In "Man Gets Life for Molesting Child in a Library," by the ALA, American Libraries, 3 April 2009, [INSERTION DATED 12 APRIL 2009: source is Google cache dated 4 April 2009,][INSERTION DATED 15 APRIL 2009: Google's cache is now dated 9 April and shows the updated article including rape, so I'm again finding a way to display the original article.] the ALA refuses to say what actually happened, namely, the little boy was raped. [INSERTION DATED 12 APRIL 2009: The article was edited by the ALA on 8 April 2009 and is now entitled, "Man Gets Life for Raping Child in a Library," by the ALA, American Libraries, 8 April 2009 as amended to remove molestation and add rape from original publication on 3 April 2009.] Instead, the much softer term, "molestation," was used. It's not only softer, it can be less serious. A molestation could be something as simple as an unwanted touching.
Compare the ALA's coverage of the "molestation" with other media reports:
- "Library Child Rapist Gets Life Sentence"
- "Man Charged in Library Rape Gets Life"
- "Mass. Man Charged in Library Rape Gets Life"
- "Man Charged in Library Rape to Be Sentenced"
- "Sex Offender Gets Life for Raping 6-Year-Old Boy in Public Library"
- "Six Year-Old Boy Raped"
That last link is by a library director who said, "Frankly, I'm almost surprised that [the ALA] mentioned it at all!" So am I. The ALA routinely ignores what it does not want people to hear.
And look how the ALA partially blamed the six year old victim:
"During the time of the attack, the boy’s mother was sitting at a computer terminal some 20 feet away from her child, who was apparently intimidated into keeping silent."
Gee, if only the boy didn't keep silent while he was being raped. Oh, I'm sorry, molested.
None of those media sources said anything about the boy being "intimidated." That was made up out of thin air by the ALA in an apparent effort to help excuse what happened and perhaps try to deflect people from thinking the ALA might somehow have been responsible.
The library itself and its adherence to ALA policies may have been partially responsible for the rape. I raised this possibility in an ALA forum over a year ago, but that forum has just recently been removed, deleted! All that appears now is this:
Here is a backup link I found that may or may not still work: "Response to Mass. Library Revisits Security after Child Rape," and here is what the forum used to say before the ALA deleted it from its original link:
I have a response to "Massachusetts Library Revisits Security after Child Molested," by the ALA, American Libraries, 8 February 2008.
I'm the person from SafeLibraries.org mentioned in the article. I give credit to American Libraries for being the first media report raising the filtering issue, at least that I've noticed.
Regarding Fulchino's statement regarding the existing filtering software being bypassed by the criminal, there are several problems. First, his library's web site states that it does not filter: "The Library cannot control and is not able to monitor any information on the Internet for either content or accuracy." The word "filter" does not even appear on that page ( http://www.ci.new-bedford.ma.us/Library/internetpolicy.html ). If filtering is being used, it is not mentioned on the library's web site.
Second, the criminal has been described as having a low IQ. One article said he, "has been diagnosed as developmentally disabled and suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder." If a "developmentally disabled" person with a low IQ can "bypass the settings," then it is obvious the filtering software being used, if indeed it is, is not the latest or is not being administered in an effective manner.
Whichever way you look at it, Fulchino's statements indicate a potential serious problem at the library, as if the rape and the "anything goes" Internet policy have not already made that obvious.
Thank you to American Libraries for bring his statements to the public's attention. Existing security measures including video cameras were a failure, as Fulchino admits. Should his advice to taken seriously again? If I were a citizen of New Bedford, I would demand a full and public investigation by a disinterested party based on the facts including Fulchino's admissions. The seriousness of the allegations and potential for future harm outweigh the perceived gains of possible coverups.
Now for anyone's interest, here is the letter I sent to the community:
Lastly, notice what I predicted in my letter to the Mayor of New Bedford has come true. I said, "Articles I am reading show the city is obviously thinking of ways to prevent this in the future, but all I see are methods of moving the deck chairs on the Titanic." The ALA article says, without criticism of any kind:Dear City Council President Jane L. Gonsalves,
The library rape of a six year old children is criminal. At this time, all efforts are concentrated on the victim and the criminal. But you are the city's leader. You have a responsibility to see the bigger picture. In this case, the bigger picture is this type of incident might happen again and again as a direct result of the library's "anything goes" Internet use policy.
Was the criminal using the Internet before the rape to view child p*rnography? The media did not address this. If he did, did the library attempt to stop him? The media did not address this. If not, why not? The media did not address this, but the answer is on the library's own web site, "The New Bedford Free Public Library only provides access to the Internet. The Library cannot control and is not able to monitor any information on the Internet for either content or accuracy." http://www.ci.new-bedford.ma.us/Library/internetpolicy.html
Did you know that is false? Did you know communities may filter all computers and the US Supreme Court has already found that constitutional? Did you know the ACLU and the courts have found filters so effective that they no longer block out health related web sites?
Worse, it is possible your library's policy has exposed it, its employees, and New Bedford to liability for failure to take action that might have prevented the child rape in the first place. A simple reading of the library policy tells me the child's rape was likely partially the responsibility of the library for having an anything goes policy and the community for failure to control its own library in the legal manner in which it may control its library. Indeed, I urge any legal action brought by the parents to include counts against the library and especially against the city for, among other things, a likely failure to enforce the library's enabling statute that I am sure does not say anything goes. Indeed I will actively attempt to contact the family's attorneys and advise them to consider the theory of liability I have outlined generally.
I thought you should consider this. You have the power to prevent future such instances by using every means possible to get your local library to apply filters to all Internet computers. Warning, the American Library Association is responsible for these anything goes policies, is specifically named by your library as its source for library policy, and will be sure to bring the full weight of its misinformation campaign to you if you do decide to protect your community's children instead of the ALA's policies.
Articles I am reading show the city is obviously thinking of ways to prevent this in the future, but all I see are methods of moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. For example, "privacy screens" do not function as claimed. Internet filters are the most effective means to resolve the situation, and that is precisely why the ALA attempts to convince people not to use them.
I will be happy to explain and source every statement I have made here. You have the legal means to remove the negative influence of the ALA from your library. It's a PUBLIC library, not an ALA library. Please let me know if I may assist.
http://SafeLibraries.org/ - Are Children Safe in Public Libraries
SafeLibraries Blog - http://SafeLibraries.blogspot.com/
As a result of the attack, library trustees have modified NBPL’s patron behavior policy to prohibit adults from speaking to a minor inside the library “unless the adult is a parent, other close relative, or caregiver of the minor.” Officials also reconfigured the room in which the assault took place to maximize unobstructed sight lines.
Is that moving deck chairs on the Titanic or is that moving deck chairs? Did the ALA critically comment on the likely uselessness of those solutions at all or perhaps suggest Internet filters? Of course not. Besides, it's only a molestation that some intimidated kid invited on himself. No biggie.
Once again, the ALA has proven it is no longer authoritative and it cannot be trusted for truthful information.