Monday, July 16, 2007

Cleveland Porn

It seems like the Cleveland area public libraries are ready to take the Library Porn Challenge! Go ahead! Subscribe to Penthouse Magazine and put it up in the children's section!

If you haven't already, check out this news video from Cleveland. Those libraries have all the best perverts. I love the guy who keeps shielding his face from the news. What's his problem? He's just viewing some "constitutionally protected 'speech'" at the public library? Isn't that what libraries are for? To connect people to porn, er, I mean "information"? And then there's the guy in the red shirt the news crew caught on secret camera "pleasuring himself" at the public library terminal. Yuck!

But the librarians are all for it, because it's "constitutionally protected speech," so more power to 'em. Just remember what people have been doing at the public library terminals the next time you use one. You might want some rubber gloves and disinfectant. Perhaps the libraries in Cleveland could just issue these every time someone signs up to use the computers.

Oh, and perhaps they could install the private Internet viewing booths that I've been recommending for months. Talk about a way to get perverts into the library! The library could act like "adult" video stores and have peep booths and who knows what else. This would provide a public service to a lot of losers.

More publicly subsidized porn. Makes me proud to be a librarian.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you just imagine some of the librarians out there "starring" in those peepshows?

Then again I bet the NYC bunch the puff piece was on wouldn't have a problem with it.

Anonymous said...

:headdesk:

The public doesn't seem to be greatly in favor of its own "right" to view porn on the public dime in full view of everyone. When even one of the porn viewers is going, "Uh, hmm, maybe I was out of line," I'm not sure there's an invisible groundswell of support here.

(Separate topic, check out the "death of Dewey" at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/14/us/14dewey.html?_r=1&oref=slogin ... boy, it sure is a good thing they've devised a way to divide nonfiction by subject, instead of that confusing system we have now, where nonfiction is divided by... oh, wait.)

the library girl said...

I'm surprised Blaise Cronin hasn't stepped in with soap box rant regarding the poor, the less fortunate and porn watchers in the library. His puritanical POV would clean that place right up.

WDL said...

garrison keillor would agree with you. libraries are supposed to be quiet places where respectable people come to read. not use technology in any way shape or form.

you can go to borders or barnes and noble (or any good truckstop) and thumb through a volume of Hustler or Penthouse (or Jugs, if at a truckstop.)

honestly, i really don't care what people are looking at on the internet at my library, any more than I'm concerned with what they are looking at in the stacks.

mostly, i'm concerned about the mothers who breast feed at my library. and the amish who try to use the PACs. disgraceful.

who cares? don't we have bigger things to worry about? like young hip librarians, or ALA typos?

I for one believe we should just put branch libraries right in those peep show sex shops. Best of both worlds.

xo,
WDL

Dances With Books said...

Hmm, I never thought of referring librarians to the nearest truck stop. I can see that transaction now:

"Oh, I am sorry sir, but we do not have a subscription to (insert your porn mag title here). The truck stop up on Highway 69 carries a fine selection. Would you like some directions?"

While I am all for letting people do what they want in terms of the Internet, since I sure as heck don't want to police it (and it's none of my business anyways), I certainly am not for people "expressing" themselves in public spaces.

Brent said...

Getting interviewed after masturbating must suck. It'd be funny to be married to a reporter.

Anonymous said...

I like the news anchor's comment at the end: "Maybe parents will think twice before just dropping their kids off [at the library]."
Um, yeah. Duh. Maybe parents shouldn't just drop their kids off at the library in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you brought this up AL. This is the sort of argument used by the anti-tax crusaders who want to shut down public libraries.

If we discuss this seriously among ourselves we'll be better prepared when external threats to public libraries challenge us with this sort of bad publicity.

Anonymous said...

I've worked at a large public library in Ohio, and we were told by Mgrs. to leave the pornography viewers alone unless someone else complains. That's the way it was handled at an academic library I used to work at, BTW.

We're kinda stuck as a profession...we say we don't want to police what people are viewing, but we strive to make our libraries a hospitable place to be. IMHO, a porn viewing free-for-all does not make a library hospitable. People want to come to the library to use the computer (sadly, it's the main reason a lot of people come to the library anymore) Who wants to hop on an Internet terminal when a serial masturbator has been there before you? Who wants to bring the kiddies to story hour in that environment? I think the right thing to do is like the Lakewood library in that video - zero tolerance. Go buy a computer and practice viewing your constitutionally protected porn at home. If you can't afford a computer, there's always magazines and videos.

Brent said...

How do public libraries justify getting funds from the public when the public does not want this?

I mean, I do like the idea porn booths. It's hard for hobos to get laid. Maybe, to limit cleaning, have the porn computers in the basement. Computers have to be behind a wall and the monitor behind glass. Then every 3 hours, the place will be cleaned like a car wash. No library assistant 2 doing the clean up. It's all mechanical.

Anonymous said...

