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Megan Fox is outraged after she noticed a man viewing porn on one of the public computers, but library officials say the right of adults to view unrestricted material is covered by the First Amendment.
A suburban mother is demanding the Orland Park Public Library ban pornography on its computers.
Megan Fox is outraged after she noticed a man viewing porn on one of the public computers. She says she was using a computer in the children's area with her two young girls, when library officials kicked her out and sent her to the adult's area.
"I went upstairs and I viewed a man looking at pornographic pictures right in front of me on the computer in front of me," Fox said.
Fox said she complained to library officials and was given the name of a person to contact. Eventually, she took her concerns to the library board.
She wants the library to create a policy that bans pornography entirely, or installing software that prevents adults from accessing it on the publicly-funded computers.
"Having pornography in a public library that is freely accessed by any adult is not a good idea. It isn't a good idea for children, it's unsafe, and it leads to a sexually-charged atmosphere that will bring crime," Fox says.
Library officials say there are filters set up on the computers in the children's and teens' sections to restrict access to adult sites. Adults are also not allowed in those areas.
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."
But Fox claims the library's permissive policy is directly linked to inappropriate or even criminal behavior.
"There are police reports of crime happening in this library, public masturbation, indecent exposure, stalking of a teenager, harassment of a teenager. Those, in my opinion, are directly related to the open viewing of pornography," Fox said.
There's no hard and fast rules for libraries' policies when it comes to indecent material. Some libraries in the area ban pornographic viewing for adults and others don't use any filters at all.