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Burbank library patrons viewing Internet porn could face removal, officials say

September 9, 2010 |  7:50 am

Burbank library officials said they plan to give librarians the power to eject patrons amid complaints that a patron was allowed to use a computer to view pornography near the children's reading section.

An anonymous complaint letter, circulated around several city departments, alleged that a man was watching Internet pornography on a library computer, but after a complaint the librarians on duty did nothing to stop it beyond informing the man that his behavior was offensive to other patrons.

Although the claim was never verified, Library Services Director Sharon Cohen said officials were considering beefing up the current policy while walking the fine line of not violating the 1st Amendment.

In the current library policy, filtering software is used on the computers that are located in a separate children's area. The policy states that “not only does such software sometimes fail to block certain sites that are inappropriate for children, but it may also block sites that are in fact appropriate for children.”

 Computers located outside of the designated children's area, however, do not have any filtering software installed.

“It's a difficult line for us,” Cohen said. “For kids, there are precautions, but we need to maintain 1st Amendment freedoms in a public library.”

Read the full Burbank Leader story here.

-- Grechen Meier, Times Community News

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