Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chicago Public Library Openly Allows Porn Despite the Law and Chicago Sun-Times Gives One-Sided Report to Maintain Status Quo

Many libraries allow porn viewing despite the law, so many that the American Library Association has been called out for misleading a third of American communities by the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act, and, as a result, ALA has been named as one of the nation's leading porn facilitators.

But it is not often that you see libraries just come out and say porn is just fine and dandy with them:
Ruth Lednicer, director of marketing and communications for Chicago Public Library, said this is why Chicago libraries don't use filters. 
"In terms of pornography, it is legal."
Source:


Contrast the Chicago Public Library's statement that porn in libraries is legal with the US Supreme Court in United States v. American Library Association, 539 U.S. 194 (2003): "public libraries' use of Internet filtering software does not violate their patrons' First Amendment rights....  ....  Most libraries already exclude pornography from their print collections because they deem it inappropriate for inclusion. We do not subject these decisions to heightened scrutiny; it would make little sense to treat libraries' judgments to block online pornography any differently, when these judgments are made for just the same reason."

Now consider the Chicago Public Library is absolutely rife with porn viewing and the crimes that result therefrom, the patrons can't stand it, but the library forces it on them anyway.

See and sign related petition:
Before I discuss the precise propaganda from the American Library Association, the Illinois Library Association, the Chicago Public Library, and the Chicago Sun-Times, all designed to intentionally mislead people into maintaining the status quo of no filters and high crime in the libraries, let me first include some Chicago Public Library crime stories from the past.  This is important because the public is told and media prints unchallenged that such crimes rarely happen:
(CBS) NAPERVILLE, Ill. Most people view libraries as a safe place to study and spend time.  
But the CBS 2 Investigators obtained security tapes and official internal library files from more than a dozen libraries that show serious crimes and inappropriate behavior are happening across the city and suburbs.

As Dave Savini reports, more and more of these crimes are kept confidential and police are not being called.
....
Just how safe is your public library?  Our 2 Investigators obtained thousands of confidential files from a dozen libraries in the suburbs and Chicago and found cases of indecent acts, violent attacks and sex crimes, raising serious safety questions about libraries and your safety.

In addition to Naperville, some of the libraries which turned over their internal files included ... Chicago.  The investigation was launched after a series of complaints to CBS 2 from various library patrons about crime, pornography and library security.

Some library users feared crimes occurring at libraries were not being reported to police unless a patron called 911.
....
Bland, a former teacher, says she was at Chicago's Harold Washington Library when she saw men and children watching Internet pornography.  She says library staff refused to do anything.

"If someone says something you need to call police," Bland said.

At Harold Washington Library alone we found 138 cases of assault, battery and disorderly conduct; 127 thefts; and 32 sex crimes over the past 2 1/2 years.

"Oh my goodness, I didn't know it was all this," Bland said.
....
"You have to report this stuff," said Judith Krug with the American Library Association.

American Library Association officials say librarians must report crimes to police.  An internal report within the library is not enough.

"While the problems are few in number, when they occur they need to be dealt with and dealt with quickly," Krug said.
....
Police say to make matters worse if a suspect leaves the library before officers get there, a little known law called the Library Confidentiality Act goes into affect and libraries are not allowed to tell police the name of the suspect without a court order.
....
Chicago ... public library officials say they have private security guards and they help decide when to call police.  They ... say they are safe, considering the thousands of people who use them weekly.
....
(CBS) NAPERVILLE, Ill. A little-known law may be turning your local library into a safe haven for criminals.

Thursday night, CBS 2's Save Savini exposed serious crimes and inappropriate behavior going on at libraries in the city and suburbs, and being kept confidential.

Friday CBS 2 takes a look at why police say libraries are hindering their efforts to stop crime.

"I don't understand why the library would protect somebody like that," said Lauren Gauger.

She is talking about Richard Blaszak.

Thursday, CBS 2 Investigators reported the story of Richard Blaszak, who was seen touching himself at the Naperville library on two separate occasions. Police were called by upset patrons.

"When we arrived, we were not able to quickly identify that person," said Chief David Dial of the Naperville Police Department.

Police were not able to arrest Blaszak immediately because he had left before they arrived. That placed Blaszak under the protection of a little-known law called the Library Confidentiality Act.

"We have helped these laws be created and passed because they balance the right of the users of the libraries with the rights of law enforcement officer," said Judith Krug of the American Library Association.

The current law prohibits library staff from revealing the identity of a patron to police once they have left the library.
"I think it protects criminals unduly. We do not want to tread on anybody's rights to privacy or anything else but we do not believe libraries should be sanctuaries for criminals," said Dial.

A court order is needed before a library will release a patron's personal information, causing what police say are costly delays in catching suspects.

Police now want the current confidentiality laws amended to require only probable cause rather than a court order from police.

