Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Library Patron Laments Free Speech Freeze on People Afraid to Oppose Library Crime; Masturbating Men Leave Ejaculate at the Los Angeles Public Library

Dear Los Angeles Mayor and City Council:

The Los Angeles Public Library is suffused with dozens of crimes each month perpetrated by men masturbating, some directly threatening librarians and patrons.  A medical doctor and patron reached out to me for assistance with halting the crime after librarians and Los Angeles public safety officials refused to assist because, among other things, "it's an uphill battle."  The patron's letter to me is republished below with permission; I provide only the headings and the graphics.

Let's be clear.  The City of Los Angeles is headed for major liability if it does not act to stop the Los Angeles Public Library from acting outside the law.  I will personally assist anyone, plaintiff or defendant, who asks for my expertise in exposing the cause of any crime, likely caused by the library's acting outside the law and the City's failure to act to stop the library from exceeding its statutory charge.

I've written about Los Angeles libraries and/or governmental control before, and previously sent emails directly to Los Angeles governmental leaders at that time, so Los Angeles is clearly on notice of the potential for significant liability:

I appeared in the Los Angeles Times on this matter, and the article makes apparent that, in response to me, the Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney repeats the same false misinformation provided by the American Library Association [ALA], detailed below, something that will be easily overcome when Los Angeles is eventually sued for crime it allowed by making such false excuses:

And the porn in Los Angeles libraries was featured on Inside Edition, thanks to me, and I will continue to contact media about the criminality and the governmental refusal to curtail it:

This Los Angeles public library travesty has been going on since at least 2006.  It's so old I have to provide an archived link:
  • "Lawless Libraries?," CBS 2, 16 Nov 2006 (An anonymous library security officer warns, "I absolutely wouldn't send my kids to any branch in the city of L.A. because they are unsafe."  A librarian said, "I think that it's gonna take somebody getting killed before management really pays attention.  That's how bad it has gotten."  "[T]he library wants to keep this information under wraps.  'The management wants to cover this up because they don't want people to think the libraries are unsafe but all you have to do is talk to any library staff member and they'll tell you how safe it is,' the anonymous officer says.")

I'll let the letter below from Anonymous, M.D., speak for itself.  Let me just add the 50,000 feet view, and keep this in mind when your librarians or city attorneys say otherwise as they continue to mislead and to defend ALA policy as implemented locally:

By the way, if your City attorneys are misleading you about the law by, say, implying that no court has ruled that pornography may be blocked by filters ("the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on wholesale blocking of Internet pornography at public libraries"), then file an ethics complaint against that attorney as that goes directly against US v. ALA, and replace that attorney who is directly harming your community.  Here is such a complaint:  If the attorney says neither US v. ALA nor Bradburn v. NCRL apply, you'll know it's time for an attorney who works for the public trust, not for the Chicago ALA.  Librarians lie and can get away with it; attorneys, on the other hand, have ethical obligations and may not mislead on the law, particularly where they already know they are wrong, continue to mislead anyway, and the entire population of Los Angeles and surrounds suffers as a result.

In learning more about this issue to dispel the misinformation you have apparently heard for a very long time, it is very important to know that libraries that vote to filter out porn make for happy patrons and happy librarians.  You can expect a similar reaction:

Even librarians decry the sorry state of the ALA's porn pushing policy:

While one would think ALA would be the loudest voice encouraging porn filters, a single Chicago ACLU Board member joined ALA and forced librarians to allow communities and children to be harmed by near unlimited porn:  And ALA never ever defends librarians harmed by its porn-pushing policies:  But librarians who push inappropriate material on public school children?  They get awards from ALA:

In ALA's home town of Chicago, the Harold Washington Public Library is absolutely inundated with porn and local media is peachy keen with that:
"Chicago Public Library Openly Allows Porn Despite the Law and Chicago Sun-Times Gives One-Sided Report to Maintain Status Quo":

A key technique ALA uses to accomplish its porn facilitation is to mislead libraries about obscenity and the powers of a librarian to report crime.  It implies libraries may not permit obscenity but only a court can determine what is obscenity.  For example, in "Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policy," it advises, with emphasis on "not":
Knowing what materials are actually obscenity or child pornography is difficult, as is knowing, when minors are involved, and what materials are actually "harmful to minors." The applicable statutes and laws, together with the written decisions of courts that have applied them in actual cases, are the only official guides. Libraries and librarians are not in a position to make those decisions for library users or for citizens generally. Only courts have constitutional authority to determine, in accordance with due process, what materials are obscenity, child pornography, or "harmful to minors."
ALA diktat then specifies librarians should not contact police even for obscenity and child pornography by saying, "As for obscenity and child pornography, prosecutors and police have adequate tools to enforce criminal laws. Libraries are not a component of law enforcement efforts naturally directed toward the source, i.e., the publishers, of such material."  Is it any wonder Los Angeles Public Library librarians are afraid to call the police?

