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Vancouver Libraries vs Fundamentalist Censorship

The director of our local public library system learns the hard way about the slippery slope of bowing down to censorship.
Repent, Pornographer!!!
Repent, Pornographer!!!
After capitulating to the shrill cry of book-burning fundamentalists by passing the unconstitutional CIPA act, Fort Vancouver Regional Library now finds itself under attack for not doing more to control people's access to information.

From KATU:  http://www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=65241


March 9, 2004
- Clark County voters are saying yes to a controversial plan to expand crowded libraries in Vancouver, but the measure may not pass because of a 60 percent majority rule.

The question is not whether the 40-year-old Vancouver Central Library is crowded and outdated, the question many residents want answered with a yes vote: can the city afford the $48 million bond to double the library's size and build a bigger one across town.
Also fueling the debate is opponents' concern over the library's desire to provide pornography to children.

They're also upset about the Internet, which allows adults access to on-line pornography.

"I like to see a policy like that, like Tacoma has, where adult materials are not made available with taxpayer dollars near where kids are. To anybody," said Library Bond Opponent Margaret Tweet.

"About a year ago they were saying just implement the children's internet protection act, that's what we want you to do, and in fact we have, and you would think we hadn't done a thing, so I'm not sure where this will every end," said Fort Vancouver Library Executive Bruce Ziegman.

The library says it is a rare occurrence when kids enter without adults to check out playboy.

"What this is all about is better library service. If it is sidetracked by this issue, then the community will be the loser because they won't get better libraries," said Ziegman.

However opponents want the vote to send a message to library policymakers.
"We will withhold funding if you don't clean up your act," said Tweet.

March 9, 2004
- Clark County voters are saying yes to a controversial plan to expand crowded libraries in Vancouver, but the measure may not pass because of a 60 percent majority rule.

The question is not whether the 40-year-old Vancouver Central Library is crowded and outdated, the question many residents want answered with a yes vote: can the city afford the $48 million bond to double the library's size and build a bigger one across town.
Also fueling the debate is opponents' concern over the library's desire to provide pornography to children.

They're also upset about the Internet, which allows adults access to on-line pornography.

"I like to see a policy like that, like Tacoma has, where adult materials are not made available with taxpayer dollars near where kids are. To anybody," said Library Bond Opponent Margaret Tweet.

"About a year ago they were saying just implement the children's internet protection act, that's what we want you to do, and in fact we have, and you would think we hadn't done a thing, so I'm not sure where this will every end," said Fort Vancouver Library Executive Bruce Ziegman.

The library says it is a rare occurrence when kids enter without adults to check out playboy.

"What this is all about is better library service. If it is sidetracked by this issue, then the community will be the loser because they won't get better libraries," said Ziegman.

However opponents want the vote to send a message to library policymakers.
"We will withhold funding if you don't clean up your act," said Tweet.

homepage: homepage: http://vision-nary.com/mediahostages/weblog.php

Such a spin from KATU! Desire to provide? 10.Mar.2004 11:31

Susan

Gotta be kidding -- "... the library's desire to provide pornography to children."
Anyone here from the Vancouver Library who would like to reply to that?

They make it sound like the library's peddling the stuff, enticing the little kiddies.

before we get too excited, let's 10.Mar.2004 12:00

check this out

as it sounds more like KATU bullshit spin than the TRUTH. They are trying to out-FOX FOX NEWS
these days, and this is probably one of their ways to hype-up the sheepeople, as they're doing
over the Gay Marriage business...endless silly hyped spinmeistering. They're NOT news, per se,
be Roman Empire redux CIRCUS-styled INFOTAINMENT! Same for KGW, and lesser extent KOIN, and if
you want real news...get it from DEMOCRACY NOW! or KBOO radio...otherwise forget what is on TV!

