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Wheelock Library Porno Problem


by fredo
on 7/13/2012 @ 6:30pm
Right there in the Wheelock Library on a computer screen that anybody could see was a porno movie playing this afternoon.

Is this OK with other commenters?

The city is encouraging kids to come to the library. Then when they get there they are treated to a porno movie, apparently. Isn't the city contributing to the delinquency of minors by permitting these lewd public exhibitions?


by AP on 7/13/2012 @ 7:59pm
Don't they regulate who signed in to pull that up? Or are those computers a free-for-all? I assumed your internet access was associated with your library card. Not that someone couldn't use someone else's library card for the express purpose of porning...


by fredo on 7/13/2012 @ 8:10pm


  People use their library card to sign in for 1 hour sessions on the internet. Apparently they can look at anything they want to. Thanks for the comment AP.

by L.S.Erhardt on 7/14/2012 @ 5:36am
The Seattle public library lost a lawsuit over the same thing. The courts ruled that it's a First Amendment issue and libraries have to allow access to adult materials.

by fredo on 7/14/2012 @ 6:24am
thorax, right. I guess the porno displays that little kids can see at the library could provide a useful teaching moment.

When little Sally asks her mom what the two men on the screen are doing to the woman then mom could give her an introductory course on constitutional law and civil proceedure.

Problem solved!

by fredo on 7/14/2012 @ 6:28am
Here's a question for this weekend's commenters:

If you knew that patrons of the wheelock library on North 26th street were viewing pornographic materials on computer screens that were easily viewable by anybody in the library would you still permit your children access to the library? 

by cisserosmiley on 7/14/2012 @ 7:47am
That library holds "hangin out" kids after school. In the past kids went to Gordon's & proctor video arcade. Both are closed because proctor folk wanted different type businesses (very political to have a biz there). Now that library reminds me of a youth center for kids with bunk parents not a community resource I feel comfy using.

by jenyum on 7/14/2012 @ 9:18am
Libraries should have 18+ areas. It seems pretty clear the whole point is for someone to observe them watching this stuff, if you require them to watch it where no one is looking, my guess is 90% of this would stop.

by fredo on 7/14/2012 @ 9:42am
jen, that's an interesting POV. And I agree with your suggestion.

But what if the images aren't strictly pornographic but are still disturbing to many people in general and young people in specific? I'm thinking of stuff like holocaust pictures, crime scene pictures, autopsy stuff, mardi gras type imagery, etc. Does that stuff go into the 18+ area too? Just asking. 

by The Jinxmedic on 7/14/2012 @ 12:00pm
Down here at the Swan Creek branch library, we no longer have that problem.

by fredo on 7/14/2012 @ 12:48pm
jinx, right. Your city council at work.

In 1984 it was IMPERATIVE that Tacoma open up 2 new branch libraries, MLK and Swan Creek. We couldn't function as a city any longer without these facilities and the taxpayers ponied up big time. 25 years later both branches had the significance of a piece of used toilet paper as far as the council was concerned. Why should the taxpayers pay any attention to what the city council has to say? 

Back to the topic Jinx,

should parents allow their children access to the libraries where pornographic programs are playing on the computer kiosks? 

Yes or no?

by fredo on 7/14/2012 @ 1:32pm
Feedtacoma riddle:

What is the difference between Elmo's Adult Book Store and The Wheelock Public Library?

Answer: At Elmo's... you have to pay.

by thriceallamerican on 7/14/2012 @ 7:27pm
I was on the free speech side until you brought up "mardi gras type imagery", and now I'm worried about the kids.

by L.S.Erhardt on 7/14/2012 @ 10:00pm
The sooner Fredo's kids are desensitized to "adult material" the sooner society can move on and grow up.

by fredo on 7/15/2012 @ 7:23am
Thorax favors the porno displays.

