Friday, March 29, 2013

ALA Listed As Top Facilitator of Porn in America and a Leading Contributor to Sexual Exploitation of Women

ALA is a "leading contributor to
the sexual exploitation of women,"
according to the "Dirty Dozen List"
The American Library Association [ALA] "support[s] the distribution of hardcore, possibly obscene pornography in public libraries across America," and, as a result, has been listed on Morality in Media's "Dirty Dozen List ... of the top 12 facilitators of porn in America."
For years, this self-styled champion of First Amendment freedoms has worked to encourage public libraries to keep their computer unfiltered.  The ALA's misguided campaign has resulted in countless patrons of all ages being able to access or being inadvertently exposed to hardcore adult pornography and even child pornography on library computers.  The ALA has also filed lawsuits (and LOST) against legislative enactments requiring use of filters, and continues to disseminate questionable information to libraries about their responsibility to filter pornography.
Like other news about how the ALA harms the nation which library media including American Libraries and Library Journal ignore, I predict library media will not publish that ALA is a "top facilitator of porn in America."  So please follow me for stories library media essentially censor out.  To me, this is newsworthy, coming from MIM:
"Our nation is now suffering an untreated pandemic of harm from the widespread distribution of pornography and the American Library Association bears great responsibility for that harm."

LodgeNet, here shown in
Comfort Inn & Suites,
is the largest purveyor
of porn in hotels, and it is
a fellow member with ALA
on MIM's "Dirty Dozen List"
The ALA is listed as a top porn facilitator along with the likes of LodgeNet, which "provides most of the in-room TV pornography to major hotels and motels.  Despite the federal and many state laws, which prohibit obscene materials on cable and satellite TV, LodgetNet [sic] has made untold millions by providing hardcore pornography to its customers.  Children have also been exposed to this material."

I challenge ALA to respond substantively to MIM and thereby the general public, and library media to report on this matter and the ALA's response or lack thereof.  ALA is being challenged as a "leading contributor to the sexual exploitation of women" and as one of the "top 12 facilitators of porn in America."  Will ALA remain silent?  Will library media let ALA skate?

Experience has taught me it is the habit of the ALA and library media to ignore or censor stories or parts thereof they do not want people to hear, such as when the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act [CIPA] revealed that ALA is misleading libraries nationwide.  A story as significant as that was intentionally not reported while the Library Journal's former Editor-in-Chief Francine Fialkoff mocked the CIPA law's author, Ernest Istook.  Such censorship and animosity makes such stories all the more interesting and important, does it not?

For full disclosure, my own SafeLibraries blog is listed by MIM as part of the "Proof of ALA's Profit from Porn & Obscenity."  Thank you, Pat Trueman and Dawn Hawkins.

Read MIM's letter to ALA, links and graphics below mine:

March 4, 2013

Mr. Keith Michael Fiels
American Library Association
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Dear Mr. Fiels:

We are writing you to express concern regarding your support of the distribution of hardcore, possibly obscene pornography in public libraries across America.

Public statements and advice to public library administrators by officials of the American Library Association, as well as materials on your website appear to favor the distribution of pornography via library computers.  At a minimum, your policy positions seem to oppose Internet filters that would block pornography for public libraries.

No public library in America is constitutionally required to provide pornography to patrons on computer or in printed publications.  This fact was made clear in congressional testimony and by the U. S. Supreme Court when the Children's Internet Protection Act was considered.

Shortly, Morality in Media will publicly announce the "Dirty Dozen List," which contains the top promoters of pornography in America.  After careful consideration, we have decided to include American Library Association on that list.

All children, women, and men have a natural human dignity and thus a right to live in a decent society; and as the Supreme Court has recognized, obscene materials, which are inherently degrading, dehumanizing, and exploitive, violate this right.  Morality In Media exists to make society aware of the many harms of pornography; to equip individuals and families to overcome or protect against those harms; and, to advocate that all laws defending the right to be free from pornography are vigorously enforced.

Not only does pornography exploit, degrade and dehumanize the people in the films and photos, but it exploits, degrades and dehumanizes the people exposed to it, teaching them to view others as merely objects for selfish pleasure.

ALA's former de facto leader Judith Krug
wearing button mocking Attorney General
John Ashcroft and the USA PATRIOT Act
Our nation is now suffering an untreated pandemic of harm from the widespread distribution of pornography and the American Library Association bears great responsibility for that harm.