Protect the kids and women 10.Mar.2004 12:23

Dan

It is more than absurd that the library doesnt filter out pornographic websites in a public library. I am a taxpayer and if I want to use the internet for research I dont think I should have to wait for somebody looking at naked girlies or playing video games.

agreed, this is not censorship 10.Mar.2004 12:34

books not porn

The religious right is on a crusade right now to crack down on pornography, however, I am, and have been in full support of not providing the resources to access pornography in libraries. I came to this point of view after witnessing how much money is spent of public universities to supply resources with the primary use being the downloading of pornography and pirated materials. Since rape is such an issue on college campuses I thought it was unwise for a university (meaning tax-payers and tuition payers) to spend money to provide resources to these ends. Sadly, no university I've talked to about these issues has ever had seen a reason to stop providing pornography and pirated materials to its students and they cry "censorship" too (I suspect because the sys admins were probably taking the most advantage of these resources).

Why is this not censorship? Simple: If library does not contain a particular book, have they censored it? No, a library must choose to provide a set of resources that is the most beneficial to all parties. If they choose to not carry every issue of playboy they are not censoring it. People can still find and buy playboy but the library does not provide it as a resource. Likewise, a library does not have an obligation to provide services for internet porn. If people want to look at porn, they are free to do so, but let it be on their dollar, not mine.

Protect YOUR OWN 10.Mar.2004 12:44

Chardman

If you believe that filtering software ONLY filters out stuff YOU consider naughty, then you are naive.
If you think that the possibility that a kid might see a naked person or see a bad word makes censoring an ENTIRE network seem justified, than you are a fascist tool.
Watch YOUR OWN kids.
The library is the only place that SOME people can gain access to the internet.
Not everyone can afford a computer and the fees to access the web.
Now it must be filtered to appease a few sexually fixated fruitcakes-by that I mean the fuckamentalists.

So you are more important than I? 10.Mar.2004 12:48

GPFX

I too am a tax payer, and I feel I should not have to wait for you to finish your idiotic research so I can go look at naked girlies. Your research has no value to me, just as my porn has no value to you. Would you feel better about waiting for your reasearch time while I play pac-man online or surf around looking for lyrics to N'Sync songs? Your time on the computer is not more valuable than anyone elses time just because you are doing research, unless you are doing research that directly benifits ME then your research has no value to ME at all, just as my porn has no value to YOU. And NEITHER of us is any more valuable to society while surfing the library computers than anyone else, even the people who are just looking for a little masturbation material for later (incidentally, have you ever actually seen a person looking for porn at the library? I have been going for years and have never seen anyone actually trying it, but I have seen people surfing for brittney spears songs, pac man games and illuminatti conspiracy theories).

Ok, with that out of the way, I never use the library computers to surf for porn, mostly because I have a computer at home but partly because I find it rude. However, people have a right to be rude! The library computers here in Multnomah have a simple timer on them so everybody gets a fair turn and nobody has to claim that their time on the computer is more valuable than anyone elses.

People who think they have a right to tell other people what to read, say, hear or experience do so because they think they are inherantly better at making those choices than everyone else. These people have, historically, always been wrong. The states with the strictest anti-porn laws, for instance, have the highest teenage pregnancy rates, spouse abuse rates and divorce rates (source CDC for pregnancy, FBI for spouse abuse, DHS for divorce rates, check the research yourself rather than taking my word for it and you will be happier). These same book-burning whackos also seem to, in my humble opinion, give us the very worst in religious idiocy. Jim and Tammy Faye Baker come to mind, and why would I want to trust their bretheren to make my tit-watching choices for me?

you're right GPFX 10.Mar.2004 12:59

more porn for all

Let's tell the library to just toss all the books and just stock porno mags. I mean, if reading porn is just as important as research, or reading, than let's just turn all of our libraries into big free porno outlets. I'm sure our society will be much safer that way. In fact, I'm at a library now, I'm going to throw a tantrum over the fact that they're censoring the latest issue of swank by not having it available for me to use to jack off in the bathroom.

Come here little girl 10.Mar.2004 13:09

Sickos

I want to show you some neat pictures on the computer.

