Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Library Crime Spree Prompts Filtering Consideration for Library Computers

The Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington, IN, Bloomington Public Library, Bloomington, IL, has been suffering a crime spree so bad that it is finally considering using Internet filters to block out the porn.

And notice the "intellectual freedom" excuse for not filtering porn, as if viewing porn in a public library was intellectual or compliant with local library law.  CIPA author Ernest Istook was right to reveal last month that the American Library Association [ALA] misleads a third of American communities into ignoring the benefits of CIPA, thereby allowing the harm to children it was intended to stop to continue unabated, like in Bloomington.

Any why does the library director say they are "considering" using Internet filters when the library's online policy already says it does?

Because Bloomington Public Library receives federal funds for Internet access, federal law requires that all Bloomington Public Library computers have blocking or filtering software installed.  While we are mandated to filter graphic material that is obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors, filtering technology is imperfect and the library cannot guarantee 100% accurate filtering.  Sometimes material that does not meet the above criteria is filtered, and sometimes, the filter will not block material that should be blocked.
Do a search for CIPA funding received by the library and you will find that funding stopped in 2004 after US v. ALA held CIPA constitutional in 2003.

Search results for CIPA funding for
Monroe County Public Library.
So, given the library's web site says one thing and the library's director says another, and given the crime spree that brought this story to light and the library's reaction to the crime spree, questions are raised:

  1. Has the library been misleading the public all this time?  
  2. Is the library responsible in part for the crime wave by not filtering all the while it said it was, particularly where it now states the use of Internet filters may ameliorate the situation?  
  3. Is the addition of filters now a tacit admission that its apparent adherence to American Library Association policy not to filter has been a disaster?
  4. Is the addition of filters now a tacit admission that it is responsible in part for the crime wave?
  5. What financial losses have occurred as a result of not receiving federal funding under CIPA after 2003?
  6. What are the consequences of public employees acting in a manner harmful to the pecuniary interests of the government?
  7. What are the consequences of public employees acting in a manner harmful to the citizenry?
  8. Will there be any consequences for anything, or will malfeasance by library employees be excused or simply go over the heads of the local government in the first place?

By the way, "mov[ing] computers to highly public areas" instead of using Internet filters only covers up the problem, as the US Supreme Court has revealed.  It appears Bloomington may have learned its lesson the hard way (and may still be misleading the public).

Now here's the Bloomington story:

BLOOMINGTON — A southern Indiana library is taking steps to restrict computer use and reduce clashes in response to rising numbers of altercations that have required calling police.

Arrests at the Monroe County Public Library in downtown Bloomington have tripled in the past six years, as have the number of reported assaults, The Herald-Times reported.  The number of people considered "trespassers" rose from one in 2006 to 14 in the last year, according to Bloomington Police Department data.

Library director Sara Laughlin said the library tries to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone who ends up there — including the smokers, the drinkers and the enraged.

But increased reports of drunkenness and other issues have forced some changes in the library's environment and policies.

New white tile and additional lighting have been installed in the men's restroom to reduce vandalism.  A tobacco-free policy that was enforced March 1 has helped improve the atmosphere near the Kirkwood and parking lot entrances.

More changes are coming.  Landscaping crews will work to reduce large seating areas where groups gather and to add interactive and educational pieces.  Staff also plan to review the library's Internet policy and consider filtering computers to reduce inappropriate websites, mainly in response to the handful of complaints each year about Internet pornography.

"We have avoided filtering in the past, because we believe in intellectual freedom," Laughlin said.  Instead, the library has chosen in recent years to move computers to highly public areas.


 © Copyright 2012 ASSOCIATED PRESS.  Reprinted under Copyright Fair Use provisions.