But obscenity is not the issue.  Read US v. ALA.  The issue is pornography, its being traditionally excluded from public libraries by book selection policies, and how Internet filters are not a First Amendment violation precisely because they merely take existing book selection policies and apply them to the Internet.

By focusing on obscenity and child pornography but not talking about pornography, the ALA avoids the very issue in US v. ALA that makes filtering pornography out of public libraries legal.

Here is the ALA deception in practice in a local library, this one in Gering, NE.  Notice the library directly relies on ALA and points out how obscenity is impossible to judge.  "After the incident Onstott was told the library follows the 'American Library Association's guidelines,' which restricts the obscene, but lists no specific examples aside from 'child pornography'":

Here is the ALA deception directly from the ALA's "Office for Intellectual Freedom" that then gets applied in local communities, like in Gering, NE, and in Los Angeles.  ALA, reacting within days of its being in the news for being listed as one of the nation's top porn facilitators as a direct result of my work to expose the ALA's efforts to mislead communities, then doubled down on its careful avoidance of pornography, the central issue in US v. ALA.  It issued a long defense of its being labelled as a porn facilitator (which it downplays as "[r]ecent ... news reports"), and in that long defense not once did it discuss pornography.  Only obscenity and child pornography, neither of which were the subject in US v. ALA.  See:

  • "Filtering and the First Amendment," by Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Esq., American Libraries, 2 April 2013.   (Warning: this ALA guidance contains materially false factual and legal information, such as recommending moving furniture and using privacy screens, filtering alternatives US v. ALA said do not work and only make the porn problem worse.)

By the way, "protected speech" or "constitutionally protected materials" includes pornography, but US v. ALA specifically allows for constitutionally protected pornography to be filtered out of public library computers.  ALA never advises about this.  Instead, it advises the opposite: "Some observers argue that CIPA's being upheld means that public libraries can filter even constitutionally protected content for adults and youths alike."  It's like saying only libraries that choose to follow CIPA my filter out porn and no others.  Mind you, the case decided all libraries may filter out porn before it decided based on that that CIPA was constitutional, but ALA does not reveal this.  If communities were advised of the truth, they would invariably choose to filter out porn from public libraries.  This is precisely why ALA does not advise this and misleads on obscenity to confuse the issue.  It is part of the reason ALA is indeed one of the nation's leading porn and sexual exploitation of women facilitators.  And Los Angeles Public Library follows ALA diktat.

The point of all this is to provide support for the patron who contacted me and to educate you on how seriously you are being misled by an organization experienced in misleading communities.  Each day you delay, and it's been since 2006 at least, increases the spreading of the harm that is otherwise legal to curtail and increases the likelihood of major liability for failure to stop the criminality occasioned by a library that exceeds the law under which it was formed.  You have the right and duty to step in and stop the criminality without piercing the library's veil of autonomy.  Will you do it?

As a Gilroy Dispatch editorial in Gilroy, CA, said in "Vote No on Prop. 81":
Speaking of local control … even after six years, it still rankles that our librarians refused and continue to refuse to adopt a policy prohibiting access to pornography by minors on library Internet terminals.  When every day new incidents reveal the ease with which sexual predators solicit children online, any claims that the library is a safe place for kids ring hollow.  The values espoused by the American Library Association are so divorced from the values of our community that we would seriously consider withdrawing from the Joint Powers Authority and going back to the days of a city library under local control, rather than giving one thin dime to an institution controlled by an organization that believes in "all materials for all patrons regardless of age."

Note, many links I provide are to my own writing.  That is merely a convenient means to point to the many reliable sources contained therein.

