I don't talk about the library where I work, because if I did my many fans and enemies would be storming the building for autographs and retribution. But I can say this about the library--it's boring. I mean, really boring. Nothing exciting ever happens other than the free play of intellect over the human record, but we know most people find that pretty boring. We don't have any prostitutes hanging around outside the library. There aren't any drug pushers openly peddling their wares in the lobby. There might be some sex going on in the stacks, but if there is no librarians are involved. (That thought just caused a shudder to run down my spine.) We don't have any fistfights or violence. No one ever gets mugged in the parking lot. And, unlike the Mahopac Public Library, we don't have patrons arrested for viewing child pornography on our computers. For some reason, college students aren't big consumers of child pornography, and I for one am glad about that.
It must be nice to work in an exciting library where police confiscate a computer "after the arrest of a 53-year-old man from Brewster who the police said was caught downloading images of child pornography while at the library."
I assume they had a warrant, because there's nothing in the Times story to indicate that any brave librarian threw her body across the computer to protect the privacy of the child porn pervert. It's been a busy month at Mahopac, too. "Alice Walsh, the board president, said it was the second of two incidents this month involving computers that had the library staff scrambling to put measures in place that will help mitigate further incidents, while putting the public’s mind at ease that intellectual freedom — “the right to seek information” as protected under the First Amendment — remains a cornerstone of library use." For some reason I can never find that "right to seek information" clause in the first amendment, but to be honest the old eyes aren't what they once were.
The bizarre thing is that the library board will actually be meeting to discuss ways to solve this problem. Obviously, the librarians and library board members at Mahopac Public Library are unaware that as far as the ALA is concerned, there is no problem. Child porn is fine as long as the patrons don't get caught.
"'Grappling with what constitutes the rights of citizens in their pursuit of knowledge versus the protection of those same citizens from the use of obscenity is “a delicate balance,”' Ms. Walsh said.
'This is something we never thought we’d have to address in library school,' she said."
Of course she never thought she'd have to address the issue, because according to the dominant library ideology there's no justification for protecting citizens from obscenity, child pornography, or anything else. This crazy person actually believes that people have any right to walk through a public library without feeling like they've stumbled into a porn theater. With radical attitudes like that, it's no wonder such exciting things go on in the library.
If only things got that crazy around my library. Then I could start an anonymous blog and tell you all about them. Alas, such is not to be. As I go back to work in my very boring library, I can only gaze longingly from a distance at the exciting things that happen in places like Mahopac Public.