Libraries and ‘Adult Materials’

November 13, 2007 at 2:11 pm 3 comments

More like ‘Adolescent materials’…Atlanta public library patrons are up in arms over alleged viewing of pornography at library workstations.

Viewing pornography is a private activity which should be restricted to one’s home.  If one doesn’t have a home, though, who am I to deny adults their rights?   And who decides what is pornographic?

A few days ago I saw another story about a public library that had two internet areas: one monitored; one un-monitored.  This struck me as eminently sensible.  Kids to the right; perverts to the left.

“The library system is not a baby-sitting service, and the librarians are not our children’s nannies,” he said. “Let’s not surrender our parental responsibility to a software package, the librarians and the county government.” – A library patron from the article.

I agree.  Filtering software has been shown (at least to my satisfaction) to be  poorly programmed, and likely to block sites based on oversimplified textual criteria (breast cancer information, for instance.)   Who will decide what is pornographic – “community standards”?  Oh, please…I personally don’t care to surrender my personal tastes to my community’s lowest common denominator.

Entry filed under: children, community, information technology, libraries, politics, pornography, Privacy, technology. Tags: .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. More on Filtering | Library Stuff  |  November 13, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    [...] Library Mole – “Kids to the right; perverts to the left” [...]

    Reply
  • 2. Ray  |  November 14, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Censorship is a real problem. And I don’t think it is good in most circumstances.

    As far as I remember, adult stuff was just not interesting when we were too young and didn’t understand the relations yet. The problem is, things that are obviously hidden from your face are naturally gaining our interests. The younger the more curious.

    Reply
  • 3. librarymole  |  November 14, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Has anyone ever seen a reputable study concluding that accidental viewing of sexual materials will harm children? I never have. To the best of my knowledge, it’s adults and other children that hurt children, not the internet.

    Reply

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