- "Porn In the Public Library - Your Thoughts (link)," by samurailibrarian, Reddit, 17 March 2015, emphasis mine:
I am a public librarian and I strictly enforce a no porn policy. My reasoning is that whatever freedom of information rights you have viewing pornography on library computers impacts the other users and staff and creates a hostile space for them. That is why I enforce the no porn rule, for the larger community.
Why did ALA say otherwise and what is the reasoning for this?
At this point there are almost 200 comments. Join in!As for liability, I have been throwing out pervs for years, never had a problem with it.
Here's my comment:
Two main things going on regarding porn in public libraries. One is state law and the second if the US Supreme Court case of United States v. American Library Association.
Regarding state law, say, Illinois, Illinois state library law requires that Illinois libraries be for the use and benefit of the public. Porn is neither for the use nor benefit of the public. Actually, porn is for misuse and the harm of the public and those sexually trafficked victims depicted therein. Illinois law, therefore, precludes porn from all libraries across Illinois. That libraries like the Chicago Public Library allow unlimited porn, that is a testament to the American Library Association's effectiveness in misleading people into not following or not even being aware of Illinois library law. My saying that is partly why ALA is involved in a SLAPP suit to silence me from saying just that.
Then comes US v. ALA. This 2003 US Supreme Court case ruled that even though porn may be "constitutionally protected material" outside the library, inside the library it is traditionally blocked and may continue to be blocked using Internet filters. It is true that ALA teaches librarians and library trustees that there is a First Amendment right to porn in libraries. That doesn't make it true. There is no such right. It's the exact opposite.
So you are right on for strictly enforcing a no porn policy. Porn has nothing to do with the "freedom of information."
Further, you are absolutely correct that it creates a hostile workspace for librarians. ALA specifically denies that. Naturally, its ALA policy applied locally that promotes the porn that causes the sexual harassment. I'm trying to help sexually harassed librarians with Librarians.cc.
Now you asked, "Why did ALA say otherwise and what is the reasoning for this?" See "Porn Facilitation in Public Libraries: ALA Guides Librarians to Defy SCOTUS" and "Sexual Harassment of Librarians Never Happens; Child Pornography is Intellectual Freedom."
If you or any other librarian wish a place to speak publicly and anonymously so you don't get fired, please consider contacting me at SafeLibraries.Here's the response of samurailibrarian:
Seriously Dan, I know who you are and I could not possibly hate you anymore than I already do.
Go fuck yourself. You have no IDEA how much I fucking hate you and your little asshole group. Seriously go fuck yourself in every way imaginable you lying sack of shit.Sounds like "samurai librarian" is cutting off his nose to spite his face? He/she made comments I couldn't agree with more. But can you imagine a librarian trying to help sexually harassed librarians being able to maintain a job given such statements? This is an example of why sexually harassed librarians fear speaking out. There's no free speech in librarianship.
Here are other concerns raised on that Reddit page:
- "what if a child, say 10 or 11 years old, starts looking at pornography in the children's library? (link)"
- "trying to do storytime while a guy is watching a woman take it in the ass at a public access computer ten feet away and in clear view of the children's room (link)"
- "It really feels like we are going to bat for the badguys (yeah yeahI know, people need information etc BUT c'mon it's watching porn in a public place) and leaving our core patrons AND staff swinging in the wind. (link)"
- "Our issue with porn on the public computers is that the people who do view it either don't do it discretely and/or they never clear their browser history and/or they save stuff to the computers. (link)"
- "We don't have a no porn policy where I work but we have a harassment policy. (link)"
- "Porn is porn is porn, we are not talking about information here we are talking about porn. (link)"
- "Assumption 3: The right to a harassment free workplace trumps the rights of patrons to view materials. False. (link)"
- "Your spectrum is when it becomes harassment. Who cares if someone is watching an erotic video on their computer? Is it bothering anyone? Are they being a buffoon about it? If not, then it's none of your business. (link)"
- "This is not about me censoring anyone it is about creating a reasonably safe space in our public libraries. (link)"
- "'creating a hostile work environment' as a reason to ban [porn] seems extreme (link)"
- "As for hostile work environment, you try dealing with the public when they are looking at hardcore porn or doing a storytime when people in the library are looking at it. I shouldn't have to see your fetish in my workday, not sure how that is hard to understand. (link)"
- "Why does the right of the person who wants to watch porn trump the rights of all other users? (link)"
- "We have a no porn policy too. Like you said: hostile work environment, negatively impacts other patrons, etc. ALA is out of step with reality on this one. Edit: interesting how the voting on this topic changed after it got linked on ALA TT. (link)"