I'm glad someone mentioned rudeness 10.Mar.2004 13:15

library patron

Whenever I see people looking at porn the first thing I notice is how it makes other people uncomfortable. People will often leave if the person looking at porn does not leave, or is not asked to leave. I want a library to be a place where I can take my kids and if that means people can't come in and for the sole purpose of looking at porn I really don't have a problem with that. Though, perhaps there is a compromise here. Perhaps a certain area could be set aside for unrestricted internet viewing (though I'd hate to be the person who had to clean up that area) and other areas could be reserved for those who want to a different experience. I do believe in being very honest and open with kids about sex, that is I don't believe in shielding children from sex but people looking at internet porn in a library may not be the best early exposure for children, in my opinion.

GPFX and Chard, I hear what you're saying but don't resort to stereotyping those who disagree with you as Christian fundamentalists. Many people can agree that an individual should have the right to view porn without the right to view porn on any and every public government provided computer. Also remember that correlation does not equal causation and that while the actions of a sexuality repressed society and its fundamentalist government must be countered, taking the opposing fundamentalist stand may not be the most effective nor popular course of action.

Agree AND Disagree... 10.Mar.2004 13:57

Chardman

The porn-goblins DO exist. They are kind of sad characters. It IS irritating to have to deal with that going on in the library, I'll admit. But my point is that there doesn't seem to be a compromise when dealing with a self appointed censorship aparatus, as Mr. Ziegman has found out. He took alot of flack for capitulating to this voiciferious minority, and now they've gone for the librarie's jugular.
And what a fundy labels as pornography goes way beyond what a normal, sexually healthy person would consider obscene: Playboy, Maxim etc...
And also, filtering software OFTEN filters out many non-porn things either by mistake or because of one or two words or a subject matter that's just a little too risky for the puritans.

No surprise 10.Mar.2004 14:00

Dan

>>"Sadly, no university I've talked to about these issues has ever had seen a reason to stop providing pornography and pirated materials to its students and they cry "censorship" too (I suspect because the sys admins were probably taking the most advantage of these resources)."<<

That last statement says it all. I suspected as much.

More porn for all 10.Mar.2004 14:05

Def

""I'm going to throw a tantrum over the fact that they're censoring the latest issue of swank by not having it available for me to use to jack off in the bathroom. ""

Why use the bathroom?

Project Underground 10.Mar.2004 15:15

Alice

?If broccoli were the number one export from the Middle East, we wouldnft be invading Iraq?

Well thank god gashog ticketing is perfectly legal.  http://www.moles.org/ProjectUnderground/campaigns/suv.shtml

Conflicts around the world are fueled by societyfs dependence on oil. When White House officials say we have vital interests to protect in the Middle East, what they mean is we have oil interests to protect. To feed our addiction to oil, US policy makers have overthrown elected governments (Iran in 1953), supported repressive monarchies and dictatorships (Saudi Arabia continuously since the 1940s, and Iraq in the 1980s), and given arms to governments linked to human rights abuses (Colombia since 2000). These short-sighted policies have come at a terrible cost to peoples around the world. They have also bred a suspicion and distrust of the US.
These SUV tickets are intended to illustrate the links between conflict and oil dependence?to show people that gas-guzzling carries a very high cost. They are targeted at those individuals who, by choosing to drive an SUV, are consuming far more than their fair share of the earthfs natural resources. Our hope is that by showing the connections between oil dependence and conflict we can shift public opinions around our oil consumption. The idea is to make driving a gas-guzzling SUV socially unacceptable.
Itfs very simple. Just carry these tickets with you wherever you go, and when you see an SUV, place a ticket under the windshield wipers. If you want to maximize your effort and use many tickets at once, go to a parking garage or a mall parking lot and place the tickets on every SUV you see. Some people have even made ticketing a fun, group effort by creating "ticketing teams" with their friends.
Note that this is perfectly legal. Ticketing involves no property destruction. It is no more invasive than putting, say, a flier advertising a car wash or a dry cleaner on someonefs windshield.

My God, Alice 10.Mar.2004 19:38

Spam...pa leez!

IMHO - A library is a institutional depository and dispensory of data and probably a few porn watching tax payers.