year old kids, all of a sudden you are 'big brother' restricting freedom. its bullshit. the whole argument is bullshit.

    • So. what if a pedo watches child porn in the library? Free speech? What's the line? This is not political free speech. It is an activity of consumption but not expression. it is not an expression of artwork performance. It is not research for supporting a political cause. He does not have a Constitutional right to use the computer, he is a patron of the library at their discretion. He cannot demand to be allowed to use their computer for piracy, either. In short, there are cases where unrestricted use of
  • by bonch (38532) * on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:00PM (#38921199)

    The commitment to information access is admirable, but the article says that the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that libraries can filter content. Besides, I would want to make as many of my library patrons as comfortable as possible, as well as make it as family-friendly as possible, so I'd probably prohibit jerkin' it to the pr0n. Making people, potentially children, inadvertent viewers of pornography isn't something most governments are keen on supporting, and I suspect the library's policies will change after this media coverage.

    This part made me laugh:

    The dilemma was summed up by another library patron, Jessica Christensen, who told Seattle PI, "What I find ironic is that you can't talk too loudly at the Seattle Public Libraries or you'll be asked to keep it down so as not to distract the other patrons. You know, the patrons viewing pornography."

    • by Dredd13 (14750) <dredd@megacity.org> on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:23PM (#38921229) Homepage

      They CAN choose to filter content, but they've taken the stance of NOT being the morality police to decide what content is "acceptable" and what content isn't. Which is admirable.

    • by jd (1658)

      Agreed to both points. Having an additional room with computers in cubes rather than open-plan would help anyone wishing to use a computer with some measure of privacy, but that would create problems because people would feel they were being ostracized rather than having privacy respected, so that's not a good solution.

      In the end, I don't know if there is a good answer -- in part because society has created so many "extra" meanings for things and has been hostile to anyone that it can label as "outsiders" t

    • by mlts (1038732) * on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:28PM (#38921297)

      Best thing is a compromise. Austin's libraries have some unfiltered machines where the monitor is located in the desk. This provides privacy, and keeps someone's hunt for pr0n from annoying the nearby patrons. There are machines with standard monitors, but those are filtered.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I really don't understand why any place adults go must be "family friendly". Go to the park if you want a family picnic. To make a library "family-friendly" would mean to remove anything anyone finds objectionable*, which includes a lot of philosophy, war books, medical books, sex education, yes erotica too. You want to turn a library into the Disney channel.

      *) because let's be honest, people use the "think of the children" argument a lot when they want stuff removed they personally object to. Children don'

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:40PM (#38921471)

        When I lived in Switzerland I observed people, for lack of a better term, fucking at the bus stop in the middle of the day (hands down the pants, moaning, fucking). I saw lesbians fucking (the naked kind) on the public beach that was filled with everyone, including families, having their weekend fun in the sun. People just don't care. If you avoid the crazy mindfuck of creationism and the idea that we somehow aren't animals, you'll simply realize that human children have been subjected to sex and reproduction from early ages for 10,000s of years at the very least (800,000 or so, depending on what you consider human).

        Libraries exist to provide information privately and equally to all people. What they are doing is pretty admirable, imo, just as admirable as refusing to remove books because of some uptight jackasses 2 decades ago.

        Yes, I have kids.

    • It's easier to ignore porn (just don't look at the screen), then it is to ignore a person yelling 1m away from you.

    • ... so I'd probably prohibit jerkin' it to the pr0n.

      You don't need to. There are already many, many, many laws on the books that would be applicable if anyone watching porn brought "Little Willie" out into public, many of which would probably put the idiot who did so behind bars for quite a while, while leaving him with a sex offender rap.

    • by hey! (33014)

      People get emotional about this stuff, then lose sight the obvious middle ground. They should just contrive the computer installation so people can't see what other people are looking at. Nobody sees anything he doesn't want to, and nobody has to worry about busybodies looking over their shoulder.

  • by bobdinkel (530885) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:01PM (#38921201)
    Librarians are really unsung heroes. Well, maybe not unsung, but they should be sung more. They're doing the right thing even if it seems creepy. Of course the second he starts tugging it, they need to haul him off.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:45PM (#38921545)

      My sister was a public librarian. Mild mannered, serious, studious, introverted, and a quiet, but ardent radical when it came to access to information. It is a libraries duty to provide information, of all kinds, to anyone.* She was not atypical. Her libraries position on patrons viewing pr0n was to require them to use a privacy screen so the content was not viewable without some effort on the part of other patrons, and perhaps have them move to a more private location.

      Whacking it in the library, however, was subject to arrest for indecency.

      *okay, when the eight year old kid came in looking for information on leukemia, they usually would try to get a sense of why they were asking, and provide them with suggestions as to someone who could put it in context. But the high school kids looking for advice on cultivating cannabis, or bomb making? No problem. When the Patriot Act came out and said that library circulation records would be subject to search without warrant, many libraries destroyed their circulation records.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:17PM (#38923129)

        Word. The Seattle Public Library stopped keeping tabs on what you had previously checked out after the Patriot Act became law. Now you can opt-in to keep a list of your previously-read books.