By the way, Anonymous, M.D., is not the only person who has reached out to me for assistance.  See, for example:

And now, the letter I received from a Los Angeles public library patron after no one in Los Angeles moved to stop criminality in its libraries:

Letter to SafeLibraries From 
Los Angeles Public Library Patron

by Anonymous, M.D.
21 June 2013

Dear Dan,

I was relieved to find your website,, as I have been very concerned about what I learned about public libraries, pornography, crime, and sex crimes and the shroud of silence and fear that is keeping important information from the people.

Public Libraries: What They Used To Be and What They've Become

When I was a child, it was a huge privilege and joy to go to our public library.  All the books, the helpful librarians, trying to find that old newspaper article to complete the school project was something I looked forward to.  It was exciting.  It felt safe to explore the library.  It was a place my parents thought was a good environment for me.  I have nothing but fond memories.  It was a more civilized place than outside the library.  Manners, decorum, and respect were required.

Apparently that has changed.  Dramatically.  I am going to talk about some extremely disturbing events and the outrageous lack of good judgment and transparency occurring in public libraries here in Los Angeles.  I am not pointing the finger at librarians, whom I believe love what they do.  But, there is one decision that has been made that appears to have rendered libraries MORE dangerous than outside.  Especially for women, teenagers and children.  I believe that with public awareness, this could change overnight and the problems would be virtually cured.

Public Safety Officials Are Afraid To Stop Lawless Libraries; Librarians Are Silenced

I was speaking with a friend who holds a high level public safety position in Los Angeles, CA.  This letter is what I learned.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I had several conversations and did some fact checking.  The more I learned, the more concerned I became.  The more I talk with other people in Los Angeles about this, the more upset others become.   Watching pornographic movies and the crime it creates is a huge problem in Los Angeles public libraries.  It may be the number one reason for all the problems requiring law enforcement at the public libraries.  Someone is silencing the librarians and public safety officials from disclosing the reality of this to the people of Los Angeles, and that is wrong.

High Level Public Official and His Family In for a Shock at Los Angeles Public Library: Child Porn Viewing and Masturbation by Disguised Men

Here is a true story that happened in 2013:

Actual photo of a man viewing porn in
a public library while wearing a baseball
cap and sunglasses to help hide who he is.
Note the "privacy screen" is useless.
In Los Angeles, a high level public official takes his wife and children to view the architecture at the Los Angeles, CA, Central Library mid-day on a Saturday.  There is a line to get into the computer lab.  The line into the computer lab is out the door and is made up mostly of men visibly in disguise.  The men wear hooded sweatshirts with the hood over their heads, baseball caps, sunglasses and even multi flap hunting hats.  Why?  To conceal their faces and prevent them from being identified by a security camera.  Again, why?   This way, when a man is openly breaking the law by masturbating in the computer lab in front of others while watching a pornographic movie he won't be identifiable by a security camera so his chances of being prosecuted go down.  That is, if any of the security cameras work.

Reportedly, as this public official walked into the computer lab, he saw what he thought was a man watching child pornography who immediately closed the page he was viewing.  Other hooded, capped and sunglassed men appeared to be watching pornography, with teenage girls and boys trying to do school research at adjacent computers.  According to library security, there are pornography viewers who will put a condom on before entering the computer lab and will sometimes leave behind a used condom with ejaculate in it.  Others will openly masturbate or do so under baggy clothes or openly.

Wife, Daughters Wanted to Leave the Library and "All the Creepy Men"

What reason is this tolerated at all?

What was supposed to be a fun, family outing was cut short.  The public official's children all wanted to leave the library immediately due to "all the creepy men."  His girls were afraid to look for books because one felt that a man was following her down a book aisle.  His wife wanted to leave.  For what reason would our public officials have brought together women, children, sexual predators, then actively encourage the sexual predators with hard core pornographic access, then abandon the women and children to fend for themselves?

The Huge LA Public Library System Allows Near Unlimited Porn Viewing; Library-Provided "Shields" Only Worsen the Criminality; "Family Friendly" is Not Compatible with "Free Heroin" (Porn)

Internet sites with pornography are freely available on the free computers in Los Angeles public libraries.   On the website I counted 71 branches.

A man can come in, sign on, and watch pornography for the computer limit of 15 minutes, and if no one else is waiting, he can continue.  I am not even getting to the really bad part yet.  To "shield" children and teens from seeing the actual pornographic movies, I was told by this official and a librarian I spoke with that the library places a little "shield" around the computer so a passerby won't inadvertently view the pornography.  They also try to have a separate children's area with children's computers.   They are trying to figure out how to give out free "heroin," to please porn viewers and make the library concurrently family friendly.  Those two actions are completely incompatible.   These "privacy" shields actually lead to the men feeling more "protected" like a private viewing peep show booth, that, in turn, can lead to more open lewd and indecent exposure and masturbating.