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Salt Lake Library Votes to Filter All Computers For Adults; Computers For Children Had Already Been Filtered; Public and Librarians Pleased; Pornography Put Librarians In an Uncomfortable Position

The title says it all, and notice the harried librarians love this as well.  Bravo, Salt Lake City Public Library, for installing Internet filters on all computers to block pornography and for exposing how to overcome the false fear of "accusations of censorship"!

Clearly this is not one of the one third of American libraries Children's Internet Protection Act [CIPA] author Ernest Istook says is controlled by the American Library Association [ALA].  And, as we know, it is perfectly legal to use Internet filters to block legal pornography from public libraries, and even the ALA now says filters work:

Wary of accusations of censorship inside institutions founded on principles of intellectual freedom, many library administrators for years relied on staff and patrons to ferret out unsavory elements who might abuse public Internet access for unsavory aims and images.

The Salt Lake City Main Library and its five branches have long filtered Internet access to computers in their children's sections. During a Thursday evening meeting of the library system's board, members voted unanimously to extend those same filtering capabilities to the entire network of computers available for adult use.

Advance notice of the impending decision generated no public comment, in person or otherwise, during the public meeting held on the Main Library's fifth floor.

"Frankly, I was a little surprised," said Kevin Werner, board president. "I was expecting to hear something."

In fact, the procedure was greeted as little less than a speed bump on the way to items the board greeted with far more interest, including next year's budget and plans to build two new branches in the Glendale and Marmalade neighborhoods.

The decision to filter Internet access harbored far more than the urge to protect children and other patrons.  In exchange for its compliance under the federal Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the government will reimburse the Salt Lake City library system 80 percent of its costs for telephone and Internet services.  The library also becomes eligible for state funds in grant form, specific to technology projects, administered by the Utah State Library.

At a time when circulation numbers for physical materials — books, DVDs and periodicals — are flat, but demand for Internet access, e-books and other downloadable content has soared, that savings is nothing to sniff at.  It is money the library system can use to reinvest in the future, said library spokeswoman Julianne Hancock.

"This year, our federal discounts on telecommunications services will result in about $80,000 in savings for telecommunications services," Hancock said.  "In future years, we will apply to be considered for additional discounts, but this gets us well on our way."

The downtown library has had intermittent reports of people using library computers to access pornography and other material harmful to minors.  The problem has never become chronic or unmanageable, but the responsibility of often monitoring patrons diverted staff time from other work. "It always put everyone in an uncomfortable position," Hancock said.

Deadline for installment is June next year, but it's estimated the filter will be installed by the end of this summer, she said.

For public libraries everywhere, Werner said, the struggle to keep current in the new digital world is a more significant concern than the occasional nuisance of patrons surfing the Web for obscene and offensive material.

"The filtering issue, while important," he said, "is really an issue outside the greater trend of how libraries are being transformed."


Hi!  It's Julianne from the Library.  The updated policy allows us to install a filter to block access to "visual depictions that are child pornography or obscene as defined by state and federal statues."  Additionally, adult patrons may request unfiltered internet sessions, as long as their internet use does not violate Library policies or federal or state statues.  We will be posting the policy the Library Board passed tonight soon on the City Library's website.

Monday, March 19, 2012

ALA's Anything Goes at Any Age Policy Criticized by University of Missouri Library Science Student

The American Library Association's anything goes at any age policy has been criticized by a University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies student.  It is outstanding:

It is republished below (emphasis/hyperlinks in original, graphics added) with permission of the author, who adds in an email to me:

[T]he assignment was to articulate the ALA's position on children and intellectual freedom, then respectfully present opposing viewpoints.  The class is teaching us to be critical, not dogmatic.
What an excellent class, obviously with an excellent professor.  Teaching students to think past the ALA "dogma"—that is true intellectual freedom.  I'm going to ask this student to join the library watchdogs.  Anyone else interested?

American Libraries and Young Patrons
[A paper for my Intellectual Freedom class.]