"We would certainly look at it to see if it is something that we could use," Krug said.

Blaszak pled guilty and state's attorney's say he was in violation of his parole when 2 Investigators found him.

Police are working with State Repesentative Joe Dunn on legislation that would give police access to library records immediately in cases of imminent danger.

They say waiting for a court order in the case of child abduction would be impractical.
See also the following story on a registered sex offender viewing child porn in a Chicago public library and what happened when the news crew filmed from outside the library when first setting up their cameras to get some background shots for the news package (which I know from a personal conversation with the reporter at that time):
As the CBS Channel 2 cameraman prepared to film Hanson standing on the sidewalk out in front of the Mt. Greenwood library, he zoomed in through the front window to the bank of Internet computers only to catch another middle-aged man in the midst of a porn-viewing session!

So an investigative media report shows rampant crimes in the Chicago Public Library and area libraries, efforts to cover up these crimes, a call by the then de facto leader of the ALA saying the crimes should have been reported immediately, a law that hinders the police in apprehending criminals, and porn so bad that even when a news crew takes some background shots for a news package, he first focuses in from outside the library on ... a guy viewing porn on a computer near the window.  Keep all this in mind as we read the story the Chicago Sun-Times "reported," but actually merely repeated.

Remarkably, as a result of the CBS 2 investigative reporting exposing rampant crime in Chicago and area libraries, the Illinois Library Association's leader Bob Doyle wrote a report advising libraries exactly how to thwart police and media investigations as much as legally possible and how to propagandize the issue:
Just to show how Bob Doyle's report was absolutely useless for protecting library patrons from harm but outstanding as to misleading people and the media, here we see media saying that porn may be a First Amendment right in libraries, which it is not, but at least she exposes the supersaturation of porn in the Harold Washington Library in Chicago.  See for yourself as a little girl gets exposed to a massive dose of hardcore porn, and the library director blames the parent:



Indeed, as a result of that story, one family started an entire blog about the porn at the Harold Washington Library.  See:
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.
And here is Inside Edition on the Harold Washington Library:
Notice: "The Chicago Public Library Director of Marketing Ruth Lednicer gave this statement: ... each Adult Computer in the library has been installed with a privacy screen, which prevents patrons from seeing what the person next to them is viewing."  No, it does not prevent others from seeing porn, and Lednicer knows it.  How do I know she knows it?  Because about nine years earlier the US Supreme Court said Internet filters work best, not privacy screens, and not moving the deck chairs on the Titanic; they even make things worse:
Moving terminals to places where their displays cannot easily be seen by other patrons, or installing privacy screens or recessed monitors, would not address a library's interest in preventing patrons from deliberately using its computers to view online pornography.  To the contrary, these alternatives would make it easier for patrons to do so.
So privacy screens do not do what Lednicer claims.  Rather, they make it easier for patrons to view pornography.  So Lednicer's propaganda is likely part of the reason pornography in Chicago libraries is so rampant.  Watch as she repeats this false statement in the Chicago Sun-Times story, as we will see below.

Now I am going to spell out the propaganda contained in the Chicago Sun-Times story that is simply flat out false and/or misleading, and notice the similarity to past propaganda that only enables the long term porn crimes to keep rolling in.  I will intercalate my comments within the story in bold.  Keep in mind the small sample of past massive problems in Chicago libraries reported and unreported that I presented above.  (By the way, the Chicago Sun-Times censored out my comment I tried to leave on its site because I provided a sentence or two of balance, such as advising it was perfectly legal to remove porn from public libraries):


by Anna Heling 
Chicago Sun-Times 
14 April 2013

After one River North mom saw a library patron using one of the free computers to watch porn, it took but a day before a fellow mom drafted a petition to block porn at public libraries.

Tamara Maple, 45, posted the petition on Change.org shortly after reading the fellow mom’s story on an online parenting forum they both frequent.

“Once I saw it, I just felt compelled to take action,” Maple said. “I certainly don’t support censorship, but at the same time I think there’s a time and a place for things like that. It’s important for people to feel safe and comfortable in a public place like a library.”  (Blocking porn from public libraries is perfectly legal and it is not censorship.  The purpose of constantly and falsely claiming porn must be allowed is to fool people into thinking it is censorship to block porn from libraries.  As shown here, even a parent who is complaining about porn in the library feels she has to point out she "certainly don't support censorship."  Folks, it is NEVER censorship to legally block legal porn from public libraries.  You NEVER need to worry about censorship.)

The Lincoln Park resident plans to take it to her alderman, Scott Waguespack (32nd), whether her petition garners a flurry of signatures or not.  (The ALA and the Illinois Library Association anticipate people will complain to politicians so they advise librarians to regularly mislead the government officials with false library censorship concerns so when parents finally do show up, the government official will have already been converted to the ALA/ILA's way of thinking that is unmoored from any law, common sense, or community standards.  An example is what I mentioned above, namely, "Libraries as Sanctuaries for Criminals?," by Robert P. Doyle, Illinois Library Association, circa late 2006 - early 2007.)