When I was 14 or 15 years old, I didn't want to be in the kiddie area, so that puts adolescents in the same area as the pornography watchers.

Public Officials Allow, Fund, and Defend the Library-Provided Harms of Pornography

I am shocked that public officials would allow, fund, and defend such a destructive decision.  Haven't they read Norman Doidge, M.D., who compares the brain changes that occur while watching Internet pornography to the changes a brain experiences from cocaine or heroin?

Patron Outraged as Police are Called to LA Libraries Almost Every Day Due to Masturbation, Pants Down and All

So, now is where I am more outraged.

I learned that nearly every day the police are called to libraries to arrest a man who is masturbating himself, often exposed completely and visible to women, children, and librarians.  So obsessed with his X-rated video, his pants can be at his ankles and he will continue to masturbate seeing the police arrive.

How is this possible?

Who thought handing out free heroin "porn" in a library was a good idea?  From what I hear, the man will be so into his porn movie, he is touching his penis in full view, it doesn't matter that a child is walking by, a parent, or a librarian.  Even when the police arrive, it often continues.  I can't imagine being present when that is happening in a library.  That could be a scarring event for a child.

LA Library Masturbation Causes Dozens of Calls Per Month (Hundreds of Calls Per Year) to Police for Indecent Exposure

Since my contact said that there are men openly masturbating while being stimulated by Internet pornographic sites using Internet paid for by the tax payer using computers paid for by the tax payer and almost daily in Los Angeles, if not daily, if we select 5 days a week to be conservative, that means that there are at least 260 lewd episodes annually that are largely preventable.   I suspect the numbers are higher.  Los Angeles City Public Libraries placed over 200 calls per month requesting police to go to the libraries for "disturbances."  That is about 3 calls per library but my best guess is that certain libraries are much worse than others.  If the library is too shy or modest to spell it out to the police on the call and state, "There is a man with his penis exposed," it is very likely that that call could stay classified as a "disturbance" and is not changed to clarify that there was indecent exposure.  If even only 25% of the 200 monthly library calls are for indecent exposure, that is 600 men exposing themselves to women and children annually encouraged and stimulated by the current pro-pornography stand.  What a waste of city resources and what terrible judgment on the part of the head of libraries.  Aren't city resources supposed to make Los Angeles a batter and safer place?  It is very sad.

Librarian Feared Advising Police About Mother Threatened with Physical Harm by Library Masturbator Exposing Himself

I even heard of an incident where a parent tried to admonish the man exposing himself in the library.  He threatened the mother with physical harm, the librarian witnessed the exchange but would not corroborate it to police because she was fearful of her own safety.  She was afraid the masturbator would retaliate against her.

Backbone is Needed to Close the X-Rated Peep Shows in Los Angeles Public Libraries

Our libraries now have sections that have become X-rated peep shows and have the atmosphere of opium dens.  One good, sound decision and some backbone could turn this around.

Are people really that afraid to say this is 100% wrong and we want it stopped right now?  Do the churches in Los Angeles know about this?  Do the families who don't go to libraries know about this?

It gets worse.

Librarian Silenced About Revealing Library Crime

I called a two libraries about this–one that I had confirmation that a man masturbated openly in the last several months and was arrested for it.  When I called the library that had a confirmed man openly masturbating and arrested, the librarian would not speak to me about the crime.  She said, "I have to refer you to our PR department."  At first she wouldn't answer when I asked, "Since you allow pornography in your libraries, do you have men exposing themselves as a result?"  I was stunned that she wouldn't come right out and say, "It happened last month and the police were called."  She was afraid to answer a basic question from the public about something that happened in her library.  It appeared she had been directed to not disclose the truth to a caller.  Finally, I asked, "What if I want to bring my daughter here and want to know if this happens?  Can't you say yes or no to my question as to whether or not men have exposed themselves in the library."  The librarian said, "To my knowledge that hasn't happened in this library."  That was an untrue statement.  It had just happened and been confirmed twice.

Another Los Angeles Librarian Wants to Rid Porn But Sighs It's "An Uphill Battle"

The second library person I spoke with sighed and expressed a desire to be rid of pornography but said any attempts to ban it will be "an uphill battle."  Why?  Who in his right mind thinks that allowing access to pornographic websites in the public libraries is a good idea?