According to the American Library Association's (the ALA's) Library Bill of Rights, "A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views [emphasis added]" (1996).  This policy of age non-discrimination has several controversial consequences: minors may view any materials adults may access, parents must take full responsibility for restricting their own children, and librarians may not hesitate to select materials they personally consider inappropriate for minors or adults.

Full Access for Minors
"Constitutionally protected speech cannot be suppressed solely to protect children or young adults from ideas or images a legislative body believes to be unsuitable for them.  Librarians and library governing bodies should not resort to age restrictions in an effort to avoid actual or anticipated objections, because only a court of law can determine whether material is not constitutionally protected." (ALA, 2008)
Library Bill of Rights, 1948,
before "age" was added in 1967.
Before examining what counts and what doesn't count as "constitutionally protected speech," it's important to notice the uniqueness of the ALA's position:  libraries may not restrict materials for minors unless that material is constitutionally unprotected.  Movie theaters routinely deny unaccompanied minors admission to R-rated films even though these films are constitutionally protected speech.  Same goes for selling M-rated video games to minors.  These industries voluntarily restrict direct access by minors to keep the public from demanding that all films and video games be "content appropriate" for minors (Scales, 2009).  The American library industry — so to speak — has deliberately decided not to apply such a policy.

What counts as constitutionally protected speech?  That's a complicated issue.  The First Amendment itself does not mention exceptions, but there is a long history of Supreme Court cases deciding what counts as speech (more than verbal expression!) and what counts as protected speech: most things except obscenity, libel, fighting words, and incitement to immediate crime (Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 1942).  Unprotected speech isn't necessarily illegal speech; it's just that the Constitution isn't interpreted as stopping legislatures from passing laws against unprotected speech, so legislatures usually do.

There is one more major complication:  the same materials can be classified as protected, non-obscene speech for adults but unprotected, obscene speech for minors.  In a late 60's Supreme Court case, it was decided that pornographic magazines could be denied by law to minors while allowed by law to adults (Ginsberg v. New York, 1968).  However, as seen in the long quote above, the ALA insists on waiting for a court of law to classify materials as "obscene" — for everyone — before libraries may deny access to minors.

Criticism of Full Access for Minors

US Supreme Court, 2003, US v.
American Library Association
Do libraries have a legal obligation to offer minors access to all materials which are constitutionally protected for adults?  Despite the ALA's age-agnostic presentation of the issue, the answer appears to be: no, libraries are not legally obligated to provide full access to minors:
"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.  Given this interest, and the failure to show that adult library users' access to the material is burdened in any significant degree, the statute is not unconstitutional on its face."  (United States v. American Library Association, 2003)
This does leave open the question of whether libraries may restrict materials more narrowly than local legislative limits, but the simplistic principle of equal access does not stand up to scrutiny.

All Responsibility on Parents
"Librarians and library governing bodies cannot assume the role of parents or the functions of parental authority in the private relationship between parent and child.  Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that only parents and guardians have the right and the responsibility to determine their children's—and only their children’s—access to library resources." (ALA, 2008)
To use a film example again, it's common for video rental stores to deny R-rated rentals to minors by default, unless a parent adds an authorization to the family account to permit a particular child to rent R movies on his or her own.  Librarians following the ALA's code will allow minors to check out any materials from the library by default.  Can parents ask the library to not allow their own children to check out R-rated movies?  The ALA says "no."  Or put more positively, "Visit the library with your children.  If that’s not possible, ask to see the materials your children bring home.   Set aside a special shelf for library materials.  If there are materials on it you don’t approve of, talk with your children about why you would rather they not read or view them" (ALA, 1999).

Criticism of All Responsibility on Parents

Some parents consider the ALA's stance too "retroactive" to give parents informed control over their own children's library access.  Relying on children to hand over all materials to their parents for approval is, well, unrealistic.  Parents Against Bad Books in Schools (PABBIS) proposes a system of "Upfront-Informed Parental Consent" for assigned readings as well as school library collections.  In this system, parents would be given a write-up describing the content and justification for using each book, along with possible alternatives.  Parents would need to sign off on the book or pick an alternative for their own children (PABBIS, n.d.).

