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After weeks of denials and outright lies told to the media by the Orland Park Public Library (OPPL) about the severity of their problem with people viewing porn openly and committing crimes, the dam is beginning to break.

Last week library spokesperson Bridget Bittman gave an interview to WLS-AM’s Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft that did not go very well for her. In it, she said something very important at the 2:12 mark:

“That doesn’t mean that adults, whether it’s women or men, are coming to the library to access this type of information [pornography].”

So the library claims that I didn’t see what I thought I saw and people don’t access porn in their library.

Curious as to the kinds of emails zinging through the library about me, I FOIA’d any email communications containing my name and found an email from board member Diane Jennings (who on November 4th stuck her finger in my face outside the library and shouted, “Liar, Liar, Liar!”)

In the following email, Jennings admits the library purposefully separated the computer labs so that “pervs” (her word) can access their “filth” (her word) elsewhere. After admitting to this problem, Jennings makes light of pedophilia and child kidnapping by making a terrible argument about lingerie displays in department stores that isn’t even close to the hardcore porn in her library. Unbelievably, this woman is a former attorney.

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When you work for the public on publicly funded computers and are issued a publicly funded email address, it’s always wise to keep in mind that anything you type and send can be obtained (and republished) by anyone at anytime under the Freedom of Information Act, a law meant to keep our government transparent.

According to Jennings, “filth” is accessed on library computers by “perverts”. This is in direct contradiction to Bittman’s claim on WLS-AM that neither men or women access that kind of information in the library. You can see from the tone of this email that OPPL representative Diane Jennings has little care for the concerns of parents and would rather attack a mother of two instead of address the problem.

To clarify her claim that I could have used lobby computers, I asked two staffers if there was any other choice than taking my children to the adult computer lab and both said no. No one mentioned any computers available to families in the lobby as Jennings claims.

Since my complaint, they have had to allow for “family computer use” in the children’s lab which is a good idea but still does not address the open viewing of pornography in a building full of children.

Further, more evidence surfaced in the form of former employee and candidate for the board in the last election, Linda Zec’s essay on her experience with porn in OPPL. It’s too good to chop up here, read the whole thing. The truth is stranger than fiction.

It is now clear that at least one library board member was absolutely 100% aware of pornography accessed in the adult computer lab and she doesn’t see it as a problem (or at least no more harmful than underwear on hangers.) Is there any hope of communicating common sense to people who equate hardcore pornography in the open and public masturbation with lingerie displays in department stores?