From what I understand, when pornography is available, the indecent exposure starts, there are more cases of assault and battery, often fights over computer use to access pornography.  Who is silencing the librarians?  Are they afraid of being fired?  Are they afraid for their lives and well being?  Are they afraid of being targeted for a sexual assault?  All of these are possibilities.

This doesn't make any sense.

Security Cameras in Los Angeles Libraries Do Not Work

The Los Angeles libraries obviously do not have a ban on pornography or even use filters.  The security cameras don't work so whatever goes on is undocumented.  The only way the sex offenders can get arrested for exposure or child pornography viewing is if they are still doing it when the police arrive.  What if librarians are afraid to call the police?

Library Permissive Porn Policy Targets the Poorest

What is particularly sad about this is who it impacts in cities.  Who are these kids and women going to libraries and using the computers?  My best guess is those who can't afford to have a computer and Internet at home.

And, why would men come to the library to view pornography and commit lewd acts?  Either they don't have a computer or Internet at home, or they are exhibitionists or sexual predators.  I do not understand why a library would want to put cheese out for that type of toxic mouse.

Bookish and Respected Librarians Are Gone; Now They Are Frightened Witnesses to Daily Crime Afraid to Speak Up

The librarians I knew in the past were often women, bookish and quiet.  By allowing pornography in the libraries, we are expecting smaller and weaker women, who may be almost alone, to see a bigger and stronger man masturbating, to call the police when she might feel threatened and fearful for her own safety and well-being by the crazed man?  It might be less scary to turn a blind eye and know that he'll be done in 15 minutes and leave.  Men don't understand how scary this would be for a woman to be around open pornography and then how terrifying it would be to have a man start to openly masturbate.  It would feel threatening and scary to women, girls, and boys.  Any man who would do that is extremely disturbed and likely unstable.

Refusing to Unblock Filters Not Likely When Librarians Feel Threatened

Some people have suggested that a solution is filters that librarians can unblock upon request.  So when that six foot three inch 240 lb man asks the 110 lb librarian to unblock the site he wants, what does she say?  Does she say "No"?  Or does she submit to the request out of fear?

Hostile Work Environment Lawsuits in Public Libraries

I heard that there have there been lawsuits by librarians for hostile work environments because it seems that we are taking people who love books and learning and placing them in a perverse work environment by having them exist around this.  So, the cities again waste valuable city resources to protect access to pornographic websites that leads to increased library crime and disturbances?   One librarian who was upset by the Internet pornography films being viewed and the dangerous and disturbing elements it attracts was told to shut up and accept it or get another job?  Librarians are there to help people learn and research, especially children and teenagers.

Toleration of the Immoral, Indecent, and Unethical?  Free Speech Silenced?

When did we as a people, moms and dads, begin to accept or tolerate this type of immoral, indecent, and unethical behavior of men and treatment of librarians, women and children?

The other thing that baffles and incenses me is the shroud of silence around this.

This is awful.  What reason are the librarians and public officials afraid to speak truthfully about this?   Why are PR departments "spinning" this?  Who is wanting to keep this reality a secret from the families in Los Angeles?  I don't understand this.  It is illogical.  This is a black and white, right and wrong issue.  Pornographic magazines have not been in public libraries so why would pornographic movies and Internet sites and videos be allowed?

Los Angeles City Code of Silence; War On Women

So, concerning the code of silence, here is a truly inadequate action Los Angeles is taking.

Supposedly, Los Angeles officials are now encouraging their library employees to "aggressively" call the police to report this?  Really, so prior to this they didn't want library staff to contact the police?  What is wrong with city officials?  They ought to be fired for their lack of backbone.  They are willfully creating a dangerous place for women and children and wasting city resources.  This seems like this poor decision could be considered a war against women.  The children, women, and the librarians.  I'll bet there are excuses like, "We can't afford new security cameras."  If they banned the Internet pornography, the deviant people and behavior would virtually disappear.

Banning Policy Only Sidesteps Real Solution: Internet Filters

I also hear that they are working towards a way to allow library staff to ban people for a period of time for repeat offenses.  Really, so the librarians will have to endanger themselves on an ongoing basis because no one has the moral clarity, moral courage, and honor to make the right decision and take the heat from anyone who doesn't like it?