While this may work for assigned classroom readings, it's unclear how such a system would work for a library as a whole.  Perhaps parents could give blanket pre-approval for their children to read materials with certain ratings, but require specific consent on anything beyond those ratings.  It would be interesting to know the degree to which librarian opposition to such a scheme is a matter of convenience versus a matter of principle.

Unrestricted Selection
"Libraries should not limit the selection and development of library resources simply because minors will have access to them. Institutional self-censorship diminishes the credibility of the library in the community, and restricts access for all library users." (ALA, 2008)
What's @ your library?
Given the policy of full access to library resources for minors, it might be tempting to limit minors by limiting the entire library.  It would be like allowing minors to rent any movie at a video store without parental permission, while simply not carrying anything rated higher than PG-13.  Some parents would no doubt appreciate the existence of such a video store, but our society would be poorer if every video store were of this kind.

Internet access really brings the question of restrictions to the forefront.  While it's possible to subtly limit local resources out of a consideration for minors, the full diversity of the Internet comes as a single package unless librarians take the additional step of applying a filter.  The ALA opposes such filtering:
"So, just as librarians do not monitor the books or periodicals people bring into or check out of the library, allowing people to decide for themselves what they wish to read and study, the Internet empowers users to choose for themselves the information they wish to view.  Librarians can—and do—help guide searches, but they do not advocate limiting access to legal speech, because blocking access to constitutionally protected speech is unconstitutional." (ALA, 2003)
The ALA's position has been that public libraries, as public organizations, are bound by the First Amendment in ways that private organizations — like video stores — are not.

Criticism of Unrestricted Selection

Once again there is an absolutist legal question to clear up before discussing matters of degree.  Can libraries self-impose content restrictions on constitutionally protected materials for adults?  A judgment by Washington state's Supreme Court touched on this in the context of Internet filtering for adults:
"The principle that a library has no obligation to provide universal coverage of all constitutionally protected speech applies to Internet access just as it does to the printed word in books, periodicals, and other material physically collected and made available to patrons." (Bradburn et al v. North Central Regional Library District, 2010)
It remains to be seen whether a higher court will affirm or overturn this decision.  A strong answer either way would be helpful because the ALA insists that restrictions on protected speech are unconstitutional, while the ALA's critics want local communities to have a say in where to draw the line for public libraries.


Extremes are easy.  Conservative patrons worry about a policy of "anything goes."  The ALA worries about a policy of "anything someone doesn't like goes away."  It can seem like the only way to avoid one extreme is to embrace the other.  This makes the status quo unstable and contentious.  Sacrificing the principle of absolute age equality may be a necessary step toward keeping libraries free for adults and as open for children as their parents want it to be.


American Library Association. (1996).  Library bill of rights. Retrieved from

American Library Association. (1999).  Strategies and tips for dealing with challenges to library materials. Retrieved from

American Library Association. (2003).  Libraries and the Internet toolkit. Retrieved from

American Library Association. (2008).  Free access to libraries for minors. Retrieved from

Bradburn et al v. North Central Regional Library District, No. 82200-0 D. Washington. (2010). Retrieved from

Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942).

Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968).

Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. (n.d.)  Upfront-informed parental consent. Retrieved from:

Scales, P.R. (2009).  Protecting intellectual freedom in your school library: Scenarios from the front lines. Chicago, IL: ALA Publishing.

United States v. American Library Association, 539 U.S. 194 (2003).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Library Patron Cries Out for Justice and Library Filters Due to Pron in Lincoln City Libraries; Deep Library Love Turns to Fear

Likely in response to my recent call for people seeking to protect children in libraries, one library patron has provided me with the below for republication.  It is her letter to the Lincoln City Libraries in Lincoln, NE.  The city was named after President Abraham Lincoln.  I am certain President Lincoln would feel deeply ashamed to learn of library policy in Lincoln and how patrons are mistreated, especially children.

