Monday, November 15, 2010

Library Porn Removal Roadmap; NCRL Director Dean Marney Details How to Legally Remove Legal Porn from Public Library Computers and Advises that the ALA Relies on Outdated Dogma

No Porn Librarian
A public library director has removed pornography from library computers by using Internet filters that will only be disabled after patron request and library review to ensure the site complies with library policy.  Pornography is not part of library policy.  The director advises that the American Library Association [ALA] intentionally misleads local communities.

Short URL for this page:
http://tinyurl.com/ALAdogma


The library director provides a road map for legally removing porn from a public library.  He has done it, with the backing of his state's Supreme Court, and despite the usual ALA misinformation designed to convince people to act as the ALA would act.  See
"LJ BackTalk: The Internet Is Not All or Nothing," by Dean Marney, the Director of the North Central Regional Library, Wenatchee, WA, Library Journal, 1 November 2010.

"If parents do not see the public library as a safe place for their children, they will not allow them to go there.  This would mean fewer patrons in the library and possibly could affect the library’s funding."  Source:  "Do Librarians Have an Ethical Duty to Monitor Patrons' Internet Usage in the Public Library?," by Anna May Wyatt, Journal of Information Ethics 15 (1): 70-79, Spring 2006.


Library Director's Wake Up Call to Communities About Outdated ALA Dogma

Here's library director Dean Marney's wake up call to local communities about outdated ALA dogma:

The outdated tenets about using technology to manage the Internet, promoted by the Freedom To Read Foundation (FTRF) and American Library Association (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom, express dogma and fundamentalism and deserve challenge.

....

Filtering offers a technological solution for a technological problem. If your filter is inadequate, find a better one.

The FTRF, by the way, is an ALA creation.  They do "deserve challenge" for "outdated" "dogma and fundamentalism" and now there's a library directory saying so.  He is saying what many others are thinking but afraid to act upon.  I have had many librarians talk to me in whispers.  I hereby encourage other library directors and librarians to speak out like Dean Marney or, for the more timid, to contact me discreetly and perhaps I'll post your writing here anonymously.

Example of Outdated Dogma that Filters Do Not Work

For an example of that outdated dogma, see "Why Internet Filters Don't Work and Why Libraries Who Filter are Wrong," by Sarah Houghton-Jan, LibrarianInBlack, 7 May 2010.  See the many comments written by "Dan Kleinman"—that's me—and see how the Librarian In Black responds. Outdated and dogmatic are the right words.


Court Provides Lesson for Public Libraries—Legal Porn May Be Legally Removed

Here's what the Washington Supreme Court said in Bradburn v. North Central Regional Library District:

Here, if a library patron wants to access a web site or page that has been blocked by FortiGuard, he or she may send an e-mail to NCRL administrators asking for a manual override of the block.  The site or page is reviewed to ascertain whether allowing access would accord with NCRL’s mission, its policy, and CIPA requirements.  If not, the request is denied.  If the request is approved, access will be allowed on all of NCRL’s public access computers.

....

Most importantly, just as a public library has discretion to make content-based decisions about which magazines and books to include in its collection, it has discretion to make decisions about Internet content.  A public library can decide that it will not include pornography and other adult materials in its collection in accord with its mission and policies and, as explained, no unconstitutionality necessarily results.  It can make the same choices about Internet access.

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.

Let that be a lesson for any public library and community struggling with how to control porn in the public library even when that porn is legal.  Legal porn may be removed legally by Internet filters.  The ALA may be outdated and dogmatic in promoting its "anything goes" views on local communities, but those communities can now see through the propaganda and apply community standards, not ALA standards, and do so legally.


Local Law May Preclude Porn and Libraries Acting Outside the Law May Be Reined In by Local Governments

Look at the local law that created your library.  It shows the library was created for a purpose.   Porn is usually not part of that purpose.  If your local library is allowing porn, it may be acting outside the law, or ultra vires.  In such a case, the usual veil of autonomy no longer applies.   You see, libraries are intentionally made autonomous precisely to prevent political control.  But where the library acts outside of the law, then the local government may act to require the library to adhere to the law.

So, not only may local libraries act to preclude porn in the libraries, but local governments may act as well.   It all depends on the law and the circumstances, of course.


The US Supreme Court Also Allows Libraries to Preclude Porn

Even the US Supreme Court has weighed in on the issue of porn in the public library.  In US v. ALA, the Court said:

US Supreme Court, 2003
To fulfill their traditional missions of facilitating learning and cultural enrichment, public libraries must have broad discretion to decide what material to provide to their patrons.  ....  Internet access in public libraries is neither a "traditional" nor a "designated" public forum.  ....  Internet terminals are not acquired by a library in order to create a public forum for Web publishers to express themselves.  Rather, a library provides such access for the same reasons it offers other library resources: to facilitate research, learning, and recreational pursuits by furnishing materials of requisite and appropriate quality.   The fact that a library reviews and affirmatively chooses to acquire every book in its collection, but does not review every Web site that it makes available, is not a constitutionally relevant distinction.  The decisions by most libraries to exclude pornography from their print collections are not subjected to heightened scrutiny; it would make little sense to treat libraries' judgments to block online pornography any differently.  Moreover, because of the vast quantity of material on the Internet and the rapid pace at which it changes, libraries cannot possibly segregate, item by item, all the Internet material that is appropriate for inclusion from all that is not.  While a library could limit its Internet collection to just those sites it found worthwhile, it could do so only at the cost of excluding an enormous amount of valuable information that it lacks the capacity to review.  Given that tradeoff, it is entirely reasonable for public libraries to reject that approach and instead exclude certain categories of content, without making individualized judgments that everything made available has requisite and appropriate quality.   Concerns over filtering software's tendency to erroneously "overblock" access to constitutionally protected speech that falls outside the categories software users intend to block are dispelled by the ease with which patrons may have the filtering software disabled.  ....  The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree.

All Members of the Court agree, but the ALA does not.  Let me add that the ALA advises local libraries how to skirt US v. ALA by using CYA language.  So which institution should be authoritative in your own community, the US Supreme Court or the ALA that advises skirting the Court?


Parting Words from Dean Marney: Safe Libraries are a Dirty Little Secret

Dean Marney is really admirable, especially since he is willing to oppose the ALA dogma.  See what he says here:

In their ruling, they say that just as libraries don't buy all books that are available, especially those that are pornographic, so they're not obligated to provide access to every Internet site.

Director Dean Marney says the ruling affirms his district's policy of making libraries safe places for all of its patrons.

Dean Marney: “I think this has been libraries' dirty little secret forever, that we've had to deal with this; that we can protect kids, we can protect employees, stay true to our mission.”

Washington state librarian Jan Walsh says the ruling may convince other libraries that don't use filters to adopt them.

Source: "Washington Supreme Court Says Libraries Can Filter Internet Computers," by Doug Nadvornick, Northwest News Network, 6 May 2010.

A dirty little secret!  Safe libraries for children and employees!  Imagine that!



Others Say the ALA is Misleading the Public


Dean Marney is not the only person telling communities that the ALA is misleading communities.   Here are a few others:


PornHarms.com Logo
Pat Trueman, former chief obscenity prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, said, "That's a ruse that the American Library Association, which is very pro-pornography and always files lawsuits against the federal government to try to keep pornography widely available, ...put[s] forward to scare libraries out of having filters."  Mr. Trueman now runs Pornography Harms.

Kenneth Warren, Lakewood Public Library Director, "dropped his membership from the [ALA] group after it suggested libraries erect privacy screens for public-access computers[, believing, i]f you need privacy, you should get your own computer."  Privacy screens are known to be worthless.

Then there's the Library Journal's Annoyed Librarian, much beloved within the library community:

We're talking about libraries providing publicly subsidized porn.  The argument against Internet filters may have some technological weight, but it has no moral weight at all, which is why the ALA has done such a bad job of persuading Congress of the American right to salivate over Internet porn at the taxpayer's expense.  An Internet filter for porn is just a technological version of the filter that librarians use when they don't subscribe to hard core porn magazines for their public library.  It's called selection, and it requires judgment about what "information" is appropriate for a library.  The ALA evades any debates about selection and judgment by classifying everything as "information" and then saying everyone should have access to all of it.  That's a very convenient ploy for people incapable of reasoning, moral or otherwise.  Nevertheless, there is no good argument for providing free access to porn.  Libraries exist to serve the public good, and what argument can be made that free access to porn is a public good?

Annoyed Librarian
You simply have to read the above and the remainder of her comments on the issue of access to pornography in public libraries.  If I wrote those words myself, I would reprint them here.  Please read in its entirety:  "Library Porn Challenge," by Annoyed Librarian, Annoyed Librarian, 5 March 2007. 


Conclusion

It is perfectly legal to legally block/remove legal pornography from public libraries and to use Internet filters for doing so.  It is perfectly legal to determine if a request to unblock a certain web site meets the library's selection policy.  When challenging the ALA's influence in your own libraries, you will be in good company despite the guilty-until-proven-innocent effort that will be made to immediately cast you as a censor.  Point out how the ALA misleads communities.  Show how library directors are standing up to denounce the ALA for its outdated dogma.  Use the above as examples, though there are many more.  Consider taking the "Library Porn Challenge."  Don't let the ALA redefine censorship.  Read US v. ALA.  Local communities should control local public libraries, not the ALA.  Get ready for the ALA onslaught that may even include silent payments to local citizens.  SafeLibraries will provide assistance upon request.



  Further Reading on Legally Removing Legal Porn from Libraries
Newspaper Cartoon About Ease of
Getting Porn in Public Libraries
Cartoon by Ackerman in The Oregonian

The following are worth reading on the topic of removing legal porn legally from public libraries:




Note

This post is about legally removing legal porn from public libraries.  I take no position as SafeLibraries on whether legal porn should be opposed generally.  I have, however, publicly opposed illegal porn.  Legal, illegal, there's a difference—one's illegal.  I oppose anything that's illegal.  Don't most people?