Adults, and even children, are developing life-long addictions to pornography.  Sexual violence against women, including rape, and sexual harassment of women are directly tied to the consumption of pornography.  On average, American children are first exposed to pornography at age 11 and many act out what they see in hardcore pornography; four out of five 16 year-olds now regularly access pornography online and many are developing life-long social/sexual problems as a result.  56% of matrimonial lawyers cited obsessive interest in pornographic websites as a factor in divorce cases they handled in the previous year.  There is increased demand for child pornography because adult-porn users are finding that they are no longer excited by adult images—and pornography is a contributing factor in the increased demand for sexually-trafficked women and children in the U.S.

A wealth of peer-reviewed research demonstrates the many other harms of pornography.  We maintain a database of such studies at

We also have many testimonials from people formerly caught up in the pornography industry, of being exploited, given illicit drugs, coerced to perform objectionable acts and therefore sexually trafficked in violation of the U. S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

It may be easy to detach from the issue and consider pornography as a mere profitable part of modern life—but only by avoiding common sense.  We at Morality in Media have dedicated countless hours to researching pornography and promoting awareness to its many devastating harms and thus we urge you to consider a different course and discourage public libraries from allowing pornography.


Patrick A. Trueman
President & CEO

Dawn Hawkins
Executive Director


The following stories are directly relevant:


Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Esq.
Note that the ALA has responded to this library porn scandal, evidencing that MIM has scored a direct hit, with a long statement that continues to promote its false, porn promoting diktat:

Go ahead and read it, a lot of it is good/accurate, but it contains materially false statements designed to further entrench its porn facilitation advice in public libraries nationwide.  In other words, the ALA is doubling down on the scandal.

I rarely see the ALA respond so fast to anything, evidencing just how close this hit to the heart of the porn facilitators.  And notice the careful wording:  "Recent court filings, news reports, and online posts, however, have begun to shine a spotlight on libraries' filtering policies and practices."  Like the Dirty Dozen List and the widespread news coverage?

In addition to the above cover up, another indication little will be done is the ad hominem response of a number of librarians:

In the following graphic, discussion about the ALA's inclusion in the "Dirty Dozen List" at an open Facebook group called ALA Think Tank—that is not open to me because the free speech advocates block me—turned to me when I committed the free speech sin of—retweeting someone.  See how they talked about/recommended blocking me.  One admits she is "passive aggressive" towards me and calls me "that crazy virgin from Safe Libraries."  The next one is concerned people might be exercising their freedom to read.

By the way, that "Ingrid Dontgoogleme" woman is the very same one who practices censorship and redacts comments to push her political viewpoint on others in her public library and on anyone who will listen and follow: click here for details if interested.

The point being, if librarians are going to be mocking people for reporting on those exposing the ALA's policies that harm communities, very little will be done to change those policies.  If the people responsible for those policies are doubling down on them, expect more communities to spread more harm to more children.

Let me remind you what leading librarian Will Manley said about the library profession:

See also continued news and advocacy group coverage of the "Dirty Dozen List" and the ALA's inclusion on that list:


I challenged the ALA to debate the issues, and I published that challenge in a comment to "Filtering and the First Amendment," by Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Esq.American Libraries, 2 April 2013.  American Libraries is the ALA's monthly membership magazine.  After almost a day, the ALA removed, censored out?, the comment, as it does frequently, so I'll republish it here:

Dear Ms. Caldwell-Stone,
I hereby request a debate with you or the ALA OIF Director Barbara Jones on the issues that you raise here or on related issues. Yes, I am indirectly the reason the ALA is in the news as a porn facilitator that caused you to write this piece, but that only makes debate with me more interesting. We once both appeared on an NPR radio broadcast, and you/OIF have several times talked about me publicly when I was not present, but it is time we meet and talk face to face in a forum where people can learn from what we say. Perhaps at an ALA annual meeting, for example.
So what do you say, will you or a suitable alternate accept the challenge?
Thank you for your consideration.
-Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries

Screen shot 2013-04-02 at 10.32.28 PM of
comment later censored by ALA
at American Libraries magazine


I have been blocked from viewing the open Facebook group called ALA Think Tank, likely in response to what I reported about it above.  I just sought membership in the group since they were discussing me negatively.  I guessed there was a technical problem so I tried twice more; it is just a single click to try to join.  Finally, I was accepted into the group by JP Porcaro (John Porcaro resume).

