Give it up, morality crusade. This is a microcosm of a larger controversy as old as mankind. It is impossible to control, or even reasonably set boundaries, beyond obvious examples like materials involving child abuse (and even there, real control is largely illusionary). Attempts to declare pornography as somehow verboten but graphic violence acceptable, are tilting at windmills in an age where a leading television series is Game of Thrones and a best-selling book is 50 Shades of Grey. Any reasonable person would be offended by much of what some people consider to be entertainment -- animal abuse in particular makes me incredibly angry. But attempting to control public viewing of materials as discussed in this article is a losing proposition, one that simply leads the way toward expanding and hopeless (but still very damaging) censorship regime attempts. - Lauren
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- I'm not trying to be snide when I say this, but no one ever asked you what kind of book you were using the library resources to write, did they? Again, I share some of your feelings and am appalled at a lot of what I see, but as long as they're not being disruptive, whatever the usage is fair. The people talking loudly on Skype will be dealt with. ;) The smell of some of the worst offenders is something we can't do much about except retreat. There are limits, though, and cities have tried to craft ordinances to deal with that.Jul 22, 2012
- I find you offensive. Goodbye.Jul 22, 2012
- Justice Cardozo once said "you can't satisfy the needs of the smoker and non-smoker in the same train carriage." I think it applies here.
The library in the small town where I live has two banks of 4 terminals each. One side of each bank faces the wall, one side the interior of the library. The wall side is unfiltered. The interior side has parental controls. Under 16 (or so, not exactly sure) are not allowed to use the unfiltered side without prior written parental consent.
It seems to be a compromise that everyone is happy with (or at least no one has complained about).Jul 22, 2012
- I don't remember where I saw this, but I came across two rules for civilized society.
1. Don't easily give offense.
2. Don't easily be offended.
It seems that your point leans heavily on rule two. We make determinations about what is acceptable in public spaces all the time. For example, we generally don't let people strip naked in them. In fact, if I go down to the library and strip naked in the public area, the police are going to come haul me away for public indecency. Is it really a big leap from there to having picture of naked people prominently displayed on the monitor? If someone was being insensitive to the people around them and talking loudly, it would be within the librarian's rights to ask them to quiet down or leave. Why not the same with gratuitous viewing of porn?
Yes, there are quite legitimate reasons for looking at nude pictures of people. But is it too much to ask that someone exercise a little bit of rule one? Tell the librarian you need to look at sensitive material. Use a kiosk in a private area.
I don't really buy the slippery slope argument, either. Not that long ago we had a guy strip naked in the security line at the airport to protest the invasive procedure. The judge acquitted him. His right to convey that message outweighed the issue of public exposure. We can have an ongoing debate that pulls us to a middle ground without succumbing to absolutism at either end of the spectrum.Jul 22, 2012
- Having them look at nudes in private kiosks makes librarians really nervous!!!!Jul 22, 2012
- I can image.Jul 22, 2012