Update: is pornography allowed at the library, or maybe not?

March 09, 2015
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By Lea Z. Singh |

So hold on to your heads, to keep them from spinning. Here is a new twist to my run-in with pornography at the library last Thursday. Ottawa's talk radio station CFRA called me back this morning - I had called their newstip line on Thursday after getting back home from the library. The reporter who called me had already contacted someone from the City/library board. Apparently, this person told her "we have the best filters in the country" and claimed that pornography is not permitted at the library.

Wow. While I am very happy to hear that, I can't figure out how that could be true at the same time as what I experienced on Thursday. What a confusing tangle. So what in the world happened at Ruth E. Dickinson on Thursday? It couldn't have been just a failure of the library filter, since the librarian told me that the library permitted pornography under "freedom of information." Was she wrong? Why did she think this was the case?

The reporter said she will look into this further and let me know what she finds out, so I am looking forward to hearing how this will all get cleared up.

What's more, among the reactions to my first post on this topic, some persons emailed privately to inform me that a debate on this topic already happened in Ottawa about a decade ago, when the library was revising its policy. This debate was covered on CFRA at the time. Apparently, the final decision at the time was that there would be filters on the children's computers, but not on the adult computers at the library. I don't know if that is still the case today.

I have no answers, only more questions.


Below are all my posts on this topic. The most recent are listed first:

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