Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Rape in Another Library Bathroom: Solon, OH

Another rape in another public library bathroom.  It keeps happening again and again.  I'm almost in tears for the victims of these crimes, most if not all occurring after porn viewing on library computers, most in libraries that refuse to use Internet filters because the American Library Association [ALA] directs them not to.  Adherence to ALA policy trumps local control, and local children suffer.

Philadelphia, PA.  Des Moines, IA.  Brooklyn, NY.  North Adams, MA.  Newark, NJ.  St. Paul, MN.  Etc.

Now Solon, OH.  In the Solon Public Library.  In the bathroom.  The "family restroom."  A teenage girl.  Raped.

  • "Solon: Police Investigate Teen Sex Incidents," by Jeff Maynor, WKYC-TV Cleveland News, 11 March 2010:  "One teenage girl says she was raped in the family restroom at the Solon Public Library.  ....  The library incident is reported as a rape with threat of force.  ....  At the library, they now keep the family restrooms locked."

And what a coincidence—the library adheres to ALA policy!  Then the library outright lies:  "The Library cannot control and is not responsible for the content o[f] the Internet."  Yes it can, with Internet filters such as those described in US v. ALA.  But I found no reference to filters whatsoever on the library's web site.  I do not believe they are being used, precisely due to adherence to ALA policy.

This looks like another case where the significance of library policy goes right over the heads of the media.  I cannot tell from the article if a lack of filters contributed in any way since there is no reporting on that topic one way or another.  I urge local police and media to investigate whether Internet usage was in any way involved in this matter.  The last time I recall making this suggestion I was proven correct.

"The user agrees to hold the Library harmless from any claims, losses, damages, obligations, or liabilities relating to the use of library computer...."  But the raped girl is not "the user" and her family will not "hold the Library harmless."  Quite the contrary.  If my advice is sought in this matter by the girl's family attorney, I will be happy to assist.


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