August 1, 2014

Illinois: “Battle of Orland Park Library’s Internet Porn Policy Heats Up”, Police Called to Library (Roundup)

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Note: The Village of Orland Park, IL is a Chicago suburb located about 20 miles southwest of the city. 

Here’s a roundup of coverage from multiple sources.

From the Chicago Sun-Times/Southtown Star:

Is south suburban mom Megan Fox on a campaign to make the Orland Park Public Library safer for patrons, as she insists? Or is she on an all-out drive to malign the facility, as library officials contend?

The monthlong battle between the southwest suburban library staff and Fox over adults’ access to pornography on library computers took another tense turn on Monday.

Fox, a mother of two who homeschools her children, said that when she tried early Monday to hand out fliers claiming the two-story facility is “a dangerous place for children,” she was told to leave.

From ABC Chicago (Includes Video):

The southwest suburban mom became enraged after she says she recently visited the library with her children and saw several people on different computers viewing pornography. Her friend Kevin Dujan says he saw it, too.

“I saw three different [people] viewing three different screens of porn,” DuJan said.

Police officers were called to the library Monday afternoon as the duo protested the library’s policy. Officials at the library cite the First Amendment as the reason they allow patrons to look up anything, including pornography on its adults-only computers as long as the material isn’t illegal or obscene.

From the Chicago Tribune

The controversy is the latest installment in a debate that stirs passions on both sides and has lacked a cure-all answer for decades. How should public libraries balance access to information with keeping potentially inappropriate material away from children? With the advent of new technologies, the dilemma extends beyond books and into websites, photos and videos, making an attempt at balance even more daunting.

From NBC Chicago (Includes Video)

There are no filters on the computers in the adult section, but users are required to use a library card or driver’s license, and the machines are outfitted with privacy screens. They’re also restricted to anyone under the age of 18.

“We believe that adults should have access to the information on the Internet, we believe very strongly in First Amendment rights, and those rights are protected her just for adults 18 and up,” library spokesperson Bridget Bettman said. “You’re drawing a fine line. Once you tell an adult that you’re not allowed to access a certain amount of information or type of information, what is it next? Is it books, is it movies? We really strongly believe that adults should have the right to access anything that’s not illegal or obscene, and we stand by that.”

From CBS Chicago
Includes embedded video (supplied by Fox) of October, 2013 meeting with library board.
See Also: Orland Park Public Library Web Site
Note statement about Internet filters on front page of website.

OPPL Policies/User Agreements
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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.