Porn at public library not a pretty sight to see
Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 28, 2005 at 9:24 p.m.
Today, I had my first exposure to pornography at the Tower Road library.
I was escorting my 8-year-old son from the main section of books to the check-out line. We passed by the computers, and to my shock and utter disbelief, our walk took us directly in view of a computer screen filled with pornography.
I was stupefied, but managed to grab my child's head and turn it away from the screen before he saw it. But my exposure was enough to enrage me.
I foolishly had assumed that the library safeguarded its patrons by putting "privacy screens" that prevented passersby from seeing another's computer screen.
I asked the librarians about the "privacy screens." They explained that the current screens only prevent people at an angle from seeing what was on the computer.
I was told that when the library instituted the computers for public use, they had "naively" thought that by putting them in such a visible spot that it would discourage patrons from viewing such material. Apparently not.
I am angry with Internet service providers for making such sites available. I am angry with a world that creates a demand for such sites. I am angry that my taxes fund access to these sites in a public place in the name of "personal rights."
Why are the rights to "free speech and expression" overriding my rights to protect my child and myself from inadvertently viewing in a public place what I find, and what society used to label, overwhelmingly offensive?
I think the library should place filters in its Internet system and limit access. If not, then I think it should go out of the way to make sure the computers are in an out-of-the-way place where only purposeful viewing takes place.
Sara J. Dagen,
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