Officials: Watching Porn At NYC Libraries Falls Within First Amendment Rights

But Don't Tell That To Many Of The Patrons Trying To Read

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the last thing you’d expect to find at New York City’s public libraries. But find it you will.

Pornography.

CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport has more on the A-B-Cs behind the XXX at the library.

“It’s a little shocking,” one public library patron said.

“Wow. I didn’t know that. I had no idea,” added another.

Yep, electronic porn too graphic for CBS 2 to show on television is available on-line for adults — on publically used computers at the city’s 200 library branches.

All people have to do is search for it.

“I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable if someone was watching on the computer next to me,” patron April Cantor told Rapoport.

Richard Reyes-Gavilan of the Brooklyn Public Library said that’s the policy — that even pornography is protected by the first amendment and recognized as free speech.

“With adults, anything that you can get on the Internet, you can legally get on a computer in the library,” Reyes-Gavilan said. “It’s difficult, but we err on the side of free and open access.”

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said he is appalled and outraged that such content is found in a publically funded place.

“What this is doing is perverting the whole meaning of freedom of speech and education,” Donohue said. “There is no legitimate role for hardcore pornography to be shown in the New York Public Library.”

Public Library officials said by law they are obligated to install filters to block illegal content like child pornography. And they said they do, but not other pornography that is legal.

And that left some folks Rapoport spoke to a little upset.

“I think it’s horrific as a parent. There are children in this place constantly. It’s a place of learning. You shouldn’t be allowed to do that in here,” library patron Malcolm Adams said.

Officials from the New York Public Library stressed their computers all have filtering software to block any explicit material from minors, and they said that staff carefully monitor use of computers in the adult areas.

What would you do if you saw someone watching hardcore pornography at the library? Sound off in our comments section.


Comments

One Comment

  1. REHUMANIZE says:

    Have we confused freedom with appropriateness?

  2. John Burke says:

    The Library is quite wrong that the First Amendment in any way dictates that it must provide access to porn — or access to anything else in particular, for that matter. The First Amendment protects the right of porn publishers to publish. The Library is free to pick and choose among all meterials published, whether books, DVDs or internet connections. In fact, making such choices in a professional and responsibkple way is whaf librarians are paid to do. When they say, in effect, we cannot make choices, we frankly have no need for them anymore.

    I say thus is an excellent reason for the mayor and council to help balance the budger by eliminating computers — and some hopelessly stupid librarians — from the New York Public Library

    1. Jay Ray says:

      Given that the Catholic Church just issued a report blaming its institutional pedophilia on the 1960s (the “Woodstock defense), you’d think Bill Donohue would be more concerned about the perversion and criminality in his own Church than what’s happening at the NYPL. The Church, by the way, recently held a well-attended workshop for exorcists (no kidding) and verified an apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Wisconsin (no kidding again)

  3. Bill Hueodon says:

    The internet also contains information on abortions. Should federal money be spent on this? The Catholic League has not commented.

  4. The Rock says:

    I have no problem with people that want to watch porn in there own home. I don’t think porn should be viewed at public library’s or make it in area that kids can’t see. Get mad at ACLU they have fought these cases and have won. and I’m not surprise that you can look at porn in public libraries.

  5. jerseyjoey says:

    Wait to they tie in a rape and murder of a teen or any one for that matter, oh it will come in time, commonsense will be finally relized. Now here is what i say we do, we hold accountable the arses who said and stand by this decission to allow this to take place, strip them of there titles,wages and open them up to civil suits fron the victoms families, better yet charge then as a accesory to the crime. Now if anyone out here is really serious about posting faces names etc, I’ll help out.

  6. Karen says:

    what’s next playboy and penthouse next to people magazine down in periodicals?

  7. EnoughAlready says:

    Bill Donohue, again? The New York State Legislature should pass a law prohibiting the use of Canon Law in government. The man would go apopleptic!!!

    1. O.T. says:

      EnoughAlready, you’re comment makes no sense. What the hell are you talking about? You’re probably too dumb to know.

  8. Bushelfoote says:

    I don’t CARE What the president of the Catholic whatever has to say…..I am a full grown American and I ENJOY porn….I’m not a sicko or a nut or even a nymphomaniac……porn IS Sex as Art..it certainly does make me think about some of Rueben’s paintings…..I Should have the freedom to veiw porn…my country is a Democracy…not a Theocracy….it Ain’t as Shameful as those who would like to make it be…..Long Live The Bill Of Rights……the same people who want to take your porn away are the same people who want to take your gun away …..and I don’t agree with that ,either………

    1. Fushelboote says:

      I enjoy a nice steaming dump, but I wouldn’t impose that on anyone in a public space.

