Magazine article American Libraries

Sites in Plain Sight

Magazine article American Libraries

Sites in Plain Sight

Article excerpt

I would like to comment on "A Librarian's Right to Comfort" by Hillary Theyer (June/July, p. 60). I disagree on several points.

1. Her comment, "I cannot deny library users access to a resource even if it makes me very personally uncomfortable," is true. But are there only two choices? Deny access, or keep everything open for all to see? Just as patrons have the right to view, other patrons and staff should have the right not to view. Let's get privacy screens, turn monitors, do something.

She also states that "we have the privilege, and perils, of serving the public as a whole. As a whole." My point exactly: Everyone needs to be considered. If you want to allow pornography, fine, just don't require all your patrons and staff to view it the minute they walk in your door. We see how ludicrous it would be to take sexually explicit printed graphics, enlarge them to a 19-inch size, and paste them up around the library; so why, just because that picture is now on a computer screen, is it appropriate?

2. At one library I saw Web sites with people eating feces off one another, bestiality, and many other acts that I found personally repugnant. …

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