At 5:35 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, I found myself at the Ruth E. Dickinson Branch of the Ottawa public library. I was standing by the librarian’s desk on the teen and adult floor when a lady came rushing towards the librarian, looking upset and saying: "There is a man viewing pornography at one of the computers!"
The librarian didn't seem shocked by this information, She walked away to the computer section, and came back rather quickly. I was still standing there, aghast. A father and a teenage girl were standing next to me. When the librarian came back, I said to her: "I hope that you told him to stop."
She shook her head. Apparently, all she can do is "suggest that he move to a more discreet computer" if one is available.
It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee and facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity, including those, which some elements of society may consider to be unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable.While I support OPL's policy as regards actual expression of "knowledge and intellectual activity," it is laughable to put porn in that category.
Pornography is a scourge, worse than cancer of the body; it is a cancer of the soul. It holds people in mind-numbing addictions, hollows out their lives and slowly destroys them. Much of the internet pornography industry has criminal elements. It is always demeaning towards women, and a lot of it is outright misogynist.
With booths, the damage would be restricted to those who freely choose it. We banned smoking in public places, so why do we still allow second-hand pornography to pollute our environment?
Below are all my posts on this topic. The most recent are listed first:
- Dissecting Ottawa Library's official letter re pornography on library computers
- Planning for a petition against pornography in public libraries
- Lessons learned, and gearing up to fight pornography in libraries
- The Ottawa Public Library responds to my letter
- Update: Only child pornography is blocked out by Ottawa library filters
- Update: is pornography allowed at the library, or maybe not?
- Baby steps: Throwing pornography out of the public library
- Internet pornography is welcome at our local public library