shh-porn

On November 18, a large group of people assembled to have their say at the Orland Park Public Library’s board meeting. Most were there because of the library’s policy that allows unfiltered access to any kind of porn or illegal material (including child porn). Not only concerned citizens showed up: three representatives from the American Library Association (ALA) and the president of the Illinois Library Association (ILA) were also there.

The two ALA lawyers who spoke (despite the library’s own policy of only allowing one speaker per group) defended the library’s decision to offer unfiltered access while never mentioning the specifics of what that really means: access to bestiality, identity theft, pedophiles accessing children online via chat rooms, and much more.

Many people have asked how is it possible that public libraries defend men watching porn near children as if the library is some sort of adult theater without dark curtains or an age limit. The ALA’s answer is: “freedom of information.” All information is equal, valid, and necessary for human consumption regardless of age.

It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority. — ALA Freedom to Read statement

The “right to use a library” includes free access to, and unrestricted use of, all the services, materials, and facilities the library has to offer. Every restriction on access to, and use of, library resources, based solely on the chronological age, educational level, literacy skills, or legal emancipation of users violates Article V. – ALA Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

These documents are made in the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), a name that evokes Randian flair. One wonders what these people actually think of unfiltered porn in libraries because they never mention it in public. Luckily, I happen to have an email from an ALA Listserv group, written by ALA councilor at large Mark Rosenzweig, that answers that question.

We’re as American as apple pie. And we should say so. Loud and clear. The more progessive [sic] wing of the profession should intelligently counter the “erotophobia [sic]‘. The worst thing in life, even for a kid, is NOT exposure to the image of naked people, or even people screwing, blowing, licking, humping, having sex with animals, etc. (except, for legal-and perhaps ethical-reasons, child erotica, so ill-defined that it can include the work of the world-renowned photopher [sic] Sally Mann.)

If that’s not bad enough, Rosenzweig continues,

attempts to contain the curiosity of kids is bad for children. But so-called pornography? WHERE DOES IT RATE? nowhere…

I would guess that Rosenzweig never studied the effects of pornography on children or adults:

“Pornography distorts the natural development of personality. If the early stimulus is pornographic photographs, the adolescent can be conditioned to become aroused through photographs. Once this pairing is rewarded a number of times, it is likely to become permanent. The result to the individual is that it becomes difficult for the person to seek out relations with appropriate person.”–Jerry Bergman, Ph.D., “The Influence of Pornography on Sexual Development: Three Case Histories”

Rosenzweig is also director of the Reference Center for Marxist Studies. His cavalier attitude about exposing children to sex makes more sense now. Fellow Marxist Antonio Gramsci believed that creating the ultimate state required the takeover of “mediating institutions” that would separate an individual from the power of the all-knowing government. These institutions are better known as family and religion. Marxists seek to redefine the culture to gain political power. What better way to capture the undeveloped minds of the young than with pornography that separates them from their families and their religions?

Lack of access to information can be harmful to minors. Librarians and library governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to ensure that all members of the community they serve have free, equal, and equitable access to the entire range of library resources regardless of content, approach, format, or amount of detail. This principle of library service applies equally to all users, minors as well as adults.-ALA Interpretation of the Bill of Rights