And, as we recently learned from the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act, a third of American libraries follow American Library Association [ALA] anything-goes policy instead of local laws and interests.  It appears Lincoln City Libraries suffers from that fate, or rather its patrons and employees do.

Now read the letter from a library lover who now fears the library, and in no small way this is a direct result of ALA control of the libraries at issue:

Patron Letter to Lincoln City Libraries
by Anonymous Patron

Thank you for your time in reading this long email.  Pornography in Lincoln City Libraries is a topic I have become passionate about, as I have been exposed to porn on two separate occasions in a LCL.  The words in this letter speak from my heart, expressing my personal and community concerns.  I will also share (some copied and pasted) articles with the permission of the authors.

I was raised amidst lifestyles of drugs and abuse; attending a total of 9 different schools between Kindergarten and graduating from high school.  When I was 10, I discovered the nearest public library and within those walls found a safe escape from my home.  Soon thereafter i began spending most of my daylight hours there.

I have one good childhood memory-my best friend and I riding our bikes to the library and heading to the park to read for countless hours.  I considered both Nancy Drew and Laura Ingalls, my friends.  The homes I lived in did not have shelves of books-except my bedroom.  Next to my bed I had a bookshelf that I kept full of books; all of which were checked out from the library.

My life as a 40 something wife and mother reflects my values and interests.  I have two children; each of them received their very own library card when they turned one month old.  For both of them, It was their first official "outing."  My first two jobs as a mother were to instill good manners and a love of reading.  Our children are 10 and 15, the manners are still works in progress.  However, both children love to read and our home has hundreds—if not thousands—of books.

A love of books, combined with my love for the educational philosophies of Maria Montessori and Charlotte Mason, led me to home educate our children.  My fond memories of comfort and growth and enrichment experienced at LCLs now had an added virtue – the library became an essential ingredient in educating our children.  At times, I had 80-some materials checked out simultaneously.

Since the traumatic incident with a viewer of porn at Gere library, my use of the library is limited to ordering materials online and picking them up at one location.

I felt, and continue to feel, a great loss.  I feel my longtime friend has been taken away from me.  My husband, [name elided], gave me a Nook Color for Mother's Day, 2011.  While most people would be thrilled, I felt indifferent.  He was trying to replace my loss.  Unfortunately, that loss can't be replaced.

I want to enter my library and feel safe.  I want to let my son enter the mens bathroom there and not worry.  Currently, I cannot do either of those things.

I don't frequent Adult Bookstores, nor do I take our children into an Adult Bookstore.  The Lincoln City Libraries have become Adult Bookstores, surrounded by shelves of books from many genres.  I know that children and women—especially female librarians—are assaulted in libraries by men fresh off of viewing porn.  I have been married over 21 years.  I asked my husband if it's possible for men to view porn and not have the desire to please themselves.  His response was no.  I had many of my friends ask their husbands and boyfriends the same question.  Each responded no.

I am not a radical conservative.  I am not in favor of banning books.  The problem I have is when other's actions violate my safety or the safety of my children.  Twice in LCLs I have experienced this violation.

Your current policy on filtering (or, lack thereof) the internet does not make a safe environment.  Let's look at possible scenarios.  A man or older teenager is viewing porn at the library during story time for pre-schoolers.  Regardless of the type of porn—legal or not—the male patron is viewing it.  He heads to the bathroom to masturbate.  Just feet away, a little boy around the age of 4 is also in the mens bathroom with his teacher waiting outside the door.  Using common sense, who would feel comfortable knowing this child is in that situation?  Would you?  What about your popular summer program which relies on 5th-12th graders to volunteer their time in the library.  A young girl is done with her shift and starts walking home.  A man fresh off of viewing porn at the library decides he would rather not masturbate, sees this vulnerable young girl alone and acts on his desires.  Has this happened here in Lincoln?  Possibly.  However, it has happened in many libraries across the country.  Children, teens, women and female librarians have been assaulted and raped by men who were just viewing porn on a library computer.  These incidents take place in library bathrooms, dark corners of the libraries and the parking lots.

