Last month, I read that a Seattle woman complained to the Lake City branch librarian that a man was watching hard-core porn on the library’s computer, with the screen facing toward the room.  Another woman at the Greenwood branch, complained that while she was looking for “puppy books” with her children, she saw a man watching “very, very graphic stuff.”

How is this possible?  Isn’t it enough that we, as taxpayers, have to supply computers to libraries?   Now, we have no say in what computer users can view in the presence of other patrons?

The librarian can tell us to use our indoor voices, but can’t stop  perverts from watching porn in public on a taxpayer-funded computer – regardless of whether there are children around or not.  Why aren’t they at home in their mother’s basements watching this crap.

In 2010, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that public libraries CAN filter content to block things like porn, after the ACLU sued.  Of course, the ACLU wanted the filters removed if adults requested it.  But in a 6-to-3 decision, the court said NO.  According to the decision, “A public library has traditionally and historically enjoyed broad discretion to select materials to add to its collection of printed materials for its patrons’ use. …  A public library has never been required to include all constitutionally protected speech in its collection and has traditionally had the authority, for example, to legitimately decline to include adult-oriented material such as pornography in its collection.  This same discretion continues to exist with respect to Internet materials.”

Shame on the Lake City and Greenwood branches for not exercising its discretion and allowing this type of thing to go on – at the expense of all the other patrons.

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