Maple, mother to 5-year-old Zach, is especially concerned that kids could easily be exposed to the explicit content.  (Could be?  Here the media falls down on the job as this library is absolutely rife with regular porn viewing and resultant harms including criminal activity.  I showed many examples above.  Some having videos, where you can watch library patrons so disgusted they refuse to even touch the keyboards.  By leaving out the constant problems resulting from the constant porn viewing over the years, the Chicago Sun-Times casts the story as only this one mother who is needlessly shielding her child from some imagined harm that rarely happens anyway.)

“How do they know that the child isn’t going to press the back space and end up viewing pornographic images?” she asked.  (Well as the news videos show, they don't even have to do that.  They simply need to walk around in the libraries to get all the eyeful they'll ever need.  And, as Dr. Mary Anne Layden explains in the video immediately below, porn viewing permanently harms children, and library policy is "a national scandal" that is directly at fault.  "Libraries have become the new red light district.")



The library's open-floor layout worries the River North mom who saw the incident, and who spoke on condition of anonymity.  She noted that the content was easily viewable from the check-out desk.  (Again, the Chicago Sun-Times casts this story as if only this one mother has a problem with the way the furniture is arranged.  No mention of how the US Supreme Court revealed furniture arrangements only exacerbate the porn viewing problems.)

She’s thankful her 6-month-old wasn't older when they saw it: “I was imagining standing there with my 10-year-old son and him saying, 'Mommy, what's that?’”

But blocking porn, libraries say, may do more harm than good.  (At least the media adds "libraries say," but the entire remainder of the article is only what libraries say.  There is absolutely no balance whatsoever.  None.  Zero.  I'll provide in comments below some balance the media completely missed.  And really, does anyone here thing blocking porn does more harm than good?  This library is actually saying blocking porn is harmful!?!  To the policies of the ALA and the ILA and the ACLU, maybe, but not the patrons.  Rather, as I have shown above, porn is harming people in libraries.)

“Even if you do have filters on computers, they provide that false sense of security,” said Bob Doyle, executive director of the Illinois Library Association.  (That is flat out false.  This is the guy who responded to the undercover media investigations by writing a report on how best to thwart police investigations of library crime.  In reality, filters work.  Even the ALA's top leader on library filters admitted this.  So, since filters work, they provide actual security, not a "false sense of security."  Bob Doyle is an expert in this area so he knows filters work, he knows the ALA said they work, he simply wants to continue to mislead the people of Illinois.) “There is some material that some people would consider to be inappropriate that still can be accessed, and at the same time, they can block access to constitutionally protected speech.”  (This is correct, but misleading.  Worse, the Chicago Sun-Times lets it stand.  In reality, this concern has already been asked and answered by the US Supreme Court almost ten years ago.  You simply ask the librarian to temporarily lift the filter.  Easy as pie.  Did Robert Doyle advise about that?  No.  Did the Chicago Sun-Times disclose that?  No.  So readers are left thinking filters might block things and you're stuck.  No mention that the US Supreme Court allowed for unblocks.  No mention that the libraries themselves block 7/8ths of the Internet by not making available the Deep Web.  So if anything's blocking access, it's the libraries, not the filters.)

Doyle said that the decision whether or not content should be blocked is left up to the local libraries. (This is not only deceptive but devious in its deceptiveness.  Robert Doyle knows he does not want local libraries having local control.  When state legislation to allow local libraries to filter the Internet was raised in Illinois, Robert Doyle lead the effort to kill it and its allowance for local library control by convincing many Illinois libraries to either cut off Internet access or purposefully crank up all filters to the highest level just to make it impossible for patrons to access the Internet.  He had no right to take away services from the various communities, but it shows his attitude as to who controls public libraries.  Then, with filters now at max or computers turned off thanks to Robert Doyle and the ILA, patrons were given a sheet of paper to contact their legislators to stop the law that would have given filtering control to local public libraries.  Robert Doyle did this.  It was pure propaganda, pure fakery, but he did this.  He stopped local control of libraries just as he led libraries to cut off services to their own citizens.  Yet here he is making a show of saying "the decision whether or not content should be blocked is left up to the local libraries." It most certainly is not.  Doyle knows it.  I'm in New Jersey and I know it.  So why didn't the Chicago Sun-Times know it and wrote about it?) Ruth Lednicer, director of marketing and communications for Chicago Public Library, said this is why Chicago libraries don’t use filters.

