Ben’s Working On It

Recently Stony Point’s Rose Memorial Library became the subject of attention because a patron was suspended from its premises for a month due to joining a pornographic chat room “Busty Babes,” while in the presence of others, including an 11-year-old child who complained about the situation.

Community members were surprised to learn that due to freedom of speech concerns, libraries do not have a generally agreed-upon censorship policy for adult pornographic content. The issue does not appear to be whether pornographic material is appropriate for library viewing–most agree it’s not–but how to define and deal with such content, without restricting Constitutionally protected freedom of access to information.

A decade and a half after the Internet became ubiquitous in American life, libraries are still working on this conundrum and Stony Point Rose Memorial Director Ben Reid assures residents he’s on the case. The library is consulting an attorney that specializes in library law on how to officially handle such matters.

Prior to the recent incident, the library had yet to deal with a bad apple who’d been caught crossing the boundaries of acceptable public behavior in this way. Reid assures residents that he is committed to protecting children from exposure to such scenarios in the future and will report back with an official policy soon.

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