One vote FOR porno.

by cisserosmiley on 7/15/2012 @ 8:24am
I love the idea of kids bring informed of the holocaust, crime & new orleans on their 18th birthday.

by L.S.Erhardt on 7/15/2012 @ 4:26pm
As it happens, I find "adult content" a LOT less offensive than violence. It's bugged me for a long time that it's "more OK" to show blood and gore but nudity/sex are taboo. We have our priorities wrong.


by cisserosmiley on 7/15/2012 @ 8:19pm
It is weird that sex and nudity in movies is rated harshly but war and fighting and death is ok in G movies

by tacoma_1 on 7/15/2012 @ 8:38pm
I thought that kids got their porn via text on their smart phones these days..... I don't think that the library is gonna illuminate anything new in the porn category.

btw, what kinda porn was it?  midget porn, girl on girl, guy on guy, chicks w/dicks?  I need more info to form an opinion on whether I am for or against....

by jenyum on 7/15/2012 @ 9:06pm
The content of the porn or any actual harm the images themselves cause isn't really the issue, in my opinion. The problem is that the viewer is doing this specifically to have an effect on the people watching him (or her, I guess.) This is a predatory behavior and it may escalate if the libraries enable the perpetrators.
I think it's definitely possible to distinguish between what is clearly porn for porn's sake and what is possibly a legitimate research use of the library computers. I'm sure no one wants to be in charge of policing that, but it's not anything every parent in modern America doesn't have to do from time to time.

by jenyum on 7/15/2012 @ 9:17pm
In 2010, the state Supreme Court ruled that public libraries can filter Internet content to block things like porn, after the ACLU had sued a rural library district in the state.The civil-rights group had said the North Central Regional Library - located in Chelan, Douglas and other counties - had an overly broad Internet filter policy. It wanted filters removed if adults requested it.But in a 6-to-3 decision, the court said no."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," the court wrote."We conclude that the same discretion must be afforded a public library to choose what materials from millions of Internet sites it will add to its collection and make available to its patrons.""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."Read more: www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Seattle-...

Just to be clear: I'm not advocating censorship. Just the same type of information moderation that any provider of content should exercise in the information age.

by NineInchNachos on 7/15/2012 @ 9:42pm
children should never see boobs.  Babies should not see boobs either.  I recommend blind folds for breastfeeding moms. 

by jenyum on 7/15/2012 @ 9:46pm
Pffftpt.  Not the same thing at all. I'm not trying to be all "won't someone please think of the children." This isn't really even about kids, it's about people using the library to indulge in a voyeurism fetish.

by fredo on 7/16/2012 @ 2:35pm
Well jen, I don't think we need to concern ourselves with the motivation for why people would use public computers at the library to watch porn.

The problem is this: do you object to folks putting this material on the displays where your children or other people's childrens will be able to view it? If wheelock library is going to be a public porn provider (a PPP) then I'm not sure I want my kids going up there any longer. 

by Keeper on 7/16/2012 @ 10:14pm
I certainly object to patrons using a public computer to view this kind of material. Any human with a half a brain can deduce that the material is not being used for true educational/research purposes. I am very careful to be with my kids (granted they're currently too young to go to the library on their own) and watch what is within their eyesight.
Obviously I won't be doing that for very long, but they are way too young to see that kind of content. And studies are very clear about the negative and destructive nature of pornography.

by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 8:56am
Current vote totals:

OK with library porn 1
Not OK with library porn 6
Not sure 2

by thriceallamerican on 7/17/2012 @ 10:52am
Where am I in that tally? I only weighed in on second line brass bands and bead necklaces.

by low bar on 7/17/2012 @ 12:40pm
was watching the tv show about people with strange sex habits and there was this guy who could only achieve erections when his pregnant wife was lactating BECAUSE HE LIKES TO DRINK BREAST MILK. maybe likes is an understatement after seeing him eat his cereal with it. dude spends all his time at home trying to keep his wife preggers. pretty fly for a white guy. anyways. i wanted to go into full on mussolini mode etc. then i remembered there were more important problems in the world. anyways. i don't have a clue why computers are even in libraries. read a book you fucking squared eyed geeks. put me down as being against all types of internet being in libraries. also churches should not be in libraries like the one here in OLY. disgusting. 

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 2:00pm
It would be rather easy to filter machines for library cards tied to children's accounts and to allow unfiltered machines for adults.  Other technological resources to allow freedom of speech and access to information, while respecting the privacy of all individuals, could include a sequestered section of unfiltered machines that children's library cards wouldn't be able to log on, monitor shades, or desks with recessed screens.  All are solutions that other libraries have used to strike a balance between one individual's right to freedom of access to information and another's request to not be offended or exposed to things they find repulsive.

by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 2:50pm


  So troy, are you in favor of porno in the library or not?

