Your Local City Library: A Great Place to Watch Some Internet Porn?
What better day is there than the Tuesday than during National Library Week for the Los Angeles City Council's Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee to take up the vital discussion of the permissibility of internet porn in our libraries?
Councilman Ed Reyes introduced a motion to explore the topic of accessing x-rated content on public computers, after the Chinatown branch received complaints about those in line waiting computer access, including children, who could see the porn being accessed on computers in use, reports the Wave.
The core of the issue is pornography's status as speech protected by the First Amendment. However, the matter of free speech as it pertains to pornography being accessed in a space like a public library remains unresolved in the Supreme Court, and now, in the Los Angeles Public Library system.
Filtering software can be installed by the library to block pornographic content, however the patron may have the constitutional right to have those sites unblocked. Similar measures were taken in 2009 in Greensboro, North Carolina, after several library patrons complained about computer users accessing porn in plain view of other bibliophiles.
One argument the libraries and the City could make is that viewing adult material is improper use of time, particularly while others are waiting to use the free computers and internet access to do more "worthwhile things, such as research."
An argument many could make is that it can't possibly be all that enjoyable to watch pornography in the company of several strangers in a public setting. Unless you dig that thing. And if you go there, well...the laws are a whole lot clearer.