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Library Porn Viewing Sets Mother on a Mission in Orland

An area mother wants to see a ban on porn in the library. Library officials say they'd prefer to uphold the First Amendment.

After seeing a naked woman on a computer screen while at the Orland Park Public Library, Megan Fox said she would like to see a new policy that prevents library patrons from viewing sexually explicit websites.  

During an Oct. 4 library visit, Fox was checking email in the second-floor computer lab area, she said, when she saw a man at a nearby computer looking at a picture of an "LCD-colored, oiled breasted naked woman." After reporting this to a staff member, she said she was advised to contact library director Mary Weimar. That night, Fox wrote Weimar an email detailing her experience and copied several officials on the letter.

Fox received no response. Joined by friends and colleagues, Fox attended the Oct. 21 library board meeting and made a case for a policy change, asking that Orland Park's library enact a policy similar to those of other nearby libraries. The group recorded its case as presented at the meeting and posted the video on YouTube.

"Their policies must change. They must change for the safety of children of Orland Park," Fox said. "If they continue to back this idea that free pornography is available on the tax payers of Illinois, they will lose."

During the Oct. 21 meeting, Fox’s friend and writing partner Kevin DuJan cited reports of past instances where people were seen viewing pornography at the library.

After the video was posted to YouTube, the library released a statement citing the First Amendment as the reason for unfiltered access to the Internet in the adult computer area. Computers in the children’s portion of library on the first floor are filtered for inappropriate websites and children are not allowed to use computers in the second floor adult viewing area. Computers in the teen area are also filtered, and are separate from the adult lab area.

The library’s computer-use policy does not state that viewing pornography is forbidden. It does state that if a patron is bothered by another patron’s actions in any way, he or she can notify staff to confront the patron causing the disturbance.

“Libraries are especially known for upholding First Amendment rights and allowing access to any legal type of information,” said Orland Park Public Library spokeswoman Bridget Bittman. “There's a fine line between making sure people are accessing what they want and making sure patrons are not bothered by it.”

Bittman said the library is reviewing its adult computer-use policies and "will make any necessary changes" as the board sees fit.

"This is a public relations nightmare for them and if they want to get out of it, they better change their policy," Fox said. "Because I and all of my friends are willing to walk Orland Park every day until election time and replace every single one of those board members with people who will vote no confidence for Mary Weimar." 

Neighboring Libraries’ Policies

Libraries in New Lenox, Tinley Park and Mokena explicitly state in their computer policies that viewing pornography is not allowed on a library computer.

The Palos Park Public Library’s computer-use policy does not explicitly state that viewing pornography is forbidden, according to their staff, but it does mention that a patron disturbed by actions or behavior of another patron can ask a library employee to intervene. If the patron doesn’t cooperate, he or she will have to leave. Palos Park’s library has five computers, three of which are for adults, which are visible to most of the space. 

Read the policies:
Read the Orland Park Public Library's full statement.

Read Megan Fox's full statement.

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laura November 26, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Your logic (and antecedent!) are mixed up.... oh well.. I'd expect nothing more from the blinkered, right-wing zealots who glorify "speaking in tongues" (Kembrell) or invoke bible verses when their logic fails. Please, enlighten us again about what is "evil" and what is in the darkness versus the light.
Inventormiss November 26, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Sure Laura be glad to enlighten you with that legal term. Here ya go: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/_/dict.aspx?rd=1&word=Malum+in+se Note the definition "evil itself"
Marcy James December 02, 2013 at 08:39 PM
What's wrong with being right-wing? Are we inferior to those who think differently than we do?
Inventormiss December 03, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Laura obviously believes in discrimination. More of the left's doctrine of "tolerance"--but only for those who agree with her. She discriminates against conservatives and religious people--they're not allowed to speak, even though they make up about 80% of the population. She spews hate and ridicule to denigrate their point of view as being worthless because they believe in God and hold conservative views. Very tolerant indeed.
laura December 03, 2013 at 03:07 PM
http://religions.pewforum.org/affiliations Extremism in any form (left or right) is dangerous. Please, consider some facts about religious makeup of the United States. Most U.S. citizen are not religious extremists. But you can believe whatever you like. Just don't expect others to swallow it.

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