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 3:01pm
I don't personally need access to it, but I don't have a problem with others viewing it as long as they don't act upon it in public.  We have laws for public indecency and lewd conduct.  If someone is using the computer and pornography for voyeuristic pleasure and encouraging others to participate with them, then that is no longer access to information, but possible intimidation.

As Thorax O'Tool stated above, we as a culture need to grow up where sexuality is concerned.  The prudishness of the Victorian era should have ended with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.

I have more of a problem with graphic depictions of violence than sexuality, yet those seem to be an acceptable norm for our culture.  But I wouldn't ban or censor those images either.

As a parent, I also don't let my child run around in the library alone.  I make sure that we stay in the children's section and that material is appropriate to the child's age.

I've also confronted someone in a library who was viewing pornographic images and explained to him that he could watch it all that he wanted as far as I was concerned, but that he needed to be more discreet because I (and others in the library) didn't want to see it.  He seemed taken aback that someone not on the library staff would get on his case, but he "covered" up the monitor he was viewing and showed more restraint.  Sometimes a quick conversation or the fear of shaming from a fellow citizen will counter negative behavior.  It doesn't always need to be legislated.

by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 3:16pm
I want to make sure I understand your point, Troy.

If someone is looking at a porno movie but not deriving any voyeuristic pleasure, that is accessing information, but if the person is deriving voyeuristic pleasure then he is no longer accessing information. 

How would the librarian tell if the person is deriving voyeuristic pleasure or not? And If the librarians can't tell, then how would the patrons be able to tell?

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 3:28pm
The voyeuristic pleasure/fetich I was referring to was that stated above by jenyum.  If one is making a spectacle of it, of purposefully sharing it with others, then it needs to be stopped.

If you are deriving personal pleasure from it, but not acting upon it, then I don't really care.  If you read my other post, there are ways to counter the work of having to have anyone act as censor other than the software or machine.



by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 3:28pm
"  I've also confronted someone in a library who was viewing pornographic images and explained to him that he could watch it all that he wanted as far as I was concerned, but that he needed to be more discreet because I (and others in the library) didn't want to see it." troy

Do you work at a library and, if so, were you providing library policy to the patron or were you just making stuff up?    

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 3:31pm
Also, if something offends you, then have the balls to tell the person.  As I stated above, not everything needs to be legislated.  The law serves its function, but sometimes civil discourse can do the same.  Do you want people running to a bureaucrat or a functionary of the "nanny state" that you seem to despise when a conversation with YOU could serve the same purpose, and perhaps more effectively?


by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 3:33pm
I do not work at a library.  I spoke on my own behalf.  Nowhere in my statement does it say that I was speaking on behalf of the library.  I was speaking as a citizen and parent. And that isn't "making stuff up" since I didn't want to see it. That's a fact!  (Also, most libraries have freedom of information policies, usually posted on their websites.)

by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 3:50pm
Troy, I might do exactly the same thing you did (and I admire what you were willing to do). it just might depend on the circumstance. Did you ask a librarian to go over and talk to the person first?

What if the porno viewing patron looked like the actor Danny Trejo with biceps the size of hams and a bad looking disposition? Would you still call him out or is this just something you would try if the patron looked like Arnold Stang?

by low bar on 7/17/2012 @ 3:51pm
are there any sex ed books in said liberalbrary? if not we should make a kickstarter and commission a few. mostly pictures books of course BECAUSE NO ONE READS ANYMORE. of course the details have to be worked out. such as non stick paper. maybe the pulp mill will have some answers. paper that smells like rotten peperoni pizza may also be a good youth deterrent.

by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 3:53pm
danny trejo

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 3:56pm
Fredo, the guy I confronted could have easily kicked my ass.  At that point I didn't quite care.  I think more people need to speak up when things aren't right.  (And, that being said, I'll still stand up for his right to access whatever information he wants to.)


by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 3:59pm
I'm not quite sure what you're driving at, but, yes, even Danny Trejo.



by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 4:17pm
Just a discussion troy, I'm not driving at anything.

