NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Checking Out Porn in the Library

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In the public libraries of Seattle (as in most public libraries), patrons are not allowed to eat or sleep (or even appear to be sleeping) or be shirtless or barefoot or have bad body odor or talk too loudly — because other patrons might be disturbed. However, in Seattle, as the Post-Intelligencer reported in September, librarians do permit patrons to watch hard-core pornography on public computers, without apparent restriction, no matter who (adult or child) is walking by or sitting inches away at the next screen (though librarians politely ask porn-watchers to consider their neighbors). Said a library spokesperson: "[P]atrons have a right to view constitutionally protected material no matter where they are in the building, and the library does not censor."

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