Within seconds he immediately blocked me.  So he only accepted me to block me, since one can't block people not already in groups from Facebook groups, only those already in the group.  And JP was named by Library Journal as a 2012 "Community Builder" Mover and Shaker.  Now he's a "virtual services" librarian at New Jersey City University protecting free speech.  What he really is is a pro-censorship librarian.  The double standard is unbelievable.
Censorious librarian JP Porcaro adds me to
ALA Think Tank Facebook group only to
create the means to block me from
ever again viewing the contents
of that 3,000 member group.

I met him and spoke with him at a New Jersey Library Association meeting.  He was very nice.  Now he's a very nice censor.


American Libraries magazine continually removes my debate challenge.  I had reposted it since other comments had been posted so I assumed out of an abundance of fairness despite past history that a technical glitch had occurred.  I was wrong.  My second comment was removed as well.  This time, Beverly Goldberg, American Libraries Senior Editor, responded online with "COMMENT REMOVED; A comment has been removed for violating American Libraries' comment policy."

Look at the policy.  It says, "editors reserve the right to remove any comment deemed offensive; Please stay on topic; No defamatory remarks about other people; No cursing or pornography; No advertisements or spam; No politics external to ALA or endorsement of any candidate in an ALA election; No organizing boycotts."  That sounds perfectly reasonable, on its face.  But, as applied, or perhaps despite the policy, my comment was removed.  Read my "REQUEST FOR DEBATE" comment above to see for yourself if my comment violated ALA policy in any way.

So this time, after the second comment removal, I replied with a new comment.  And I might as well put it here since the ALA will likely remove it:

Beverly Goldberg, you or someone at American Libraries removed my comment a second time.  A comment to an article about free speech and censorship, you removed it.  A simple request for a debate on the issues raised by the OIF in its response to the ALA being listed as one of the nation's leading porn facilitators that made national news such as on NPR, based in part on what I have published about the ALA's activities.  It appears you are simply deleting speech that you do not like.  You really need to specify exactly how my comment violated your comment policy.  If you state it is because I included a link under my name, that is not good enough since your comment software specifically asks people to include their "Homepage," then links that home page to their name.  I did not in any way whatsoever violate your comment policy, so you need to explain it so I can make comments here and not have them censored out. 
Indeed the first comment you removed without a note that the comment violated policy.  This second time you claim the comment, the same comment, mind you, violated policy.  So right there's already evidence of arbitrary treatment. 
Beverly Goldberg, you really, really have to explain how the comment violates your policy in any way whatsoever.  I am noting how you continually censor me out, and others are noting that as well, such as on LISnews, and it harms ALA efforts to appear to be censorship experts.  Real censorship experts do not censor out calls for debate on issues of national news by the very person largely responsible for that news.  So be very specific and explain exactly how the comment I left violates your comment policy in any way whatsoever.

Honestly, how can the ALA expect to be taken seriously on censorship when it silences debate using the very means it claims to oppose, namely, censorship?  Here's a graphic, FYI:

Evident censorship byALA's American Libraries
Senior Editor Beverly Goldberg


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Parading as Homeless Shelters is Killing the Urban Library System in America

According to some, the homeless are making some libraries unsafe at any speed, crime is rampant, and patrons simply refuse to attend:

Development Arrested says:
March 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm 
In a public (and an academic!) library, librarians will work with patrons who are homeless, mentally ill, or on the spectrum.  Sometimes our own staff will have these same conditions.  They are not always the most pleasant people to work with, but that's (part) of our job. 
me too says:
March 21, 2013 at 7:45 pm 
We are not trained in the mental illness field and I am sick and tired of having a library full of people who need help that library staff are not able to provide.  When you talk about us becoming irrelevant, it will be because "regular" people stop coming to our libraries because they are afraid of the kind of people who are more and more becoming fixtures in our libraries.  Some are mentally ill, some are thieves, some are drug users, some are perverts, some are pedophiles and some are just plain evil.  That is what is going to put us out of business.  I've worked in libraries for the past 30 years and even in small town, libraries are becoming jungles.  Moms aren't going to bring kids to storytime or vote for a bond when our libraries are full of people masturbating, talking to themselves, fighting, hitting and spitting, smell like death and are obvious disease carriers. 
me too says:
March 22, 2013 at 8:45 pm 
You don’t get it.  I may have used a bit too much hyperbole for you.  The people who keep us relevant are more and more AFRAID to come to our libraries because we have become the home for all the fringe people in our culture.  It's a public library, sure, but it has become the dumping ground for social services and every other government agency that has given up or can't fund adequate care for many of these people.  I repeat, I have not the training nor do I have the desire to spend the rest of my career dealing with social issues that our state and federal governments have abandoned to us.  I don’t believe God intends the public library to be the home, hospital, bathroom, shower and bedroom for all these folks.  I'm just telling it like it is.  Do you actually think our job is to get trained in the mental health field so we can better help these folks?  I'm a friggin librarian not a miracle worker.  I don't want to be a miracle worker.  I don't want to deal with people every fucking day of my life who don't have a clue what planet they live on.  Sorry if that upsets you and God.  Perhaps you could create some kind of nirvanna for these folks at your library.  I can't. 
Charlemagne says:
March 23, 2013 at 12:33 am 
I agree.  My urban library is essentially the daily hangout for the homeless.  I have nothing against homeless as people and I think more needs to be done to prevent it, but these are the people who destroy the library for everyone else.  They are lined up at the door before we open and go back to the shelter at closing time.  It is killing us because we are not equipped or capable to be social workers or a homeless shelter.  There are, in fact, social workers and homeless shelters in existence for a reason.  We have (seemingly weekly) heroin overdoses, an upstairs bathroom that is apparently the local gay-sex hangout, people who walk around talking to themselves, people masturbating at the computers, people fist fighting over computers, exposing themselves to staff, prostitution, bathing in the bathrooms, drug dealers; and that's just the normal stuff. 
Though it isn't an official policy, the staff warns parents who bring in children because pedophiles are known to target the library.  Also, it kinda sucks when you have to check for seminal or menstrual fluid and vomit before you sit down at a desk.  I know we aren't unique in our experience as an urban library. 
The overwhelming majority of the research requests we get are over the phone.  People who are not part of the homeless population do not visit the library.  They do not feel safe here and they have stated as such.  People would rather not get the information than come in to the facility.  Last week we had someone (who had never visited before) ask immediately upon entering our area if the library in the suburbs could answer her research question because she was not comfortable in this environment.  I wonder how she will vote once a levy comes up on the ballot?  
Look, I know we are all good liberals and feel we are supporting the reactionary conservatives who disdain education if we say anything other than the homeless are a blessing and joy.  I've found that is what the underlying issue is.  But let's be honest: Libraries are not shelters.  They are not designed to be.  Librarians are not medical professionals or social workers.  We are not trained to be.  These resources exist.  We have a different mission and skills.  Are we supposed to be nurses literally handing out their psychiatric medication to tame schizophrenia?  Those who come in with the habits listed above (and throughout this thread) are hindering us from doing our job and making it less likely we will continue to receive community support. 
Look, the homeless patrons are by and large not "decent folks just down on their luck" who would easily create the next million-dollar internet start-up if only a noble librarian would show them the resume builder software.  They have these resources at the homeless shelter.  The social workers know exactly how to get these people back on their feet and they give them the opportunities.  The homeless here don't need the help from us because anything we could offer is already being offered by professionals. Sorry to say, but they generally want to remain drug addicted and use the public library as their home base, all the while treating the staff like we are their personal butlers there solely to serve them. 
Parading as a homeless shelter is killing the urban library system in America.

Source:  Comments to

The title of my post is nearly a direct quote from one of the commenters.

Note:  I have written about the homeless in libraries before:

Will the American Library Association do anything about this?  Feel free to comment below.


See also, and the comments:

URL of this page:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Banned From All Libraries on Earth for Masturbating in Racine Public Library That Allows Unfiltered Internet Access; Law School Exam Question on First Amendment and Criminal Law in Public Libraries

A man has been banned from "all the libraries on the face of the Earth" for public library masturbation:
Pretend this is a constitutional/criminal law school exam (perfect for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library & Information Studies).  When answering law school exams, one uses IRAC, Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion.  In this exam question, I'll raise some issues and some rules I think are present.  Can anyone find others?  The media did not state whether the masturbator viewed online porn in the library, but, for this hypothetical law exam question, let's assume he did as that is the consistent precursor to public library masturbation, something so common reporter Carl Monday filmed a man masturbating in a public library, right next to the children's room.  You have four hours to answer and may refer to the linked reliable sources of information, or others, as long as you provide URLs for me to check.