        I remember when the Patriot Act passed, the librarians would hand out pamphlets on the Patriot Act when people asked why they didn't have their previously checked-out list.

        Librarians are bad ass.

  • Librarian best think about this very carefully. Public libraries usually have boards, too. There's censorship and there's abuse of the 1st Amendment.

  • broke slashdot for about ten minutes...
  • Why couldn't the prudish Ms. Howe move to another computer?

    • by bonch (38532) * on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:39PM (#38921443)

      So apparently all the weekend libertarians are going to come out and defend the library. By your logic, if someone is talking too loudly in the library and is disturbing you, you should leave. In fact, if anyone is being obnoxious, annoying, or offensive, it's somehow everyone else's fault. And the self-absorbed jerks get to rule the world.

      Are people here seriously going to defend some creepy fuck watching porn at the public library? Really? Can I bring a stereo into the library playing loud gangsta rap? Free speech, mothafucka!

  • I wonder what she would do in this case....
  • by mykos (1627575) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:23PM (#38921233)
    If people don't want to look at porn, why don't they just not look at porn? Why do they have to tell someone else that they can't look at porn either?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:25PM (#38921249)

    If porn is filtered for being objectionable today, tomorrow it will be sexual education sites, LGBT rights websites, Erowid, a violent kickboxing site, fringe political sites, conspiracy theorists, supposedly "racist" material, gun sites, men's mags, Fark, or who knows what else.

    The problem with trying to block "offensive" content is determining who gets to set the standard for offense and who gets to interpret it. This discretion will always be abused.

    Content creators will almost always be unaware of these blocks and will certainly have little financial incentive to challenge them. Patrons will evade the blocks by going somewhere else. The result is a cabal of petty tyrants whose discretion goes unchallenged because nobody has sufficient motive for doing so.

  • by trout007 (975317) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:26PM (#38921257)

    So it would give homeless a place to watch porn.

  • Yes, it's your constitutional right to watch porn, but it's a perfectly reasonable request to go to a computer where the screen isn't facing the whole room. Please just do it before people start citing you as a reason why we need more laws and less rights.

  • FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GauteL (29207) on Friday February 03, 2012 @06:34PM (#38921375)

    If the library had a little adult section where people could go borrow their first amendment supported material, fine.

    But watching porn in public with non-interested people around you is inconsiderate, off-putting and a really creepy thing to do.

    I'm all for free speech, but that doesn't mean the public have to help you being an asshole. If you want to shout insults to people on the streets, then perhaps that has to be allowed, but that doesn't mean you have to buy them a box to stand on and a megaphone.

    • Re:FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

      by guruevi (827432) <evi@smo k i n g c ube.be> on Friday February 03, 2012 @07:05PM (#38921813) Homepage

      It maybe inconsiderate, off-putting and creepy to you but that doesn't mean it's unlawful or wrong. What is creepy to you today may be accepted tomorrow or elsewhere in the world.

      Yes, people are allowed to be assholes. You're allowed to use a megaphone and a stand and the government does provide those as well (they're called public parks).

      I think churches and preachers are inconsiderate, off-putting and creepy and the government does provide them with money by not having them pay taxes.

  • by iggymanz (596061) on Friday February 03, 2012 @07:05PM (#38921821)

    in the chicago area, many suburban libraries have "privacy shields" around the computer so others can't see the porn-o-philes watching getting their fix. wonder if any of those losers spank it.....

    in case anyone is wondering, I watch my porn at home when my wife isn't around, like god intended.

  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Friday February 03, 2012 @07:12PM (#38921881)
    This story couldn't be more idiotic, nor could all of these responses about the bill of rights, 'thinking of the children', etc.

    When the library spokeswoman says "We don't tell people what they can view and check out", you'd think someone demanded they revoke the man's library card. No one asked that the man be censured in any way; they didn't even ask that he stop watching porn. All they ever asked was that he do it at another computer.

    This woman's objection is polite and respectful to a fault. She doesn't want him to stop watching porn; she doesn't pass moral judgment on it in any way whatsoever. She just doesn't want to see it herself. Does that really make her some kind of First Amendment stomping jackboot? Sheesh...

    And as for your tired 'think of the children' responses, sometimes 'think of the children' is a valid concern. Not everything that can be a slippery slope fallacy or pillar of convervative moral imperialism is always such. Not every request that people show some respect for your morals amounts to demanding that the entire world bend over backwards for them. With children and libraries, it would be one thing to demand that content depicting sex, drugs, etc. not even exist in the library because you don't want your precious snookums to visit in a place containing those things, but it's quite another to simply request that people show discretion with such content, especially in publicly owned places explicitly warranted as fit for children. Is it really censorship to ask that people watching porn simply do it at a terminal which isn't in full view of the information desk? Do parents in your world have any rights at all in determining what their children should be easily exposed to?
  • by Genda (560240) <mariet@@@got...net> on Friday February 03, 2012 @07:34PM (#38922165) Journal

    #1 Should the library censor, filter, or prevent a person from looking at anything? No. That's not free speech, that's freedom of information. Two completely different issues.

