The CPL is XXX?!

The Chicago Public Library protects the open and rampant use of Internet pornography by library patrons. This blog is an attempt to bring awareness to this issue and enact change.

Monday, February 27, 2012

In Someone Else's Words...

This is probably one of the better articles/essays/columns I've read on the issue of pornography in our public libraries. Ernest Istook took the time to research the entire issue and write a fairly accurate summary of the entire situation, including the role the American Library Association plays. (A little background on Mr. Istook, he's from the Heritage Foundation and has served 14 years as a Republican Congressman (Kansas).

The article is aptly titled "Libraries Need Not Expose Kids to Porn" and was published online today in the Sacramento Bee ( I definitely recommend it as a brief overview of the issue at hand for anyone looking for a quick take and I appreciate Ernest's approach to this from a lawmakers POV. He give good reason for what the situation is and clearly places action items and next steps for local and state governments to use and enforce CIPA. (YAY! for clear next steps!) Read an excerpt from his article below (bolding mine).
These libraries still rely upon public funds from the state or local level. Lawmakers who provide that funding have an opportunity to protect children. States and local governments can do so if they use CIPA as their model. They can require that schools and libraries funded by local and state governments must protect children from Internet porn by installing these software filters. No such filter is perfect, but they protect children and they help parents who want libraries to be safe places for their entire family.

Read more here:

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Inside Edition Investigates CPL!

Inside Edition Investigates Who's Lurking Inside Our Library!

First, let it be known that I simply can't even believe that this is still going on. Seriously?! Anyway, the porn peddling that CPL insists they "have no ability to control" is continuing to be noticed. Glad that IE caught wind of it.

Important that they even noticed how guards are patrolling the patrons as they use the machines. There goes the argument that monitoring computer use will create a police state, eh? Any old way - again, there are several children near people that absolutely have to watch porn in public - no matter the cost. GRRRR!

We can only hope that as more people are affected by this horribleness, the outcry will become even greater and change will finally be known. Then the public library can once again be a place you can leave without immediately feeling like you need to bleach your eyeballs. Or maybe just a place you can take your children with you to pay a bill online. (We hear ya single mommas...)
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sounds familiar...

I came across a news story this morning that's all too familiar. It reminded me a lot about my own experiences at CPL back in 2008 and ruffled my feathers enough to get me to draft a post about it. This story was about a ten year old girl who was exposed to hardcore pornography in her public library during a Sunday mid-afternoon outing with her mother and sister. Read the news story linked above for the deets. But the mother was with her daughters - they were both being properly supervised.

Kudos to the mother for reacting in a very logical and appropriate, even sensible manner. The daughter was very upset by the experience. I'm upset too - and here's why:
  1. The mother noticed what was going on and tried to address it by asking the librarians about it (she was given the classic "that's their right to view that material" garbage line)
  2. The mother even asked the male patron (notice I chose to not use the term "gentleman" here) to view that elsewhere. And his reply was that he needed "30 more seconds". {ewwww... shudder}
  3. After her daughter had been exposed and started crying, the mother responsibly email the library administration to alert them to the situation. And she states excellent supporting points.
    "At a minimum, there should be warning signs posted, stating that some screens may contain adult content. ... I had no idea my girls could be exposed to such images at our local library,"
Protecting prurient materials is not a constitutional right, regardless of the garbage we're being told. If you have any questions about that, check out the actual Constitution and Free Speech Amendment people are quoting without actually reading (obscene speech is not protected. prurient material is considered obscene). And most tax payers would shudder to think they're helping fund library porn. Particularly when children can be - and very much are - being exposed to hardcore pornography - and it's damaging effects.

More on Freedom of Speech
The First Amendment
More on the First Amendment
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Friday, May 7, 2010

Washington - Way to be!

Here's a news article that I LOVED reading! Washington (the state, not the capital) just made the news regarding this library porn issue on

Apparently, the ACLU had sued against filtering porn in the library (big surprise, right?) and the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of filters, stating "Public libraries in Washington can filter Internet content to block things like pornography..."

What a lovely victory! Here's a snippet from the article regarding their decision, "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. 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," the opinion said. "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."

Click here for the complete article.

Unfortunately, even if the Illinois Supreme Court had a similar decision, it's unlikely the Chicago Public Library Commissioner (Mary Dempsey) and Board of Directors would use it to protect those in our public libraries that don't want to see second-hand porn. Based on her interview with WGN back in 2008, Dempsey thinks she "has no ability to control it." Tsk, tsk.
Read more!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Libary Porn Issue Across the US...

Here are just some links to news stories regarding this issue in the USA:

Reminding us - it really IS about protecting our kids:

Also, I found this site:
It's a political website for the school board in Vancouver, WA. I found it encouraging that someone's stand on the library porn issue was directly tied to votes. Here's the quote:
Margaret Tweet, Camas: The record of Mayor Pollard and others running for Vancouver City Council on hardcore library porn is atrocious. Since 1997, I witnessed and also read public records of minors accessing hardcore pornography at FVRL library computers. Furthermore, reports of adults' access to hardcore material also negatively affected library visitors young and old.

The mayor and certain candidates could have helped solve the problem. Instead, the mayor lambasted citizens at city meetings, the library board delayed, and the problem festered until 2006.

Councilor Jeanne Stewart defended decent libraries and deserves re-election. Tim Leavitt, Bill Turlay, and Anne McEnerny-Ogle would better serve Vancouver. (info:
And the title of this one made me laugh out loud: "But Where Will Homeless Philadelphia Men Browse Internet Porn Now?"
Although the title is funny, the actual article itself is kind of sad - it talks about library services being cut back and canceled because of funding. And that is truly a bummer, even if this article has a snarky, sarcastic twist about it.
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

International Example of the Libary Porn Issue

Canada... London... Australia...

Examples of pornography use in public libraries are popping up all over the world, not just in the United States. Of course, the American Library Association (ALA) has directed American libraries to offer completely unfettered access to the internet, with the only exception being child pornography.

It's important to note that although the ALA directs American libraries regarding this issue, each city has their own independent governing bodies (ex, CPL has the library board) and are allowed to make choices for those libraries accordingly.

Anyway - I've already covered some news stories about this issue in Australia, here's a link to another recent news story that's more international in nature. It's interesting to note that there are other countries dealing with a very similar issue.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Filters Aren't Required to Keep Porn Out

The title of this news article can be a bit misleading - but it gets the point across. Greensboro Central Library in fact does NOT filter out internet pornography. However, it DOES have policies against using internet pornography. Here's the deal, taken from the article:
Instead, anyone caught looking at porn are asked to leave by security guards. Repeat offenders can be banned for a day, week, month or even a year at a time.

Porn surfing is not a criminal offense, but repeat offenders can and have been charged with trespassing. (Copyright © 2009, WGHP-TV)
Here's the complete article: Greensboro Central Library Doesn't Filter Out Pornography

I think it's important to note that filtering wasn't used, but having a policy in place to prevent this kind of thing is very much in use. This is something that the CPL could very easily incorporate into our public libraries. We already have security guards patrolling around on the 3rd floor, allegedly in an attempt to help enforce laws against child pornography. Why not ask them to enforce a policy against all sexually explicit materials?
Read more!