December 3, 2020

Canada: “New Plan To Police Porn At Ottawa Public Library”

From  CTV News (Exclusive):

In a CTV Exclusive, the Ottawa Public Library says it is no longer defending its “Intellectual freedom” policy when it comes to watching pornography at its branches.

“So overly violent content, sexual overt images – those kinds of things, we are going to ask you to refrain from doing so in public and if you do that we will be asking you to turn off or shutdown your computer,” said Ottawa Public Library, CEO Danielle McDonald.

McDonald says she believes this is a solution that will satisfy the public after massive backlash poured in from across the country last week.

An Ottawa mom took her frustrations to the media after her daughter caught a man viewing explicit material online. When the family complained, they learned watchers are protected by the library’s stance on intellectual freedom.

Read the Complete Article, View Video Report

Additional Coverage and Background

Ottawa Public Library Changes Porn Policy Following Controversy (September 20, 2017; via CBC)

OPL spokesperson Anna Basile said the library is changing its network access policy to include the phrase “refrain from displaying content that may be offensive to others in a public setting.”

This is in addition to asking patrons to “respect the sensibilities of others,” as per the old policy.

Enforcement will be based on complaints from patrons and reviewed by staff who can then address individuals who may be viewing offensive material, Basile said.

“We will not monitor.”

There will be no additional filters or firewalls blocking pornographic content, she said, though the library will continue to filter child pornography and some other sites based on security.

Library Patrons Allowed to Surf Porn, Ottawa Mom Discovers (September 13, 2017; via CBC)

‘I Was in Shock’: Ottawa Mom Sparks Debate Over Pornography in Libraries (September 13, 2017; via Global News)

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.

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