Once people became aware of our situation at Gere library, I received many emails and phone calls.  Here are just a few I will share.

  • At Walt library a teenage boy was witnessed viewing porn on a "filtered" computer-out in the "open."  This was observed by a young family.

  • At Walt library, a teenage girl was forced to use a computer inside the un-filtered computer room, as the other computers were being used.  She had homework to finish and the use of that computer was her only choice.  She was forced to sit between two men viewing porn, which was in her view.  She was terrified and felt helpless.  When asked why she didn't just leave, she said she had no other choice as her grade was on the line.  Her friend later said that they have said something to librarians, but they do nothing.

  • At South branch library, a man was looking at books and heard strange sounds behind him.  He turned to see a man viewing porn and masturbating.  This man's 7 year old daughter was just feet away.  He said the librarian must have heard as she was just feet away.

  • At Eiseley(sp?) Branch, a teenager was forced to sit by a man viewing porn.  This was a boy, next to a man.  Again, the boy needed the computer to finish homework.  This boy told an older brother that anyone can access porn on a library computer.  He said most of his friends do so on a regular basis.  Concerned about his brother, the older boy told his parents in confidentiality.

  • Several families contacted me, saying they also had been exposed to porn with their children while simply walking through Gere Branch.  One man told me he would never allow his kids out of his sight in the library due to what he's seen.

Obviously there are legal considerations when exposing a minor to pornography—purposefully or not—and there are consequences for a library in the above situations , which, is exactly what happened in the above situations here in Lincoln.

Pat [Leach], in your interview on KOLN, you mention that it is a balancing act to meet the needs of patrons.  I agree, and understand the complexity this presents.  The "balance" however needs to skew toward the physical and emotional safety of the majority of your patrons.  The Library is a community—a public—institution not a private enterprise.  Your job is to serve the people of Lincoln, Nebraska.  The patronage of the clientele you are going to not "serve" by taking steps to eliminate access to porn will not break a public institution.  Adult bookstores have parking lots and entrances behind the building.  Who wants to be identified as viewing porn?  Such behavior is private and has no business in a public library.

Common sense would dictate that the majority of people would find the use of internet pornography wrong in our libraries.  Would our community favor our tax dollars supporting porn on the library's computer?  Would our community think it okay to send their child into a library bathroom where a man just viewing porn is heading?  I ask each of you, are you serving Lincoln-or not?


From what I understand, this is known as "data collection" which is based on criteria and monies available.  The internet is no different.  Your current internet policy allows for patrons to attend a buffet of porn- feet away from other patrons-including minors.  I have spoken with Dean Marney of Washington State several times.  He is a library director who chooses to walk his talk-he serves the people of his community.  He has given me permission to use anything he has said or written.  Attached are two must read articles he has written.


It is my opinion that the current internet policy is dangerous and puts minors, our most vulnerable population, at risk.  Specifically at risk are children from under-privileged homes without computers.  Homes similar to those from my childhood.

As I see it, you all have an opportunity to provide a family and children friendly library.  Please use the integrity that Dean has-do the right thing.  The right thing would mean intelligent filtering.  Common sense filtering.

[Name elided]

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Teen Sodomized in Public Library Bathroom

The public library bathroom is the locus of sexual crime against children, again, this time in Tustin, CA, at the Orange County Public Library, and once again a LIBRARY WAS NOT EVEN AWARE OR CARED LESS—the 13 year old reported the crime himself:

  • "School Boy Allegedly Sodomized Inside a Tustin Public Library," by R. Scott Moxley, OC Weekly, 10 March 2012.