SafeLibraries School of Law
Constitutional/Criminal Law Final Exam


The Racine Public Library, Racine, WI, allows unfiltered Internet access under its "Internet Access Acceptable Use Policy," and its "Rules and Regulations Governing Use of the Internet Workstations" say, "Users should not send, receive, or display text or graphics which may be reasonably construed as obscene by community standards."  The acceptable use policy clarifies that when it comes to obscenity, "That determination is made through legislation and interpreted by the courts."  The Racine Public Library Board of Trustees has created a legal disclaimer stating, "Neither the Racine Public Library nor the City of Racine, its officers, directors, or employees shall be liable for any damages (direct or consequential), including lost profits, for any information obtained or provided on the Internet."

A man views pornography on the unfiltered Internet computers provided by the public library in full view of all employees and patrons, including children, then he openly masturbates.  He is arrested and removed. 

The library has seen persistent problems.  Consider this from 24 September 2005 Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI): "Father Wants to Make Sure Porn Can't Be Seen at Library; Panel Creating Proposal on Teens' Computer Use":
The Racine Public Library is hosting a public forum to discuss its Internet Acceptable Use Policy, a discussion that comes on the heels of a citizen's complaint about teens using public computers to access adult Web sites.  ....  Java Orr of Racine became concerned when he was at the library several months ago with his 6-year-old daughter and he saw a male teenager downloading and viewing pornographic material on a computer in the adult services area.  Orr said when he brought his complaint to library officials, he was told nothing could be done to prevent the youth from viewing the material.  Orr took his fight to keep children from viewing pornographic material at the Racine Public Library to the public.  He spent hours in front of the library petitioning residents to sign his Child Friendly Library Act, which he intends to get the Legislature to pass a bill on.  So far he has more than 500 signatures on the petitions.  His goal is 1,000.  "The bill would prevent children, including young adults, from gaining access to obscene or pornographic material," Orr said.  ....  "I'm hoping to hear what the public wants," [Racine Public Library Director Jessica] MacPhail said.
Or this in the same media source dated 30 July 2005 and entitled, "Porn Access at Public Library Criticized; Dad Wants Material Kept from Youths":
After observing what he calls pornographic material being downloaded and viewed by a teenager at a public library, a Racine man is now on a mission to change the law.  Java Orr said in an interview last week that while visiting the Racine Public Library three weeks ago with his 6-year-old daughter, he observed a male teenager downloading and viewing pornographic material on a computer in the adult services area.  Orr said that when he brought his complaint to library officials, they said nothing could be done to prevent the youth from viewing the material.  "It's insane that kids can actually see and read about this kind of sexual material at a public library," Orr said.  "Furthermore, that my child or any other child can easily walk by and witness it."  Orr is taking his fight to keep children from viewing pornographic material at the Racine Public library to the public.  In the past week, Orr has spent hours in front of the library petitioning residents to sign his Child Friendly Library Act, which he hopes will get attention from the Legislature.  He has gathered more than 500 signatures and has set a goal of 1,000.  "The bill would prevent children, including young adults, from gaining access to obscene or pornographic material" at a public library, Orr said.  ....  [Racine Public Library Director Jessica] MacPhail said a separate youth services area in the library provides five computers equipped with filters to weed out such material.  She said that area is used primarily for children through eighth grade.  ....  MacPhail said the Racine Public Library does post its Internet access policies for the public.  The policies state ... it is unacceptable to use the library's Internet equipment to send, receive or display text or graphics that may reasonably be construed as obscene by community standards.


Federal:  Internet filters are legal in public libraries since US v. American Library Association, 539 U.S. 194 (2003).  Legal porn may be legally removed from public libraries as there is no First Amendment right to view porn in public libraries.

State:  See Wisconsin Library Law, Chapter 43.  Wisconsin criminal code includes "948.10 Exposing genitals or pubic area" and "948.11 Exposing a child to harmful material or harmful descriptions or narrations," including "(4) Libraries and educational institutions."  Consider if other Wisconsin Criminal Code provisions apply.  Also consider cases such as Adamson v. Minneapolis Public Library and other library hostile environment or sexual harassment lawsuits.  Locally, consider Jackson v. County of Racine.

