- written by Russ Jones
Internet pornography activity has reached epidemic numbers. Reports find every second - 28,258 Internet users view pornography. In that same second 372 Internet users type adult keywords into search engines. With those kinds of statistics, Internet pornography has been compared to crack cocaine in its addictive behavior.
Often, porn users go to great lengths to hide their addiction, but Inside Edition discovered a different story. The popular television show that airs on CBS found men watching hardcore pornography in a public library. Many library patrons were shocked.
"That is completely absurd. Nobody should be doing that in public", one man told Inside Edition. Another woman – who happens to be librarian told the program’s investigative reporter, "It offends everyone. And it's something that should not be done in public."
Apparently porn use in many public libraries is not only permitted, but legal.
During a visit to Chicago's central library, The Harold Washington Library Center, Inside Edition reports it “saw security guards patrolling the library's computer center. But that didn't seem to stop many men from watching graphic adult videos in the large computer room open to anyone.”
Some cities see pornography use in public libraries as protected by freedom of speech laws. The New York City Library, for example, contends surfing the web for porn is protected by the First Amendment so officials don’t do anything to restrict or encourage such activity.
A district in Washington State, however, is working hard to curb pornography use in its libraries. The Wenatchee public library filters access to pornographic content on its computer's search engines, a move that has recently brought a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Dan Howard, director of public services, told King5 TV "We believe having pornography in public places hurts our ability to accomplish our mission.”
The ACLU accuses the library district of having an overly broad filtering policy "that has prevented our plaintiffs that are an artist, a college student, and a gun magazine, from accessing perfectly reasonable material," said Doug Honig, spokesperson for the ACLU.
Organizations like SafeLibraries.org educate people and politicians about who controls public libraries.
“Citizens should, not the American Library Association (ALA) should determine library policies,” said executive director Dan Kleinman.”If your local library is applying ALA policy instead of local laws and policies, learn what can be done to reverse that.”