    A 13-year-old boy had gone to the library after school to study, but ended up a rape victim.

    Police say Robert Howard Claudio sodomized the unidentified kid inside a library bathroom located at 345 E. Main Street.

    Tustin PD Lt. Pat Welch said in a prepared statement that the boy managed to free himself, run for help and underwent medical treatment.
  • "Tustin Boy Sexually Attacked in Library; Suspect Arrested," by Carol J. Williams, The Los Angeles Times, 9 March 2012.

    A 23-year-old Anaheim man with a juvenile history of sex offenses was arrested Friday afternoon after a 13-year-old boy reported being sodomized in the men's bathroom of the Orange County Public Library in Tustin, police said.

    The boy fled the library to a police station across the street and reported the attack, said Lt. Pat Welch of the Tustin Police Department.  He was taken to a hospital for treatment and was home with his family later in the evening, Welch said.
  • "Sex Offender Arrested in Tustin Library Assault of 13-Year-Old Boy; Robert Howard Claudio Allegedly Attacked the Victim at a Library About 3:30 P.M. Friday," by City News Service, NBC Los Angeles, 10 March 2012.

    The boy left the library and told a security guard what happened, Welch said.

    Claudio also approached the guard, Welch said.

    "The suspect actually approached the civilian officer and identified himself as a registered sex offender and said that something had just occurred in the library and that he may be involved in it," Welch told KCAL9.
  • "Sex Offender Arrested After Assault on Teen," by Erika I. Ritchie, The Orange County Register, 10 March 2012.
    The teen told police at the front desk that he had been studying after school in the Orange County Public Library at 345 E. Main St., when he was approached by a man. He said he and the man began talking and the two ended up in the restroom where he was sodomized, Welch said.

    The teen said he immediately left the library and came to the police department just a few hundred feet away.

    While the teen was telling his story to police, a man left the library and saw a civilian police service officer driving nearby. He stopped the officer at El Camino and Main Street and told him that he was a registered sex offender and had been involved in something at the library, Welch said.

    At that point the department's communication center put the two incidents together and immediately dispatched police to the where the man was being detained.

    While he was detained, police officers drove the teen by to see if the man was the same one who he accused of assaulting him, Welch said.

    He positively identified the man, Welch said. Police have identified the man as Robert Howard Claudio, 24, of Anaheim.

    Claudio admitted the sexual assault, Welch said, and was arrested on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14 and sodomy of a minor. Claudio was booked into Orange County Jail and has a bail of $2 million.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hidden Library Crime: Security Guard Reveals Libraries Want Door Greeters, Not Security Guards; Case Evidences Harm of American Library Association Control Over Libraries

A library security guard quit his position after learning firsthand that libraries want door greeters, not security guards.  He reveals shocking details about public library security.  FoxNews investigates and finds defensive and deflective library management who will not answer simple questions.  See this for yourselves:

This is no surprise to me, especially knowing the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act revealed that the American Library Association [ALA] has effective control of one third of American libraries, and it is harming American children.  Still, it is shocking how easily libraries fool local governments into not taking action to ensure libraries are not acting outside the law.

Phoenix Police, contact me as I have solutions for stopping your public library from violating the law, and it is, despite claims it is not.  Do not believe a single thing the library director says without first checking into it yourselves; the ALA trains library directors how to mislead people and deflect probing questions.  Notice how the ALA spin training has been put to effective use by Rita Hamilton.

Fox News 10 Phoenix, contact me.

Phoenix Library Crime a Well-Kept Secret?
Updated: Wednesday, 07 Mar 2012, 9:56 PM MST
Published : Wednesday, 07 Mar 2012, 9:56 PM MST

PHOENIX - We learned last week of a convicted sex offender roaming inside this Phoenix library, in search of his next victims.

And he found at least two.

