Why is this a problem?
Now, 20+ years into the Internet age there is no doubt that pornography has devastating affects on individuals, families and society. These increased societal ills include: addiction, exploitation, family disintegration, violence against women and children, sex trafficking, increased crime, and the list goes on. Due to unrestrained access to pornography at our schools and public libraries, often at the expense of American-tax dollars, we are allowing this pandemic of harm to begin in what should be among our nation’s safest places – libraries and schools.
Many people around the country have reported that the following has happened at their local libraries where pornography is allowed:
- men spend hours at the library trolling pornographic Web sites
- stalking patrons and library employees
- making catcalls
- physical threats
- luring children into viewing images of bestiality and child rape and other disgusting depictions
- intentionally leaving printouts of pornographic images on tables around the building for librarians and patrons to see
- a decrease in the number of children using facilities
Here is a list of just a few newspaper headlines from 2010 and 2011 which demonstrate clearly the need to regulate access to pornography in our nation’s libraries.
- “Fan of Library Porn Admits Raping Little Girl”
Library patron who frequently accessed pornography on Philadelphia library computers was convicted of rape after assaulting an eight year-old girl.
- “Homeless Men Caught Watching Porn at Laguna Beach Library, Patrons Say”
Eight men watched pornography at a public library computer while one masturbated in public. The library responded to public outrage, saying there wasn’t much they could do.
- “Librarian Suit: Computer Porn Use Lead to Groping While Children Present”
Birmingham, AL librarian sues library for having a ‘hostile work environment’ where patrons view porn in her presence, harass and grope her, and are allowed to do so in presence of children.
- “Sex Offender Arrested After Surfing For Porn In Library”
A sex offender is behind bars after police say he surfed for porn in a public library, in front of a child.
- “Internet Porn Statistics at Dallas Central Library Prompt Concern”
7.5% of web traffic was for pornography at a local Dallas library over a randomly selected period.
- “Library User Viewing Porn Upsets Girl”
Fourth grader exposed to hardcore pornography while visiting library with mother. Mother says the girl was deeply affected and could not sleep that night. Librarian refused to do anything about it.
- “Porn, Sex Crimes in San Juan and Martin Luther King Libraries”
Man found stripped to underwear in library; police report shows the past year of assaults, lewd acts, drug-use have occurred at San Jan Library; Martin Luther King Library has big problems with patrons accessing pornography on computers.
- “After several incidents of public indecency, Quincy official says: Expose library porn watchers”
Quincy, MA councilman wants list of people accessing porn in libraries after several incidents of public indecency.
- “Sex Offender Accused of Viewing Child Porn in Library”
Man caught watching child porn in public library in CA.
- “XXX: Man uses Gardens Branch Library computer to watch porn”
Palm Beach Gardens, FL library ignores woman’s complaints after she finds a patron viewing porn.
- “Michael Houle charged with downloading child pornography at Holyoke Public Library”
Holyoke MA man charged with downloading child porn from library computers. The library he viewed it at had allowed 40 computers to remain filter-free after library-governing body had required filters for the computers.
- “Romeoville man arrested for taking photos of kids”
A Romeoville man was arrested for taking photos of a nine-year-old girl with his cell phone at the White Oak Library Normantown branch, and was later charged with child pornography for having more than 200 sexual images of children on his phone.
- “Seattle Library Lets Man Watch Porn in View of Children”
A Seattle librarian refused to force a man watching hardcore porn on a computer to move to a more discreet location, even after a woman with two children complained.
- “ACLU Sued Library for Not Allowing Online Porn”
The ACLU is suing a Washington state library district with the claim that not allowing porn is censorship.
- “Court rules library can have Internet filter”
The Washington State Supreme Court voted 6-3 in favor of the North Central Regional Library when the library was sued by the ACLU for installing Internet filters to prevent access to pornography.
- “Librarians stand aside as patron watches porn and engages in lewd acts”
A resident complained last week about a man watching pornography on a public computer and behaving lewdly in front of a Malibu library. According to a county Board of Supervisors policy, the Malibu Library is unable to stop customers from using computers to view pornography.
- “Lake City Parent Wanted Hard-Core Porn-Watching Man Moved; Lake City Library Refused”
Julie Howe has taken to the Lake City Live neighborhood blog to tell her story of a man who she says was watching hard-core pornography on a computer at the Lake City Library on a late Sunday afternoon earlier this month.
- “Lynn suspect held on a low bail after child-porn bust at library”
A Lynn man accused of viewing child pornography on public library computers has been ordered held on $1,500 bail after pleading not guilty.
- “Police Blotter: Man In SUV Seen Snapping Photos of Kids at Park After Watching Porn At Library”
A man was seen snapping photos at the park. On the same day, a woman reported that her daughter had just left RSM library where the same man was watching pornography on a library computer.
- “Porn in library startles patrons”
Workers at the Plaistow Public Library got a surprise last week when a printer began spitting out pages of pornography. It turns out a library patron printed the pages off a computer used by the public, but never collected them at the printer before it ran out of paper.
- “Hannibal man gets 25 years for porn on library computer”
A Hannibal man accused of downloading child pornography on a Hannibal Public Library computer has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Gary Wayne Martin, 45, was indicted by a federal grand jury of one felony count of production and two felony counts of possession after an arrest last March.
- “Porn case at library indicted”
A Corsicana man arrested for allegedly viewing child pornography on a Corsicana Public Library computer was indicted Thursday on 10 counts of possession or porn.
- “Court Week: Pornography on the library computer on the dockets”
Grand Rapids resident, Alan Waldron, 43, faces a maximum of five years in prison for using the Lowell Library’s wireless to download more than 100 images of pornography — including some that depicted sexual acts between children.
- “Registered sex offender charged after viewing child pornography at public library”
A registered sex offender from Orange County made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday, following his arrest at a local public library where witnesses allegedly observed him viewing child pornography on one of the library’s computers.
- “Muncie man charged with indecency – again”
A Muncie man was charged Wednesday with public indecency — for the fifth time in less than year. Joseph Anthony Wheat, 25 is accused of pulling down his pants and fondling himself while looking at pornography at the library.
- “Library opts against restricting online access to explicit material”
Hawthorne-Longfellow Library will continue its policy to not restrict Internet access, despite several incidents of involving pornography and public masturbation in the library
- “Police: Pa. man views library porn, touches self”
A 45-year-old Pittsburgh man has been jailed after police say he viewed pornography on a public library computer and touched himself inappropriately, both in view of children.