    #2 Should the man have the right to subject people including children to his porn addiction? Also, NO! He should be made to go into one of the music listening booths where he can satisfy his person viewing fetish however he pleases.

    If he refuses to take his behavior to a more responsibly location, the young lady has every right to video him in a public place, doing an indecent thing and send it to the evening news for public dissemination. That would in fact be free speech, which is protected and the wayward gentleman would have to deal with the social repercussions of being an inconsiderate ass in public. Not to mention how this might impact his job and his marriage. It would take but a couple such incidents to forever make the practice an obvious no pass for anyone not attempting social suicide.

  • by MSTCrow5429 (642744) on Friday February 03, 2012 @07:57PM (#38922393)
    The 1st Amendment recognizes the State, absent several unrelated restrictions, cannot prevent one from producing, owning, or viewing literary etc. works. It does not say the State must supply those works, only that it cannot prevent speech. The State must not interfere with the viewing or other observation of pornography, but it is under no obligation to supply pornography. The 1st Amendment allows for a free-market in speech; it does not require or speak to a subsidized one.
    • by Xyrus (755017)

      An Ode To The Library

      I was perusing the shelves at my local library,
      When I saw something out of the ordinary,
      For in front of keyboard with eyes in a squint,
      Was a man watching porn and pitching a tent,
      And I said to myself as I was watching the scene,
      That someone might find that obscene,
      But where else should the poor in this city,
      Go to get their free ass and titty?

      And why should we stop this manly fapper,
      with his mighty hand hitting the desk like a clapper,
      When fit on the shelves all nice in a row,
      Are books o

  • by ffflala (793437) on Friday February 03, 2012 @08:03PM (#38922463)
    I am a librarian, and years ago I worked at SPL. I wasn't at that particular branch, but the other branches I worked at all took steps to limit the ability of others to view what was on the patron computer screen, via privacy screens, kiosks w/ side walls, location, or all of the above. If this branch hasn't done so already, it's probably because they simply can't afford the extra space & furniture needed.

    As for content, I don't care if someone else thinks that another patron's content is *only* indecent, inappropriate for your nearby children, or creepy. Disruptive behavior from patrons is one thing, and we'll put a stop to that. But this sounds like the only disruptive element here was the content itself.

    You don't have a right to make a public library G-rated only, for the sake of the innocence your kids. I will do what I can to accommodate patrons' wishes, but I'm working with a very limited budget. I empathize with the parent's discomfort, but sex and porn are indeed a part of the adult world.

    If you think it's inappropriate for your children to see that sort of thing, you need to block that from your kids. I'm not your kid's morality babysitter, I'm not here to police what kind of information goes into their precious little heads.

    I am certainly not going to ask someone to stop reading/watching/listening *only* because the content is offensive to others, even if the content is offensive to me personally. I am and will remain far too busy ensuring that the public can freely access as much information and media as possible. As far as I'm concerned, that includes porn.
    • You don't have a right to make a public library G-rated only...

      Me personally? No, I don't, But the residents of Seattle? They most certainly do. There is no right to a public library at all. If the people of a community decide to create a library they have absolute freedom to fill that library with the types of materials that they feel will best serve the community. If videos of anal sex and other pornography are making people uncomfortable enough to not use the library then don't be surprised if the budget

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:13PM (#38923849) Journal

    We have to use laws which never catch all the exceptions because we can't behave. I don't care if you have the right or not, if you want to watch porn in a public area, try not to be so fucking obvious about it. And if you are in a public area, you don't have to stare at what everyone else is doing.

    There are now laws about which side of the sidewalk you got to walk on but it is just so much easier if basic left/right rules are followed. But I am a free individual, yes and so are the thousands around you and if everyone wanted to do their own thing their own way regardless of anyone else it would be a gigantic fucking mess.

    The sad thing is that this asshole who can't just select a quiet area where there is no traffic to watch his porn is providing the fuel needed to put filters in place, he is showing that unfiltered access is to much for some to handle.

    A lot of the laws that guide our lives were introduced because of assholes like this. Why do you think there are anti-smoking laws? Because for decades SOME smokers were unable to curb their own behavior. Not all smokers, I have worked with smokers who long before any of the laws were even discussed did NOT smoke if they gave ME a lift in THEIR car. But a percentage could simply not function as a member of society, smoked where ever they wanted regardless of other people and BAM, anti-smoking laws.

    Positive discrimination laws are the same, you might not see the need but there are enough employers who really would filter on race/sex/etc if they could get away with it AND did it when there were no laws about it.

    The best way to loose freedom is to totally abuse it at the cost of everyone else. But my freedom! Is not a battle cry that works when you pissed off the majority. Democracy is just the dictatorship of the masses, real freedom... well that is this guy watching porn in the kiddy book area whacking off. Someone somewhere will see his freedom as overriding everyone elses and be the cause of restricted freedoms.

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