Further, in specific cases, I will support communities attempting to remove legal porn from public libraries.  Indeed, that is the very genesis of SafeLibraries many years ago.  I am fair, though, so sometimes I will support libraries being wrongly accused.


About the Author


I'm Dan Kleinman.  I began opposing ALA policy almost a decade ago when the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom policies forced inappropriate material into the hands of my kindergartner.  The school principal eventually removed the material from the public school library stating she found it twice as bad as I had reported.  Now running SafeLibraries.org, I educate people and politicians about who controls public libraries and what can be done to restore local control.  I am consulted nationwide for my expertise in how the negative aspects of ALA influence can be mitigated, and I appear in numerous media reports.  I write regularly and ask people to consider subscribing to SafeLibraries.  Guest posts are welcome.  I track library crimes on Delicious and broadcast my latest crime additions on my SafeLibraries Twitter.  I may be reached at SafeLibraries@gmail.com.

My efforts and those of my late partner, Mark Decker, have been rewarded by the ALA naming SafeLibraries as one of its "prominent" opponents, if not the top one.  See "Intellectual Freedom Manual, Eighth Edition," Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association, 2010, p.383 [ALA's online version naming SafeLibraries].  Also see:


I am available for media interviews.  This is especially important as the ALA plans a huge propaganda campaign in September 2011 for the 30th anniversary of "Banned Books Week."  I can provide balance with a smile and with solid legal and factual support.  Hint, no books have been banned in the USA for almost 50 years.

This post is dedicated to a certain good-hearted public library director who needs help in telling others how and why legal pornography may be legally excluded from his/her library; the ALA will not help him/her.  Hopefully, I will be instrumental in yet another library acting to legally protect children.

==========

Hat tip to AndyW of LISNews for making me aware of this matter.  Please read his critical comments at "Access in the Hands of an Aggressive Filtering Policy," by AndyW, LISNews, 11 November 2010.


The above is all my opinion, but I do provide extensive and diverse sources for people to decide for themselves.

NOTE ADDED 17 NOVEMBER 2010:

This blog post has appeared on PornHarms.com at Library Porn Removal Roadmap and can be seen here:
SafeLibraries Featured on PornHarms.com: "Library Porn Removal Roadmap"

It is also linked here: "Libraries Dangerous for Children - Craigslist Contributes to Sexual Deviance in Restrooms," by , WISSUP = Wisconsin Speaks Up, 15 November 2010.

NOTE ADDED 22 JANUARY 2011:

Short URL for this page:
http://tinyurl.com/ALAdogma

NOTE ADDED 28 MAY 2011:

See also:

NOTE ADDED 13 FEBRUARY 2012:

Dean Marney confirms his opposition to the dogma, and you can hear him speak on the topic here:


Dean Marney's arguments are so persuasive that he even gets the ALA to reverse its years-long false misinformation on library filters:


NOTE ADDED 28 FEBRUARY 2012:

And now the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act, Ernest Istook, is also pointing out the ALA's dogma:


NOTE ADDED 10 APRIL 2012:

The jig is up for ALA/ACLU excuses allowing pornography on public library computers:
A federal judge has ruled that an Eastern Washington library system is not violating the state constitution by using filters to block internet porn on library computers. 
Judge Edward F. Shea, Eastern Washington Federal District Court, ruled in favor of the North Central Regional Library.  The case was brought against the rural eastern Washington library district by the ACLU of Seattle.  The ACLU accused the library district of having an overly broad filtering policy. 
The ruling followed a decision handed down from the Washington State Supreme Court in May, 2010.  The Supreme Court found that the North Central Regional Library, the largest library district in the State of Washington, did not violate Article 1, Section 5 of the Washington State Constitution with its policy of filtering the internet. 
"Taxpayers are the winners in this case," said Library Director Dean Marney.  "Libraries should never be forced to use public funds to provide access to child pornography or to become illegal casinos.  Libraries should be sanctuaries for people of all ages." 
The NCRL, which represents 28 libraries in the central part of the state, has admitted the filtering policy puts them in the minority.  Other libraries have taken the stance of non-censorship, citing First Amendment rights.

Hey, it's legal!  Media, stop calling it "censorship."  It's not censorship!  The jig is up!  There is no First Amendment right to porn in public libraries!  Libraries know this, especially now, let alone since US v. ALA in 2003, so saying otherwise is simply and intentionally false.

Wanna join people stopping libraries from misleading their communities on porn in public libraries, etc.?  Join the Watchdogs!


NOTE ADDED 26 JULY 2012:

After months of essentially ignoring Dean Marney's decisive victories in Washington state and federal courts, the ALA has finally issued a statement.  It basically says Dean Marney's victories apply only to his libraries and no others, so do not use Internet filters or there may be grave legal consequences.  I will be writing way more about this ALA deception soon, including about the possible unprofessional and unethical conduct of its author, but in the meantime, see:




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