No One Has a Right to Pornography in Public Libraries; Filter It Out Immediately

No one has a right to pornography in public libraries.  And, considering that it attracts and encourages criminal and deviant behavior, it needs to be banned immediately without debate.  Permanently.  From what I understand if a library filters it out, the crime goes away.  If they bring it back, the crime comes back.  Isn't there a male librarian taking a stand in Washington who has gotten the support of the community?

Libraries Are Not Reporting Sex Crimes and Security Guards Are Not Stopping Crimes In Action

I tried to find places that had banned pornography and wanted safe libraries.  Denver, CO, came up as they used filters.  But even they are not reporting the sex crimes in the libraries.  For what reason?  Is it that the security guards watch Internet pornography so they are not enforcing the laws?  Is it lack of training?  Yes, it is likely outrageously creepy to see this, and touching or apprehending someone who is doing this is likely awful, but this has to be both prevented and stopped effectively.

Why Are Internet Filters Not Standard Operating Procedure?  Why Does the Library Director Allow Porn Viewing?

Again, I return to the question, why are filters that filter out all pornography or that ban pornography in public libraries not permanent standard operating procedure?  For what reason is the Los Angeles Public Library director, who I understand could make the decision on his or her own, allowing this?

The Library Porn Issue is One That's Never Resolved; Filters Being "Too Labor Intensive" Was the Latest Excuse

Supposedly, the issues of pornographic movies being watched in the library and the crime that skyrocketed with that was discussed several years ago in Los Angeles.  What is reported is that it was "too labor intensive" to reset filters after usage?  Really.  First of all, if filters are set to block pornography, it seems that it would be a rare website that would have to be unblocked.  Libraries do not have to meet every information need.  If having computers in the library just can't work because people will find a way to view child pornography or pornographic videos, then the computers need to be removed.  Then, Internet cafes could open up and some would attract the pornographic viewers and others would be more family friendly.

Libraries are Supposed to be Safe Places to Read and Research

Libraries are supposed to be safe places to read and research.  Anything or anyone that interferes with that needs to be dealt with logically and swiftly without debate.  This judge banned a man from all libraries on earth:   Apparently, adults are simply not protecting younger people at all.  Even on an airplane no one is helping this girl:

Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

Where have the heroes gone?  Where is society's sense of decency?  Where is the moral clarity that discerns and judges correctly and swiftly that this type of behavior is wrong, immoral and illegal and the moral courage that takes immediate action?

In ALA's home region, the libraries are out of control, they hide crimes from the police, the police are completely frustrated, legislation is in place to thwart the police, and the ALA leader Judith Krug says such crimes rarely happen and should be reported when they do, exactly the opposite of the facts and written ALA diktat, respectively.  There are no heroes in Chicago when it comes to public libraries and porn.  Is this what you want for Los Angeles?  Chicago's ALA controlling your public libraries?  Watch to see the striking similarities between Chicago libraries and your own:

Call For Libraries That Have Filtered Internet to Speak Out on the Benefits

Are any libraries facing this issue proactively and successfully with city, community and parent support?  How has the atmosphere and crime rate been impacted by getting rid of the access to pornographic websites?

Anonymous, M.D.


The story below confirms the problem.

"Los Angeles Public Library spokesman Peter Persic described the incidents as rare."  Do you believe this, especially given what I revealed above?  The story also illustrates how library leaders work together to obtain the right public relations specialist who will flat out lie to do or say anything to continue the availability of porn despite the law, because if people knew the truth, they would never stand for this.

The story also illustrates how media completely believe and repeat the propaganda of the American Library Association.  "Additionally, he said, officers have been receiving complaints of patrons watching pornography at the public computer stations in the library, though that is not illegal."  That is not illegal?  Is that reporting or repeating?  Did Peter Persic tell her that and did she believe it?  What a coincidence, look at the next two sentences: "Persic said the LAPL cannot forbid people from viewing Constitutionally protected material at the library, even if some visitors find it offensive. He noted that viewing child pornography is illegal, however."

The law that created the library likely does not allow for porn.  So allowing porn despite the law is acting outside the law that created the library.  If so, the City has the right and duty to stop the library from acting outside the law, and it can do so without piercing the library's veil of autonomy.  Despite what Peter Persic will likely say.