Now let's turn the tables for a moment.

Troy is looking at something on a library computer. The imagery on the display would put a lot of people off...but it's not unconsitutional. A large man comes over and tells you that you need to be more discreet because he and the rest of the folks in the library "don't want to see it"

Your response?

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 4:30pm
It would depend on what it was I was viewing and what the community standards were.  I do carry myself differently when I am in certain areas or social settings.  Your hypothetical scenario rings hollow.  Plus you tend to avoid answering any hypothetical situations posed to you.  That's my response.


by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 4:46pm
You can pose a hypothetical Troy, and I'll respond, gladly. I love hypotheticals. And anybody is invited to provide a response.

OK, lets say you were looking at facebook. You were looking at some pictures of a party some of your friends had attended while they were in Las Vegas. In some of the pictures there were some scantily clad attendees. The pictures weren't exactly pornographic, but they weren't exactly your everyday snapshots either. Assume you don't have the internet at home and the library displays are the only place you can look at this material.

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 5:07pm
The more I think about it, I change my response.  I already answered it above.  I counter your hypothetical with my original post to this thread.  I include it again in toto: It would be rather easy to filter machines for library cards tied to children's accounts and to allow unfiltered machines for adults.  Other technological resources to allow freedom of speech and access to information, while respecting the privacy of all individuals, could include a sequestered section of unfiltered machines that children's library cards wouldn't be able to log on, monitor shades, or desks with recessed screens.  All are solutions that other libraries have used to strike a balance between one individual's right to freedom of access to information and another's request to not be offended or exposed to things they find repulsive.

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 5:09pm
As to your FB hypothetical.  If someone was offended by them and asked me to be more discreet, then I would attempt to do such.

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 5:14pm
Especially if it was Danny Trejo who told me to be more discreet.

by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 5:26pm
Haa, good point.

I think the problem is that there's a big gray area of content that filtering technologies really are of little help with especially when the content is just uncopyrighted downloads of various types.

Then there is adult animae which is basically cartoon pornography. Should that be OK in the library?

So many problems could be remedied if the library board would just remove internet access from the kiosks. 

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 6:10pm
Another question that is a gray area.  What about bringing your own laptop into the library and accessing the public Wi-Fi.  Who's responsible in that case, if someone is viewing pornography?

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 6:13pm
I want to see the internet available for access at the library.  It's one of our culture's current primary sources of information, for good or ill (or both).  The library is a place where those without internet at home can access what the middle (and upper) classes have as a "luxury" in their homes.  Do we deny the poor access to the same simply because they are poor and cannot afford the monthly charges for DSL or cable?

by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 6:15pm
I don't have an immediate answer to your question about wi-fi. Do libraries generally have free wi-fi? Is that something the taxpayers should be responsible for furnishing to patrons?

Back to the person you asked to stop viewing the porno. What if the patron wasn't a big burly dude, or a little wimp, but turned out to be an attorney whose specialties were constitutional law and criminal law and he decided to swear out a complaint against you for harrassing him.  Furthermore he called the police and they came over and gave you a ticket for disturbing the peace and ordered you to appear in court.

by fredo on 7/17/2012 @ 6:27pm
Well the poor folks do have some disadvantages to be sure.  

Will viewing free pornography at the library help poor people improve their lot in life or put them on an equal footing with rich people who can view pornography in the comfort of their own homes?

by KevinFreitas on 7/18/2012 @ 7:34am
Pretty good conversation overall. Here's my thought:
Public access to the 'net = VITAL

And it trumps everything else. Sure I wish people didn't see fit to use public terminals for porn but the "evils" of that are far less than if we took away public access to the 'net. Given the choice I'd agree with Troy to have card-based access to these terminals to help determine levels of access.

On that note as well I'd like to see library staff curate a collection of worthy websites, resources, articles, etc. that could be the first thing people using those systems see. Much like I'd do if I ever have kids I'd want to guide them as I can to encourage responsible use and good decisions even if that doesn't always happen.

by fredo on 7/18/2012 @ 7:45am
good comment kevin.

2 questions for everybody.

#1 should there be a sign at the door of Wheelock library warning parents that pornographic images may be on display?