“In terms of pornography, it is legal.  (Absolutely false.  100% flat out false.  US v. ALA shows there is no First Amendment right to porn in public libraries.  But does the Chicago Sun-Times challenge her on this or provide balance?  No.  Does it reveal she's telling the same lies in the Inside Edition report from 2012?  No.  And I called the Chicago Sun-Times.  Has it returned my call?  No.  It even censored out my comment from its web site.)  If someone complains, we will ask someone to go to a more appropriate site,” she said. (And, because it's so rampant, few complain.  They simply stop going to that library.  The porn viewers have more rights than the non-porn viewers.) “We don’t use filters because filters filter out things you legitimately want to see, but then don’t filter out other things that you would want to block. (Absolutely false.  100% flat out false.  Even the ALA now admits filters work and blocking out breast cancer is an old excuse.  And has the Chicago Sun-Times provided accurate information to indicate this?  No.  Has it provided any balance whatsoever?  No.) That’s the stance we take at this time.”

Lednicer said libraries have separate computers for children and adults. The computers for adults have privacy screens that block content from other patrons unless they’re standing directly behind the computer.  She said the screen “looks like a shade of some type.”  (Such screens are completely useless. Anyone can see past them.  Did the Chicago Sun-Times mention this?  No.  Did it show Lednicer making the same false statements on the 2012 Inside Edition report?  No.  Did it reveal the US Supreme Court said such privacy screens not only fail to block porn but the actually exacerbate the problem as I mentioned above?  No.  No balance.  No truth.  Neither from the library spokeswoman, nor from the media.)

If there was supposed to be a shade on this computer, it wasn't there Wednesday, the River North mom said.  (Or maybe there was, but since they don't work, you'd think it was missing.)

The mom took her baby to the library, at 310 W. Division, about 3 p.m. on April 3.  She said a man was watching the explicit material on a computer 10 feet in front of the circulation desk and was grunting and making other "really inappropriate noises.”"

She told a librarian, whose reaction wasn't what she predicted.

“She didn’t seem taken back by it at all,” she said. “She said nonchalantly that (libraries) can't censor legal material. It’s certainly not something I ever would’ve imagined would be legal. It was just a really vulgar thing. . . . It wasn’t some mild pornography.”  (Yes, libraries can block porn, and it is not censorship, so this patron was lied to, and Bob Doyle of the ILA wrote a guide falsely implying porn was protected by the First Amendment in libraries that the library obviously followed to the tee.  Did the Chicago Sun-Times disclose any of this?  No.)

Lednicer said the woman's complaint about porn wasn't the library's first.

“It's not common, but it happens from time to time,” Lednicer said.  (Not common?  Did you see how common it was in the reports I provided above?  Did you see all the crime *not* reported to the police, so much that the de facto ALA leader (and former Illinois state ACLU director) had to remind librarians to call the police?  Chicago Sun-Times, are you going to let this lie go unchallenged?  Obviously yes.  So the librarian is lying, and the media is letting the lie go unchallenged.  Not a single person can make an informed decision on library Internet filtering with this type of propaganda.) “The proper response of the librarian should have been to say, ‘Someone has complained. We ask you to go to another site.’ ”  (No, not according to Bob Doyle's report.  Besides, the proper response would be to say porn viewing is not allowed in the library and you must stop viewing porn immediately or the library will take appropriate action.  Did the Chicago Sun-Times give any balance? Any analysis?  Or is it just repeating the library's propaganda that defies the law, common sense, and community standards.  

So long as the Chicago media continues to allow itself to be Bob Doyle's or Ruth Lednicer's microphone, the people will continue to suffer the harms of porn that it is perfectly legal to curtail, but they've been misled into thinking otherwise.  

I am hoping my writing here at least begins the process of lifting the curtain of propaganda from the eyes of the public and the politicians who apparently have been under a full frontal false campaign designed to convince people there's nothing that can be done to curtail the supposed First Amendment right to porn in public libraries.  

And this library being centered in the very town where the ALA practices its library porn facilitation likely makes it even harder to restore the libraries to local control based on informed consent, not misinformed conversion.  "In terms of pornography, it is legal."  No, not in public libraries.

And maybe it is time to take on that library confidentiality law that is really a sexual crime freedom law, no?)


NOTE ADDED 29 JULY 2013:

I have learned this post has become part of a library school student's course work:
  • "Pressure Groups and Library Collection Development: Attempts to Influence Library Collections, and Best Practices for Library Response," by Christy L. DavisEmporia State University, April 2013, 855 Collection Development for Dr. Donna Reed:
    ABSTRACT: An examination of various United States pressure groups' messages regarding how to influence or censor library collection content.  Looks at the beliefs and goals of several different groups that have web presences and who wish to challenge and change the material holdings, collection development and Internet policies of school and public libraries.  Describes what libraries can do to resist attempts of control and censorship by these groups and how libraries can maintain intellectual freedom standards and First Amendment rights for their library patrons.

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