Further, the US Supreme Court said libraries are only limited public fora so they have every right to block pornography as libraries always have in print collections.  To say porn is not illegal is right but to leave out that it is legal to block this type of "Constitutionally protected material" from public libraries is misleading, at a minimum.  Therefore, a library that allows porn viewing is likely acting outside the law.  And the crimes will never abate until Internet filters are used to stop the porn.

Here's the story, reprinted in full because it is central to what I have been reporting for over a decade and specifically with respect to the Los Angeles Public Library:
  • "At the Central Library, a Litany of Lewd Acts; LAPD Launches Undercover Operation to Cut Down on Sexual Activity," by Donna Evans, Los Angeles Downtown News, 22 November 2013.
    DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating a surge of sexual activity at the Central Library. It has been going on for nearly a year at least, with lewd acts occurring sometimes in restrooms, and other times in public areas, according to LAPD officials.

    Since January, the Central Division, which patrols most of Downtown Los Angeles, has coordinated 14 undercover operations that have resulted in nine arrests for lewd conduct, said Capt. Mike Oreb.

    Oreb said Central Division officers are working on the problem with civilian security officers from the LAPD’s Security Services Division. Those civilian officers are stationed at the library.

    Central Division has been focused on the library issue for about six months, said Oreb. He said the situation has improved since undercover Vice officers began staking out the building. Additionally, Oreb has increased the number of uniformed officers that patrol in and around the library.

    “We’ve seen sexual activity in other places throughout the region, parks and public bathrooms,” he said. “[We’re] not sure why anyone’s decided to focus on the bathrooms at the library.”

    Oreb said that all of the arrests have been for encounters between men. He said the bulk of the incidents involve one person masturbating while another watches.

    Los Angeles Public Library spokesman Peter Persic described the incidents as rare, saying that 145,000 people visit the Financial District library every month. He noted that in September, two incidents of lewd conduct were reported, following three in August. Still, he said the issue is being taken seriously.

    “The safety of patrons and staff is a top priority for the Los Angeles Public Library,” Persic said. “The Library has an excellent relationship with LAPD and works closely with the agency to prevent incidents from happening and respond quickly if an incident does occur.”

    The LAPD’s Security Services Division, which is comprised of civilians rather than sworn officers, took over library security from the city’s Department of General Services in July 2012, said David Aguirre, deputy chief of the city’s office of public safety. Persic said that on average, the LAPD stations seven officers from the security services division at the library during operational hours. Authorities would not break down the total number of sworn and civilian officers monitoring the area.

    Persic said he is unaware of a particularly problematic section of the building. The 500,000 square feet of space is spread across eight floors. There are thousands of book stacks and scores of study carrels.

    “It’s a large building, which is why we have security officers and police officers patrolling the building and why we ask visitors to keep watch of their personal belongings and report any problems to staff or security,” Persic said.

    While Oreb would not say where the bulk of the sexual activity is happening, he did say that it mostly occurs between noon and mid-afternoon. That prompted him to bulk up on foot patrols in the library during that time.

    “It’s not a daily event, but it is going on,” he said. “We’ve stepped up enforcement and are addressing all the complaints of lewd conduct.”

    On a recent weekday afternoon, library patron Alix Sharkey sat in front of the fountain at the Flower Street entrance and checked email on his phone. The Hollywood resident said he hadn’t witnessed any untoward behavior while perusing the collections and looking at photographs. However, he said the floor plan allows for “lots of strange blind spots,” and noted that a couple could stealthily dash into any of the hidden pockets formed from the maze-like stacks.

    Oreb noted that there is another problem at the Central Library: People leaving laptops, purses and other valuables at tables, then walking away and coming back to find their possessions gone. Though the number of thefts of unattended items has decreased slightly since security was heightened at the building, he said it remains an issue.

    Additionally, he said, officers have been receiving complaints of patrons watching pornography at the public computer stations in the library, though that is not illegal. Persic said the LAPL cannot forbid people from viewing Constitutionally protected material at the library, even if some visitors find it offensive. He noted that viewing child pornography is illegal, however.

    Oreb said anyone who sees sexual or other lewd conduct in the library should report it to a library staff member or the security desk on the main floor of the building.

or, for convenience: 

1 comment:

  1. Seriously? As children we were not allowed to speak above a whisper while in the library as it might disturb the other patrons.
    PORN is disturbing and potentially dangerous to other patrons.


Comments of a personal nature, trolling, and linkspam may be removed.