Local:  Consider also Racine Municipal Code, including "Sec. 66-1001. - Public nuisance prohibited."  And might there be any ordinances regarding officials failing to act in the public trust?  Any legal instrument on the statutory creation of the Wisconsin public library and whether pornography is allowable as "free access to information and diversity of ideas"?  Consider searching Google for "annoyed librarian porn ala."


Is there a crime or other legally actionable activity or lack thereof?  What?  Who is liable?  For what?  Have the patrons been harmed?  Children?  Library employees?  What about the perpetrator?  Was there an attractive nuisance?  Might the crime not have happened in the first place had effective filters been in place?

And the code that created the library.  Did it allow for pornography?  Has the library acted outside the law by acting as an open public forum and allowing porn instead of as a quasi public forum and filtering out porn per US v. ALA

What are the duties of the municipality when a library acts outside the law, and what are the liabilities for failure to require a library to act within the law?  Is the municipality liable for anything?  What?  Does the library's legal disclaimer protect the municipality? 

What effect might there be as a result of the knowledge of persistent problems in the library occurring as a result of pornography?

If libraries and educational institutions are exempted from liability for "carry[ing] out the essential purpose of making available to all citizens a current, balanced collection of books, reference materials, periodicals, sound recordings and audiovisual materials that reflect the cultural diversity and pluralistic nature of American society," does that protection extend to pornography displayed publicly as a result of the lack of Internet filters?  Does pornography "reflect the cultural diversity and pluralistic nature of American society" to the extent that it should be allowed in libraries even when the US Supreme Court said it may be legally blocked from libraries?

Library policy states, "Websites may be brought to the Library's attention; however, staff will not review sites if viewing the content would violate the City's Anti-Harassment Policy." What might that mean?  What relevance might that have?  And the library's "Acceptable Use Policy", what effect has that had in fact and might it have in law? 

If the library policy is to exclude obscene material, but also to claim the decisions as to what is obscene "is made through legislation and interpreted by the courts," what effect might that have in fact and on any legal proceedings?  Has the library covered itself from liability?  With millions of pornographic web sites and the library's requirement that only a court can determine what is obscene, has the library set up an impossibility that effectively nullifies its claim to preclude obscenity by policy?  If the library, in setting up such an impossibility, is following the requirements of an out of state organization, has it effectively ceded control of the central policy of the library to that outside organization?  When answering, consider the American Library Association's guidance to public libraries entitled, "Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policy":
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."

Lastly, what might be the implications and effect of the library's legal disclaimer?


[Insert answer here or in comments below.  You have four hours.]

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Finally, a Sensible Lawsuit Against a Librarian

The Annoyed Librarian hits the mark again, and I highly recommend following her.  My title of this post is a direct quote from her work.  Please read her work and the comments/links I have added below:

It’s always a little weird to see librarians acting all unlibrarianish. Last week there was the library employee in St. Louis who left a comment on this blog that notified the world of the library card holding status of a specific person named in a news article. So much for privacy!  [SafeLibraries:  Elided comment 16 March 2013.]