#2 do parents have an unreasonable expectation that the library will be a safe environment for their youngsters to explore?

Both questions are YES or NO so it shouldn't take people too long to provide a response.

by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2012 @ 7:50am
The government should provide "recreational" Internet access, like private booths at the park, were a citizen could view whatever Internet content they wanted without offense to parents' sensibilities...1) yes on signs, but graphic signs are more effective than simple words; 2) yes, the library is not your babysitter. Start with the idea there is nasty trouble at TPL and start making safety arrangements from there.

by fredo on 7/18/2012 @ 8:00am
like your comments cissero, now

#3 who would clean up the booths following each usage?

#4 what if somebody couldn't get the porno to play properly? would a librarian be required to enter the booth and get things working?

#5 what if somebody under 18 wanted to use the booth?

by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2012 @ 8:13am
"recreational Internet booths" would be at parks...metro parks maintenance staff could carry towels, and before you are appalled at this check out their salary listings.
www.thenewstribune.com/soundinfo/metropa...

by KevinFreitas on 7/18/2012 @ 8:21am
#1 - No. The library is not providing the porn. See my comment above.

#2 - No. (way to ask it in a negative light -- I almost answered "yes" 'til I re-read that you'd written it as "unreasonable")

Again, as to #2, would you let your kids run free anywhere or would you, as a responsible parent, keep your eye out for them where ever they go while in your care?

If it's the latter I would first commend you as a good parent and second suggest you embrace that not everyone has the $$ for 'net access that the library and our gov't is willing to provide and take up Troy's stance of saying something if you see something rather than allowing that same gov't nanny privileges. It's your neighborhood library with your neighbors in it so break down the walls and fences and Must-See TV that keep us apart and speak up for that same neighborhood.

by fredo on 7/18/2012 @ 8:51am
Question #1 about the sign.

The sign doesn't say the library is PROVIDING THE PORN. the sign says PORNOGRAPHIC IMAGES MAY BE ON DISPLAY.

Wouldn't that sign be accurate? shouldn't parents of little kids be warned?

There's a sign in the library bathroom warning people to wash their hands before leaving the bathroom. The sign doesn't say that the library is PROVIDING THE GERMS. Why is it more important to warn people about possibility of germs than to warn them about the possibility of porn images?

by KevinFreitas on 7/18/2012 @ 8:59am
My "no" still stands.

by Non Sequitur on 7/18/2012 @ 11:35am
This is fascinating.

Fredo, who decries the gov't telling him what to do or taking HIS FAIR SHARE OF TAXES is crying for the gov't to prevent his grandkids from being exposed to boobs. As a Neolibertarian, I though he would be all for this.



by low bar on 7/18/2012 @ 1:23pm
fredo isn't getting the latino vote either:)

hey fredumbo, all you're missing are some silver side burns in your pic there buddy;)

by Cheechmo on 7/18/2012 @ 1:29pm
Fredo, if the problem is that everybody can see what is on one's computer monitor, wouldn't it be easily solved by simply installing privacy filters on the monitors?


by low bar on 7/18/2012 @ 1:33pm
unless you're a mexican. then you want everyone to see what you're looking at. 


can someone in tacoma please get rid of this backwards ass tax whining latent fascistic pig? thank you:)

by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2012 @ 2:10pm
What does that mean?

by low bar on 7/18/2012 @ 2:14pm
double rainbow omg

I DONT KNOW YOU FUCKING TELL ME WHY SEX OFFENDERS HAVE TO LOOK LIKE DANNY TREJO.

morons.



by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2012 @ 3:25pm
Maybe it's easier to look like a Hollywood star than a regular guy???

by Welshman Novelty Account on 7/18/2012 @ 8:31pm
Atfydd 'r 'n flaen ddylasid bwyllo paham arswyda chyfathrach.


by fredo on 7/19/2012 @ 7:44am
Now that the city is defining alcoholism as a recognized disability I'm not sure the library can even prevent drunks from bringing their beverages of choice into the library.

What librarian is going to go over and call out some disabled person because of their disability?

by Cheechmo on 7/19/2012 @ 10:50am
Good. Maybe I can now enjoy a beer in the park while throwing horseshoes.


by Non Sequitur on 7/19/2012 @ 11:20am