  9. BJohnson says:

    Physical Intimacy, whether the parties are married or unmarried ADULTS, is a private event. We (humans) are not animals- it is written-such that we expose others to our intimacy or procreation process. Displaying physical acts between adults is simply harrassment and sabotage of one’s character. If you notice most of the pornography meant to sabotage someone is video taped with the WOMEN’S faces exposed while the MAN’s identity remains anonymous. This has been proven and those releasing such damaging items are being prosecuted. Especially when it leads to sexually harrassment and rape of the women. You better think twice about releasing ‘modified’ videos of someone, the same can and will be done to your DAUGHTERS AND MOTHERS. IT IS A CRIME! Or YOU could be harrassed to the point of suicide, just as other women have been. It’s not a surprise that such a story would be published at this time. IT WAS EXPECTED! Years ago when Hillary Clinton was running for Senator of NYC, someone released a video on the internet exposing her face while having sex with an unidentified MALE. So if they [sick persons] will do such a thing to a high profile political figure, what more can we expect as low-income to moderate income women.

    1. voiceofreason says:

      Let me guess, you are single and haven’t been laid in a very long time…

  10. jimbo hector says:

    Im going to the library bright and early tomorrow and rub one out! Awesome!

  11. Derek says:

    If she was good looking; I’d ask if I could join her !

  12. M.A.D says:

    Grooossss!! now the computer area in the libraries are going to become peep booths. How much are they charging??

  13. Dave Mattheisen says:

    Here’s an idea (since, you know, we’re dealing with freedom of speech/information and all):

    Take facial pictures of the degenerates surfing porn at the public libraries, create a website called “The Degenerates of the NYC Library System” and place them on full display with the date and time of their surfing activities.

    Oh, and prominently place the photos of the people who have decided that accessing porn on public library computers is a good idea as well…

    1. kikii says:

      Great answer!!!

    2. Steve says:

      That would be a great idea unfortunately the pervert would sue the city for defamation of character and win 10 million space bucks. I can’t wait for the first person to get locked up for ‘use your imagination’ on a computer the city provides in public……. in a public library. You know what? I’m totally for it! After telling me I can’t smoke where i want ‘like in public’ maybe I’ll just go to the library and sit next to those ‘ever so holy then thou’ liberals and put the sound up and say…”At least I stopped smoking,got a tissue?”

  14. Anon 1:50 says:

    QUOTE:”…adults 17 or older can easily switch the content filters off.”

    Since when is 17 considered “adult”?

  15. Junior says:

    My mom won’t let me access those websites at home so I’ll just go to the library..

  16. Michael says:

    If you don’t seclude the porn-accessing computers, then kids will see the porn. If you do seclude them, then you will have a problem with people jerking off at the computers. Sounds like an argument can be made that the government has a compelling interest in telling people to get their rocks off somewhere else.

    1. Steve says:

      Thats great

  17. Michael says:

    Who doesn’t love the idea of typing on a semen-encrusted keyboard?

    1. Satish Smith says:

      Yeah, maybe the library would be better off with an adult-section rife with lad-mags.

  18. concerned says:

    Well it’s nice to know that our first amendment rights are being protected. Certain stations should be configured to all full access to all sites and placed in a certain location, this way if someone wants to watch porn they can, but only in an area that “stands” out and may deter people from using them for anything deviant.

    1. kikii says:

      Hardcore pornography is NOT covered by the First Amendment.
      To equate the free and robust exchange of ideas and political debate with commercial exploitation of obscene material demeans the grand conception of the First Amendment and its high purposes in the historic struggle for freedom. It is a misuse of the great guarantees of free speech and free press .”~ Chief Justice Warren Burger

  19. Jp Vanderveen says:

    Who cares what other look at .

  20. Troika37 says:

    So New York can tell someone how much salt is allowed for them to consume, but watching porn in a public library is ok?

    I am constantly amazed at the ability liberals have to conflate ‘legally protected’ rights and ‘publicly supported’ obligations.

    1. Kiki says:

      Great comment, Troika!!

      1. Steve says:

        Excellent Troika37

  21. badman says:

    I’m all for freedom of expression etc, but it’s counterproductive to allow open viewing of hardcore porn in a public place, It’s possible that there may be people who need to watch it for legit research (I know, seems like a rationalization, but it could happen); if so, then these people could request a waiver of the content block, and be set up in a private room.

  22. jerseyjoey says:

    Are these Librarys public funded by tax dollars, if so then you the tax payer demand this ended or you can be a liberal about it and say its freedom of speach and also is art. Your choice,, lemming or fight Sam Kinnison had the idea right. 50 cents -one once done.

  23. Pete says:

    Next their restrooms wll become cruisin places for turned on patrons.
    I’ve had people stare at my wee-wee many times at public restrooms,
    porn at PUBLIC libraries, bad idea.

    1. John says:

      Your wee wee? What, are you three?

  24. Wolf says:

    Take notice of WHO uses the computers at libraries to watch or search for porn of any kind. Or even just spending their fifteen minutes playing games. HOMELESS. And this is WHY they WILL REMAIN HOMELESS. Because they don’t use their time wisely to get a REAL JOB so that they can EARN money. Send them all back to their own countries. Otherwise give them all mops brooms and shovels and let them earn their keep by cleaning

  25. p says:

    Charity Search Engines

    1. svdtvdgf says:

      lol

  26. Stephanie H says:

    Isn’t it a privilege to have internet at the library?
    If they don’t have to provide access to web by law
    than why cant it be restricted…or removed?

    1. Penny says:

      Exactly so . . . and demand the fight be taken against the ACLU and all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

      Aristotle noted that courage is the virtue that makes all others possible.

      I’m praying for courageous politicians to set the ship aright!

  27. Stephanie H says:

    if we can make laws keeping certain things a far distance from chidren’s schools….why can’t we do the same here???? It is after all, an education center

  28. Sorry Computers are Down says:

    Just monitor the computer after each use and see if the person who used the computer watched any porn. If they did, add the name a list. The list that says “next time this person comes in the library to use the computer just say the one’s available are not working, or say the computer is being worked on or any number of 1,000 excuses. Point is, abuse equals no use. These porn websites are out of control and really not good for anyone.

  29. pugphan says:

    This is just sick kids walking by can see what peeps are watching. Where’s the
    common sense here? smokersodysseycom

  30. Bell Toller says:

    amazing

  31. raymond toyens says:

    i would smack the the taste out his fresh face!!!!!!i

  32. Truth says:

    Hmm wait now if you do this at work it is sexual harrasment if a female co-worker sees it…. so what about female library staff is this not sexual harrasment? Should be interesting to see if such a case comes about due to this ruling.

  33. james johnson says:

    if i see someone watching porn in the libary i will wait until they are finish and make sure they dont pick up any KIDS in my PRESENT and if they do I WILL KICK THEY ASS..!!!!!

    1. Hal Mann says:

      You’d spend that time better learning how to write.

  34. Marion Nigro says:

    Now does the library have tohire a new staff to make sure underage children aren’t on porn sites. You know this will happen.

  35. Ed says:

    I applaud someone in this day and age actually upholding any freedom. And the freedom to watch, read, say whatever you want that is legal is one of our most fundamental freedoms. If you don’t like porn, don’t watch it and don’t watch other people watching it. These people who want to regulate other people’s lives should dress like the Pilgrim they are and buy a ticket on the return trip of the Mayflower.

    1. Jesse Wallace says:

      This is a stupid, stupid argument. People can watch porn if they want to, but if a 13 year old isnt allow to walk into a porn shop because of age restriction, then someone shouldnt be able to watch age restricted material in a public place. It counteracts so many basic systems in place that its ridiculous.

    2. Penny says:

      Gosh!

      Then fund the library with private dollars, not public taxes!

    3. Kiki says:

      It ALWAYS surprises me the number of people who think hardcore pornography is legal!! It’s considered obscene–AND it’s not legal. NYC better check their own laws and not allow their PUBLIC library. Hardcore porn is illegal– we are at war against it– google the War Against Illegal Pornography!! Numbers are growing in this most progressive group!

  36. TLD says:

    It’s not entirely true that anyone can switch off a safe filter. The NYC DOE computers are firewalled and blocked from certain content – they’re in public buildings, too. Makes no sense that the library tech administrators can’t do the same. What kind of people do you think are going to the public library, of all places, to watch porn? At least some of them have to be the kind that prefer to watch it in public places rather than in the privacy of their own homes. Very comforting.

  37. Mary Smith says:

    Say… why is the keyboard all sticky? Oh…right.

  38. Penny Miller says:

    The metaphor of our times: Defining deviancy down through the elction of cowardly, stupid politicians.

    Shame on NYC library boards for not defying the politicians and not blocking the porn!

  39. J.Heath says:

    I would masterbate all over Mayor Bloombergs Office.

    1. HARLEM GOING H.A.M. says:

      YOU ARE A SICK PUPPY

    2. StormsNYC says:

      How is a Constitutional issue the fault of Mayor Bloomberg? This is not a NYC specific problem, this problem exists in almost all public library systems. If you want to blame someone, blame the ACLU.

  40. Bloomberg R Us says:

    We do have freedom of the press ,do we have freedom of viewing?
    In any event if I saw someone watching porn it would depend where
    there hands are placed while at the public library.

  41. Steve says:

    Is jerking off in NYC Libraries OK too? Wow. No brains right?

    1. Barbara McW says:

      Where are the adults here? When are the real grown-ups coming back? Allowing porn to be viewed at the NYC library is crazy and dangerous, ask yourself are any of the victims white middle aged men? Good God almighty stop the madness

      1. Pubert Humpkins says:

        Babs,

        Great googly-moogly, does it matter what skin color? Is everything racial to you?

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