Now comes the result of a lawsuit against yet another public library in Missouri motivated by some pretty bizarre librarian behavior.
Someone at the Salem Public Library wanted to read about Native American religions, Wiccans, and other crazy topics that no God-fearing Salemite should ever want to know anything about, but she couldn’t get past the computer filters, which were apparently set to block “occult” sites.
The librarian wouldn’t remove the filters, so she sued. Finally, a sensible lawsuit against a librarian.  [SafeLibraries:  I completely agree.]
The ACLU victory statement has the best quote:
The resident had originally protested to library director Glenda Wofford about not being able to access websites about Native American religions and the Wiccan faith. While portions of the sites were unblocked, much remained censored. Wofford said she would only allow access to blocked sites if she felt patrons had a legitimate reason to view the content and added that she had an obligation to report people who wanted to view these sites to the authorities. The resident’s attempts to complain about the policy to the library board of trustees were brushed off.
To which I can only reply, wow.  [SafeLibraries:  And I reply that given the usual threats from the ACLU that libraries including school libraries should allow porn, once in a while ACLU takes the correct action, and this is one of those cases.]  That’s the strangest reply to a library patron I’ve heard of in a while. It’s not like the patron was trying to stream some Wiccan porn in the children’s section of the library. (If there is such a thing as Wiccan porn, I imagine it would involve a lot of slutty witch Halloween costumes.)
Outside of porn, which is blocked by law [SafeLibraries:  See how to legally remove legal porn from libraries here], libraries don’t usually block Internet searches. Most of them don’t even seem to want to block porn [SafeLibraries:  And that is a direct result of the ALA intentionally misleading American communities, according to the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act]. And here this librarian wanted to block religion sites.  [SafeLibraries:  Unlike hundreds of libraries intentionally accepting materials of a religious nature from the ALA, but having to do only with Islam.  So much for separation of church and state, right?]
To have the constrained sensibilities of the library director determine what everyone can research is a little bizarre. [SafeLibraries:  When it comes to Wicca, perhaps, but when it comes to ex-gays books or books having a Christian flavor, library directors regularly block such material.]  Add to that the total lie about having an obligation to report people to the authorities. [SafeLibraries:  Right.  The ALA even advises librarians not to call the police.]  Obviously that was meant as intimidation, and by librarian standards it’s pretty intimidating.
It’s no wonder the library lost the case, because the librarian’s behavior was pretty much indefensible. The library apparently knew they didn’t have a leg to stand on because they removed the filter months before the legal judgment came.
I was curious about where such a library might be found, and was unsurprised to discover Salem is a town of fewer than 5,000 people in the middle of nowhere. I couldn’t imagine that particular sort of unlibrarianish behavior happening in St. Louis or Columbia.
Are there other libraries that block non-porn sites? Or where the librarians only let patrons view websites if they feel patrons have a “legitimate reason”?
I’d never heard of this sort of librarian reaction to non-porn Internet searches before. However, plenty of libraries in effect keep their patrons from reading books on certain topics the librarians don’t like by just not buying the books. The ALA might call it censorship, others might call it selection, but either way it’s done all the time.  [SafeLibraries:  And to illustrate the point, check out the dichotomy of librarians arguing about "intellectual freedom" here: "Anti-Gay Books and Your Library" and read the comments carefully.  Notice one librarian, Miss Ingrid, aka The Magpie Librarian, literally uses repeated personal attack (even repeatedly mocking the name of an author) and flat out censorship and record redaction to attempt to coerce other librarians to join the "struggle" by keeping books with which she disagrees out of libraries.] 
The website challenge by a librarian seems unlibrarianish to me, but maybe that kind of thing happens all the time to websites and books, and we just don’t find out about it.  [SafeLibraries:  Indeed a parallel is all the porn viewing in public libraries and related crimes that are simply not reported.]

Sunday, March 10, 2013

School Library Child Porn Arrest Story by Associated Press Features Police Expert Dr. Frank Kardasz, Thanks to SafeLibraries

The American Library Association [ALA] is tracking a story regarding an arrest in a collegiate library (Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City, MO).  Here are a couple of links to the stories:

In the stories one police source figures prominently:

Frank Kardasz, retired commander of the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said his task force worked dozens of cases involving people viewing or trafficking child pornography while using public and college library computers. 
The problem is tough to police because of the imperfect nature of Internet filtering devices and pushback from free-speech advocates who believe adults should have the right to view adult pornography in libraries, he said, adding that any place offering wireless Internet connections "is an opportunity for child pornography offenders to traffic contraband images." 
"My experience is that some, not all, libraries underreport the offenses because they do not wish to bring attention nor police involvement to their facility," said Kardasz, founder and director of the Phoenix-based Cyberspace Child Protection Campaign. "Also, because many offenders are nefarious enough to avoid apprehension, there are probably more offenses occurring than we are aware of."

That Cyberspace Child Protection Campaign is an open Facebook group having 360 members of which I am one of the earliest members.  And I have written about Dr. Frank Kardasz previously:

I am so happy the police caught up with and stopped the criminal.  And I am also happy to expose yet again that acceptable use policies are failures, as this case evidences, and that libraries hold them up like they are so precious—here it's the school's first defense:
Kathy Walter-Mack, chief of staff for MCC Chancellor Mark James, declined to discuss Lawrence's case because he is a student at the college and is the focus of an ongoing investigation.  She said the college's policies prohibit the unlawful use of its computer networks.

