Today there was a segment on CNN Headline News that discussed how people are upset that individuals can view (and listen to) pornography at public libraries and that the activity itself is protected by our Constitution.
So, for sake of argument, lets say that people can look at pornography at EVERY public library in the country. Assuming that is the case, what can be done to insure that children or even other adults in the nearby area will not be able to view nor hear what that person is enjoying on his/her public library computer?
Instead of worrying about what can be done Constitutionally to prevent adults from viewing pornography, let’s try to insure that libraries do what is necessary to protect all children and any adult not desiring to view or hear any computer that is being used to visit pornographic websites.
For this to happen, two SIMPLE things can be done.
1. Identify and isolate specific computers that can be used to view pornography. Just because the Constitution gives individuals the right to view pornography, the right to do so can be limited to specific computers that are somewhat isolated from children and others. Those computers can be “roped off” and could have some kind of marking that they are only available to adults and an additional comment could be displayed adjacent to those computers that would act as a warning that “Adult material can be viewed on this computer”.
2. In addition to the isolation and the warning signs, two more things can be done to minimize the risk of children or those adults not desiring to view or hear pornography. They are:
a. The internal speakers on those computers SHOULD be disabled through software settings.
b. The individuals visiting the library who log on to those specific computers to view pornography SHOULD be required to provide and plug in their own headsets to listen to Adult themed websites.
c. The computers identified to access pornographic websites SHOULD have SCREENS that attach to the front of the monitor that would narrow the viewing area so that only the individual directly in front of the monitor would be able to see the adult material. These privacy filters can be reasonably purchased for around $35.00 – $50.00. There are other privacy filters that provide maximum protection and they run much, much more – more like $75.00 – $150.00.
Doing these things would be not much different from how municipalities isolate “gentleman” clubs from operating near schools or churches.
Another “indirect” benefit from isolating a few adult computers from the others is that patrons of the library will be able to visually see who is in the library viewing pornography and who is not. I do not believe the Constitution protects the anonymity of those who visit the library to view pornography. It would act like a “virtual” sex viewer registry.