Libraries and Pornography, May, 2008

See coverage of the library scandal!

Public libraries have always been great places for learning, but parents who use several Brooklyn; libraries said their children are learning too much as adults nearby look up racy materials while surfing the Internet. At the Brooklyn Public Library, the policy is simple: Kids use computers in one room and adults use equipment in another.

And while nothing stops children from using the adult terminals, kids are restricted to logging on with a card that filters out adult Web sites.“I think it’s good,” Tyler Centeno of Park Slope said. “So we don’t go on anything inappropriate and stuff like that.”But Dr. Susan Fox, who runs an online community of 6,000 members called Park Slope Parents, said many parents have complained recently about what adults view at the library.“They go to a public place and there’s somebody looking at porn, and your child is like 10 feet away,” Fox said.Library officials acknowledge it’s one of those 21st century challenges, when more people who enter a library log into a computer than open a book.Brooklyn Library officials directed News 4 New York to their Web site. It says, “As a community space, we share in the responsibility with parents and care-givers to minimize children’s exposure to adult-themed material.”The library said it would not censor adult computers because it’s unconstitutional.Fox suggested that library keeps unlimited access computers out of the sight of children.“It’s not a censorship issue,” she said.