Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Councilman To Introduce Bill That Would Make Watching Porn In NY Libraries A Misdemeanor

NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Two New York City councilmen said they want to introduce a bill that would make it illegal to watch porn within 100 feet of a child in the library. The legislation would make it a misdemeanor and could be punishable with up to $1,000 in fines.

Council Members David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) and Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) are spearheading the effort to keep public libraries g-rated for minors. "The last place we should be worried about our children spending time is a public library. They are safe havens for children, and not safe havens for perverts," said Ulrich. "It's a violation of public decency and it shouldn’t be there to begin with."

PIX 11 first did a story about library card holders who were watching porn in the library. It made some people very uncomfortable but the Brooklyn Library said it was legal, because it falls under First Amendment rights.

Many, however, felt it violated decency laws and could expose children to pornography that they should not be seeing.

"Walking around I often see people have it on their computers," said an upset library visitor.

There are three library branches in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The Queens Library has so far done the most to limit porn surfing on its computers. No matter your age, there is a filter system in place that prevents anyone from searching for illicit sites. With one caveat -- if you are an adult, you can remove the filter and watch whatever you would like.

The Queens Library released a statement Monday to the PIX 11 News stating: "Customers who are viewing graphic material that is visible and disturbing to others are violating Queens Library's behavior policy, and are told by a staff member to desist, similar to how any other behavioral disruption in the library would be dealt with."

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