That said, it should be known that the Associated Press author contacted Dr. Frank Kardasz as a direct result of his having learned of the good doctor right here on the SafeLibraries blog.  I love linking numerous reliable sources in my posts, and when main stream media is using them to find experts, I know I am being successful in exposing the harmful activities of the ALA.  So thanks, ALA, for tracking the story to which I directly contributed.  As a direct result of my work, you are learning:

But the First Amendment, Kardasz said, was crafted long before the invention of computers. 
"While I support free speech, I cannot imagine that the framers of the Constitution foresaw pornography in the library as acceptable when children are also present," he said.

And indeed, the US Supreme Court said, directly to ALA/ACLU, "public libraries' use of Internet filtering software does not violate their patrons' First Amendment rights...."  Are there, as Dr. Kardasz put it, "free-speech advocates who believe adults should have the right to view adult pornography in libraries"?  Yes, but they do not have that right.  If your library is saying they do, here's a road map for removing porn from libraries.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Moms Speak Out on Sexually Graphic Public School Books and the American Library Association

Hear the 50 minute audio.
Listen to these moms speaking out about sexually graphic public school books and the American Library Association.  Wow!  Wow!!  Wow!!!  Wow!!!!  Wow!!!!!

More at Lisa Reid's YouTube channel, and generally listed here.

I had previously written about these moms:

Guilford County Schools.  Here are "Objections to the Use of The Handmaid's Tale In a Class of High School Minors."  Wow!  Wow!!  Wow!!!  Wow!!!!  Wow!!!!!  Clearly I went to the wrong high school!  "Hence!  Home you idle creatures, get you home!  Is this a holiday?" has been replaced by "the Commander fucks, with a regular two-four marching stoke, on and on like a tap dripping."

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stalker Assaults and Librarians Harass Librarian In Black; ALA Should Support Sarah Houghton and Other Beleaguered Librarians

I am going to set aside my safe libraries concern to speak out against the violence and intimidation being brought to bear on Sarah Houghton, also known as the Librarian In Black, and to urge the American Library Association [ALA] to devise a means for supporting librarians in the crosshairs.  Having written about her before in "Ehlers-Danlos and the Librarian in Black," 31 May 2009, I am now writing again.

I urge all librarians to rally behind her to stop the violence and intimidation she is receiving from other librarians and also patrons.  Read this, this is sad and shocking and I don't know what to do about it, but I hope my bringing attention to the issue helps even a little:
    • several more unwanted advances and “touches” at conferences (including a drunk librarian in underwear only knocking on my hotel room door), which is part of why I dialed back my speaking engagements – I’m so sick of this shit
    • a marriage proposal from a fellow librarian (who I don’t know from Adam) who started it off with the very romantic “Now that you’re finally divorced and everything…”
    • two hand-written mailed death threats at work
    • numerous anonymous bouquets of flowers on my home doorstep, some with creepy stalker-ish poetry, which I traced back to…
    • a local stalker who eventually revealed himself while I was on a break outside the library, physically assaulted me, and got slapped with a restraining order after I kicked him where it counts and grabbed his wallet and ID when he was on the ground to get an identification to present to the police
ALA should start a means to assist beleaguered librarians it has in the past ignored; there's a list too long to include here.  But perhaps this recent effort by the ALA President to support Dale Askey may be a good start:

So we know ALA can support librarians when it chooses.  Let's hope Sarah Houghton is the next librarian getting official assistance from ALA, and let's hope ALA stops talking about "divestment of fossil fuels," etc., and instead pays attention to hurting librarians.

Good luck to you, Librarian In Black.  Since you said, "I am hoping that spark will come back and I will want to start writing again," I hope this cheers you a little:

"Funk 50"
album Analog Man

Yeah I'm gonna get my motor movin'
I'm gonna dress in black
Walk down that red carpet
Show everybody I'm back
Show everybody I'm back


I just found an old discussion on stalking discussed by many, many librarians.  It is a VERY big problem, though not one of them mentions it could be occasioned in part by an anything goes policy.  Be that as it may, this is a very worthwhile read on the subject of stalking, including the many comments:

And given that post, it's even worse that ALA does nothing to help these people.


It could be sua sponte or it could be in response to my call for ALA to act but ALA has acted!  Look:


See also: