February 16, 2016

Proof our Libraries have a Porn Problem

I got a call a couple of years back from an upset mom who happened to be from my hometown in Colorado. Her young son was exposed to pornography at the library and in response, the librarians said that the American Library Association had recommended to all libraries across the country that they not provide filters on any computer. (Thankfully after a lot of organized local action, that library district has since installed filters! Details of that victory here.)

That next week, our president, Patrick Trueman, was out in Idaho speaking at a conference when a teenage girl raised her hand and explained that her young brother was addicted to pornography and that he was first exposed to the material at their local library and was going there regularly to use the material.

As similar stories poured into our office, we decided to start our campaign, Safe Schools, Safe Libraries and we set up a Google Alert to track news articles about this problem. We routinely find stories from around the country showing that our libraries have a serious problem with pornography and are facilitating further sexual exploitation.

We have included dozens of these articles below for the public to review. Sadly, as these news articles demonstrate, the consequences of this policy include child sexual abuse, sexual assault, exhibitionism, stalking and other lewd behavior taking place in libraries across the country.

Download a PDF of this list here.

THERE IS HOPE!

Many concerned citizens around the country have stepped up to protect their communities and have successfully lobbied their libraries for improved filters and stronger policies. Here’s how you can help:

Become a Community Leader, Download Getting Started Packet

News Articles Highlighting Porn Problem in our Libraries

2016

 

“Appeals Court Upholds UW-Eau Claire Library Porn Citation”

January 26, 2016

A state appeals court says a man does not have a constitutional right to view pornography on a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire library computer.

 

“Billings Teacher Unsettled By Pornography Incident At Library”

January 19, 2016

While on a fieldtrip with her students at the Billings Public Library, a local teacher caught a glimpse of pornography on one of the private screens.

 

“Seattle Molester Under State’s Watch Begged For Child Porn”

January 14, 2016

Police say U-District sex offender fresh from prison downloaded child pornography at a number of public Wi-Fi sites, including the Seattle Public Library.

 

2015

 

“Winlock Man Held on $100,000 Bail After Arrest for Child Pornography”

December 24, 2015

A Winlock man was arrested Tuesday after an FBI investigation revealed that he was allegedly using a social networking site and public library Internet service to send and receive child pornography.

 

“Library Approves Unfiltered Computers in Children’s Section”

November 21, 2015

In what may be a national first, a public library has approved the use of unfiltered computers in the children’s section of the library.

 

“Man Busted for Child Porn at Library Now Faces Molestation Charges”

November 11, 2015

A man who was arrested in August for allegedly downloading child porn on a library computer now faces molestation charges.

 

“Charge: Man had child porn at library”

September 23, 2015

A convicted sex offender is accused of distributing child pornography from a public computer at the Bellmawr branch of the Camden County Library.

 

“Rochester Library Staff Member Injured Confronting Man Allegedly Watching Pornography”

July 22, 2015

The library staff was alerted after a man was seen sitting at a computer, watching porn and masturbating. After staff told the man to leave, he started screaming and threw a computer keyboard. A staff member followed him to the parking lot where the man hit the staff member with is car.

 

Man Charged with Touching 8-Year-Old Girl at Library”

April 22, 2015

An Oregon man was charged Wednesday with first-degree sexual assault of a child after police said he touched an 8-year-old girl on the buttocks while she played a game on a computer at the Madison Public Library.

 

FBI: Sex offender watched child porn at Akron libraries”

April 17, 2015

A homeless sex offender faces federal charges that accuse him of watching pornography at several Akron libraries.

 

“Orland Park Library Still Covering Up Child Porn”

March 7, 2015

The Orland Park Library is the scene of the latest effort by a library to cover up its literally criminal ways by having published a letter to the editor of the Orland Park Prairie.

 

“Internet pornography is welcome at our local public library”

March 7, 2015

Library patrons are disturbed by a man viewing pornography on public computers. The librarian claims that all she can do is suggest he move to a more discreet computer, of one is available.

 

“Man Arrested Watching Child Porn at Cabell. Co. Public Library”

February 27, 2015

A man uses public library computers to view underage girls in pornography. Library patrons are surprised and stunned that a man could use the computer to look up such explicit and illegal material.

 

“Pornography in Local Libraries”

February 16, 2015

A group of regular library visitors is known for viewing sexually graphic video and images with parents and children nearby. They also print sexually explicit images, which cause other library patrons using printing services to be involuntarily exposed to the material.

 

Man Accused of Viewing, Printing Child Porn at Westland Public Library”

February 13, 2015

High school students spotted a man viewing child pornography on the computer at the Westland Public Library. After arresting the man, the police found hundreds of items related to child pornography in his home.

 

“Man charged with searching for child pornography on Fargo Library computer”

February 13, 2015

An arrest was issued for a Fargo man accused of using a public computer at the Fargo library to search for child pornography.

 

“Sex offender imprisoned for viewing child porn at library”

January 31, 2015

A La Crosse man claimed he was looking at pictures of models on a public library at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Murphy Library, but officers found sexually graphic videos and pictures of children as young as 4-years-old during a search of the computer.

 

Mom Upset Her Young Daughter and Friend Saw Man at Library Viewing ‘Porn’ On Computer

January 6, 2015

An 11-year old girl and her friend saw a man viewing porn on a computer, despite the privacy screens, at a public library. She immediately told the librarian, who informed her, and then her mother, that it was “his right” to view pornography at a public library.

 

2014

 

“Porn in public library? Let’s do something about it”

October 17, 2014

A mother is concerned about the exposure of children to pornography at Auburn Public Library. The woman was in the kid’s section with her children and witnessed hard core pornography being watched on a screen in the adult section that was facing right in their direction.

 

“Man Charged for Viewing Child Pornography at Library”

August 7, 2014

A Portland man is facing charges after he allegedly viewed child pornography inside the Central Library in downtown Portland on Tuesday.

 

“Gilbert school bus driver downloaded child porn at library”

June 5, 2014

A former school bus driver on probation was arrested for downloading hundreds of images of child porn at Scottsdale library. He specifically used the Mustang Library because, according to him, its computers “don’t filter as well as the other libraries.”

 

“Sexual Predator Gets 10 Years For Viewing Child Porn At Library”

May 13, 2014

A northwest suburban man listed by the state as a sexual predator will spend 10 years in prison for looking at child pornography on a computer at a public library last year.

 

“Sex Offender Watched Child Porn at Akron Libraries”

April 17, 2014

A homeless sex offender faces federal charges that accuse him of watching child pornography at several Akron libraries.

 

“Parkersburg Man Convicted of Accessing Child Pornography on Library Computer”

March 13, 2014

A 41-year-old Wood County resident was convicted of accessing child pornography with intent to view it while he was logged on to a computer located at the Parkersburg and Wood County Library.

 

“Police: Man Looked at Child Porn on Public Library Computer”

January 7, 2014

A 23-year-old Gresham man is facing criminal charges after police said he looked at pornographic photos of children on a public computer at the library.

 

2013

 

“Westmont Man Charged After Viewing Porn at Library”

September 20, 2013

A Westmont man was charged with obscenity and disorderly conduct after he viewed online pornography in the youth services area of his local library.

 

“Should libraries ban pornography on public computers?”

September 9, 2013

Seattle public library says, that because it is an issue of censorship, the libraries will not stop their customers from accessing information that is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

 

“Library patron accused of watching child porn”

August 6, 2013

A woman reported seeing a man viewing child pornography on a public computer at Monroe library. The man had been downloading child pornography from the city library onto a cellphone.

 

“Bloomingdale Sex Offender Went To Library To Look At Child Porn”

July 24, 2013

A Bloomingdale sex offender was arrested Wednesday after police say he was viewing child pornography at a public library.

 

 

“Chicago Public Library Openly Allows Porn Despite the Law”

April 18, 2013

Director of marketing and communications for Chicago Public Library said Chicago libraries don’t use filters because “in terms of pornography, it is legal.”

 

2012

 

“He’s watching that, in public? Pornography takes next seat”

July 21, 2012

In response to the complaints from numerous library patrons concerning pornographic images being in full view of passersby, a library installed 18 computer monitors with plastic hoods. They prefer this solution to filtering or censoring images.

 

“Porn, Sex Crimes in San Juan and Martin Luther King Libraries”

April 1, 2012

Man found stripped to his underwear in library; police report shows the past year of assaults, lewd acts, drug-use have occurred at San Juan Library; Martin Luther King Library has big problems with patrons accessing pornography on computers.

 

“Porn Case At Library Indicted”

March 20, 2012

A Corsicana man arrested for allegedly viewing child pornography on a Corsicana Public Library computer was indicted Thursday on 10 counts of possession of porn.

 

“ACLU Sued Library for Not Allowing Online Porn”

February 3, 2012

The ACUL is suing a Washington state library district with the claim that not allowing porn is censorship.

 

“Seattle Libraries: No Eating or Sleeping Allowed, But Porn-Watching OK”

February 2, 2012

The Seattle Public Library has a long list of rules of things you can’t do in the library. You can’t eat, sleep, look like you’re sleeping, be barefoot, be too stinky or talk too loudly. But you can watch graphic porn on a public computer in front of kids.

 

“Librarians Stand Aside As Patron Watches Porn and Engages in Lewd Acts”

February 1, 2012

A resident complained last week about a man watching pornography on a public computer and behaving lewdly in front of a Malibu library. According to a county Board of Supervisors policy, the Malibu Library is unable to stop customers from using computers to view pornography.

 

“Seattle Library Lets Man Watch Porn, Despite Complaint”

January 31, 2012

A Seattle librarian refused to force a man watching hardcore porn on a computer to move to a more discreet location, even after a woman with two children complained.

“Police Blotter: Man In SUV Seen Snapping Photos of Kids at Park After Watching Porn at Library”

January 29, 2012

A man was seen snapping photos at the park. On the same day, a woman reported that her daughter had just left RSM library where the same man was watching pornography on a library computer.

 

“Porn in Library Startles Patrons”

January 6, 2012

Library patron printed pages of pornography off a computer used by the public, but never collected them at the printer before it ran out of paper.

 

“Libraries walk a tightrope on porn”

January 3, 2012

When a homeless man was accused of fondling himself in the Laguna Beach public library while viewing pornography. Laguna Beach libraries have insisted that they are obliged to provide Internet access to pornography as a matter of their clients’ free- speech rights.

 

2011

 

“Hannibal Man Gets 25 years for Porn on Library Computer”

December 15, 2011

A Hannibal man accused of downloading child pornography on a Hannibal Public Library computer has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Gary Wayne Martin, 45, was indicted by a federal grand jury of one felony count of production and two felony counts of possession after an arrest last March.

 

“Library User Viewing Porn Upsets Girl”

December 5, 2011

Fourth grader exposed to hardcore pornography while visiting library with mother. Mother says the girl was deeply affected and could sleep that night. Librarian refused to do anything about it.

 

“Court Week: Pornography on the Library Computer on the Dockets”

December 5, 2011

Grand Rapids resident, Alan Waldron, 43, faces a maximum of five years in prison for using the Lowell Library’s wireless to download more than 100 images of pornography—including some that depicted sexual acts between children.

 

“Registered Sex Offender Charged After Viewing Child Pornography at Public Library”

December 2, 2011

A registered sex offender from Orange County made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday, following his arrest at a local public library where witnesses allegedly observed him viewing child pornography on one of the library’s computers.

 

“Homeless Men Caught Watching Porn at Laguna Beach Library, Patrons Say”

December 2, 2011

Eight men watched pornography at a public library computer while one masturbated in public. The library responded to public outrage, saying there wasn’t much they could do.

 

“Library Opts Against Restricting Online Access to Explicit Material”

November 11, 2011

Hawthorne-Longfellow Library will continue its policy to not restrict Internet access, despite several incidents of involving pornography and public masturbation in the library.

 

“Los Angeles libraries grapple with online pornography”

April 13, 2011

After a recent outcry about online pornography at a Chinatown branch library, Los Angeles has been working to protect bystanders while not infringing on computer users’ 1st Amendment rights.

 

2010

 

“Libraries Suit: Computer Porn Use Lead to Groping While Children Present”

September 9, 2010

Birmingham, AL librarian sues library for having a ‘hostile work environment’ where patrons view porn in her presence, harass and grope her, and are allowed to do so in presence of children.

 

“After Several Incidents of Public Indecency, Quincy Official Says: Expose Library Porn Watchers”

June 29, 2010

Quincy, MA, councilman wants list of people accessing porn in libraries after several incidents of public indecency.

 

“Court Rules Library Can Have Internet Filter”

May 6, 2010

The Washington State Supreme Court voted 6-3 in favor of the North Central Regional Library when the library was sued by the ACLU for installing Internet filters to prevent access to pornography.

 

2009

 

“Michael Houle Charged With Downloading Child Pornography at Holyoke Public Library”

June 9, 2009

Holyoke MA man charged with downloading child porn from library computers. The library he viewed it at had allowed 40 computers to remain filter-free after library governing body had required filters for the computers.

 

2008

 

“Internet Porn Statistics at Dallas Central Library Prompt Concern”

January 24, 2008

7.5% of web traffic was for pornography at a local Dallas library over a randomly selected period.

Dawn Hawkins

Senior Vice President & Executive Director

Dawn Hawkins is a passionate defender of human rights who has dedicated her life to fighting against societal harms that threaten the dignity of others. Her energy, creativity and mobilization skills have revived the anti-pornography movement.

As Executive Director of National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE), Mrs. Hawkins has developed a national strategy uniting conservative, women’s rights, child advocacy and religious groups, including a bipartisan political leadership, to work together raising awareness of the pandemic of harm from pornography. Her initiatives have led to sweeping policy changes of policies that foster exploitation for targets such as Google, Verizon and the Department of Defense. Through her leadership, NCSE has grown a network reaching hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Mrs. Hawkins has appeared on many local and national television programs, including Fox & Friends, CNN and Good Morning America. She regularly authors articles and speaks around the country addressing the harms of pornography and all forms of sexual exploitation and what can be done to curb the growing public health crisis resulting from pornography.

Prior to joining NCSE in February 2011, she was a volunteer working for several hours each week for Patrick Trueman, current president and CEO of NCSE. While volunteering for Mr. Trueman, she was employed by a political consulting firm helping businesses and political candidates utilize digital strategies to reach expansive audiences and raise funds. Her expertise in social networking and digital strategies contributed to the successful election of several high-profile candidates in the 2010 election cycle. Dawn has worked on a number of prominent political campaigns, including Marco Rubio for Senate in 2010 and Mitt Romney for President in 2008.

Dawn regularly volunteers for organizations devoted to helping children and the homeless. She is a graduate of Tufts University and currently resides with her husband and two children in Virginia.

Further Reading

Related