I have actually directed a patron to a bodega with a good porn selection. He was somewhat crazy and appreciated the advice. In my experience, if someone is masturbating in the building, then we call security and kick them out. If there is no security, we kick them out ourselves. Contrary to popular belief, public libraries are not dens of vice. It sounds as thought those librarians were slacking off on the job. They need to be more proactive.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this up. I admit that I am not a public librarian so maybe I am not fully aware of how porn in the library is really useful to patrons - aside from the obvious.

When did it become the mission of a public library to cater to this crowd at the expense of others? I live in a large metropolitan area and dread needing to use the collections at the main branch of our library system. Aside from the homeless people sleeping in the stacks or openly drinking alcohol in the reading room there are always creepy men looking at porn. As a librarian when I see this sort of activity it does not surprise me that the public balks at increased library funding - I don't want to pay more taxes to support this. Who would?

Dances with Books said...

Hmm, I thinking that may be the best way of approaching, the idea of the porn viewing making the place less hospitable to other patrons. Like the Anon. at 10am, who wants to be funding the library if it is such a hostile place for "normal" folk?

And the issue of people dropping off their kids. You would think parents would have some common sense. Then again, I am one of those who thinks people should have to pass an exam and have a license to reproduce. What passes for parents these days simply makes me want to cringe (we get people leaving their kids here fairly often).

Anonymous said...

I used to work at a small, one-room library that subscribed to Playboy. We kept it behind the desk, and patrons would borrow it to look at. The one-room library meant that they were always in view while reading Playboy, which meant that it was more likely people were reading it for the articles.
I've thought for years that the library should have porn - but as an online collection, like EBSCO or the Gale databases. That way we'd be serving the underserved (at home, one hopes!), but avoiding the possibility that kids would see it in the library. Though I suppose if one's on the Internet at home, looking for porn, they're not going to go to Library databases. Hmmm.

R.JXP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R.JXP said...

I work for a Cleveland suburban library. Have for over 10 years.

Two things:

1. As as profession we have to get over this whole noble duty of protecting knowledge and facilitating learning. In case none of you have been in a public library lately, the regulars are all on day passes from their group homes or are the heavily medicated slowly awaking from their state-funded stupor. I assist more scam artists responding to quick riches spam and start-up pyramid schemers than I do the literate academic who needs information on domesticated flowers and their vase arrangement in Jane Austen novels.

2. Yes, porn IS a problem, yes. So let us start in the anime collections, the literature collections, and weed out all the paperback romances and Triple Crown novels. Because before the internet, the public were masturbating to fashion magazines, Joy Of Sex, and "smutty" novels. And the debate back then, mostly lost, was about the literary merit of sexual health books and "immoral" and "corrupting" popular materials.

Personally, I would rather have some masturbator, quietly tugging one off in his sweat pants, than some unmedicated nutbag shaking his fist in my face because his favorite solitaire flash game site is down for the day.

At least the masturbator leaves after awhile, while the gem drop nutter refuses to give up the computer he has been sitting at for 6 to 8 hours a day, every day for the last month -even during fire alarms.

miriam said...

Why is access to porn part of our mission as a public library? Porn is not legally protected speech, although it is virtually never prosecuted unless it is child porn.

People will not bring their children to the library if it is not a safe environment.

I think we have lost our way as public institutions, and are squandering the good will we have built up over the years.

Anonymous said...

Well, no, porn is legally protected speech. Obscenity and child pornography are not legally protected speech. Very little porn is obscene, particularly given the legal definition of obscenity.

Anonymous said...

At my current library job, which I have been at less than a year, I have already personally busted two people looking at porn on our computers. One of which was a 12/13 year old boy. I happen to think it's rather pathetic that people go to the library to view it in a public area. Our library still manages to restrict books by authors like Nora Roberts from children. To me, that in itself is amazing. I've never been in or worked at a library that told someone they CAN'T check something out. And it goes against everything I am learning in school.

Anonymous said...

Why view porn on line in the library when you can indulge, per say, in your own sexual turn on in the library, then post it on Youtube.
Check out foot fetish and library. Seems to be a popular library activity. I know my library has had our share; after our foot fetish guy blew through twice, we all went out and got pedicures.

Anonymous said...

This is a little late, but I thought this article was hilarious, courtesy of the Chicago Reader. A visit to the CPL Computer Commons" http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/ourtown/061124/libraryporn/

Anonymous said...

Oops, hit the publish button too soon! This link should work.

Chicago Reader Story"

Anonymous said...

Hi I work at Cleveland Public Library as a janitor. I actually have to clean up the messes left behind by the creeps that come in here to get off. Recently, however, CPL instated a policy of having patrons sign in to a computer terminal using their Library Cards. Since then there has been NO porn in the bathrooms or discarded in trash cans. Technology has prevailed (for now).

Anonymous said...

My college libary carried Playboy, and I went to one of those dreaded "right-wing" colleges...