Last week's arrest was shocking to most -- but sadly -- not to us.  Our FOX investigation a few months ago uncovered hundreds of disturbing incidents at Phoenix libraries.

Reports include: a man touching a toddler in the kids section who got away before police arrive -- people looking at porn -- a man getting hostile pushing a guard – a customer threatening to cut another mans throat.

So why is this happening at a place most parents consider safe?  This man says he knows why.

He doesn't want to show his face, but he wants to share his story, because he says people need to know about the dangers at the library.

He's worked security his entire adult life, and he worked at that library branch -- but resigned.  He felt the library wanted a door greeter, rather than a security guard who would enforce the rules.

"Larry" told us the library should be a safe place, but it's not.

"The library has become a home to vagrants to the homeless, to the drug users…you name it I've seen it all.

"Soliciting for sex in the parking lot, I actually caught them before they… I’ve seen people from the streets, I’ve seen people who just got released from prison, drug addicts, prostitutes, alcohol users," says Larry.

Larry has worked full time security for more than two decades at businesses that are serious about safety.

He took an additional part time job at the library three days a week, but left in November.

"I resigned over frustration over not being able to enforce a lot of rules and regulations," he says.

Larry says the branch manager didn't want him to wear a security uniform, telling him to wear a blazer instead.

"[She thought that] I was being too official looking, too intimidating."

And the two way radios, so security could warn of trouble and ask for help?

"They didn't want the radio on because it was making too much noise for them, so the radios were taken away," says Larry.  "She thought I was running people away from there and that there wasn't anyone left."

According to Larry, his manager scolded him for calling the police after a homeless man threatened to kill him.

"She said, I recalled this very clearly, why didn’t you just wake him up and tell him that the rules are you can't sleep here?  I said I did do that and he told me to get the f*** out of his face and that point I thought we don't need to be listening to that type of language…he started threatening me."

The top manager for Phoenix libraries is Rita Hamilton.

"We're very concerned, deeply concerned, very sad.  We are certainly looking into the Saguaro Library and if there are any security measures we can revise and improve," says Hamilton.

"It’s not really safe and they just don't want it to get out to the public,” counters Larry.

"There's one individual I used to watch because his actions.  I used to warn him to stay out the children's area… why are we allowing adults that are not here with children in the children's section?"

Considering the fact that a pedophile on lifetime probation was able to get access to two kids in the children's section of the library -- we posed that question to Hamilton.

"Do you have any restrictions on who can get into the children's section?" we asked.

"No we don't, it's a public building, it's not something we can enforce."

This wasn't the first time that's happened.  Security documents show a man tried to lure a child away from the kids section at the Yucca branch.

"They should have someone in that children's section watching that area at all times," says Larry.

And most disturbing -- the sex offenders and parolees he had to help log on to computers to conduct job searches.

"Recent prison releasees come in to use the computers, convicted felons and sex offenders use the computers on a regular basis to apply for work, computers that are feet away from the children's section.  Does that concern you?" we asked Hamilton.

"I'm definitely concerned if there's an issue.  But we don't have any knowledge of the percentage in those categories," she responded.

Larry says the motto seemed to be -- wait till there's trouble -- then address it.

"Basically you have to wait until something happens before you can take action."

"Well obviously you've got a huge problem with the number of customers who are homeless, mentally ill, drug/alcohol users and generally troublemakers.  Why does the library continue to act like that's not an issue and not inform the public of what they're walking into?" we asked.

Hamilton said: "We have 4.3 million visitors per year.  To single out that particular segment and say that's the majority is not correct."

But the former security guard says she's wrong.

"I'd say about 60 percent…who come here are bad people."

The library says they are working with Phoenix police to determine if there are ways to make the libraries safer, but unless there is a change in the laws they have to let everyone in.

Larry's suggestion for making it safer starting today -- strictly enforce every library rule so that troublemakers know there's no tolerance for bad behavior.


Video removed and links updated to archived links.