Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Censorship at Orland Park library is wrong move
Censorship at Orland Park Library is wrong move
A women activist from New Lenox decided to target the Orland Park library system a few months ago and she made the accusation that a man was viewing "pornography" on a computer used only by adults in an adult section; children use computers in a different area.
She went to a meeting of the Orland Park Library with a friend and they together confronted the board, not in an informational or polite way, but in a confrontational style, almost making demands. They accused the Orland Park Library staff of being rude and inconsiderate of their concerns.
Later, it was reported that police were called by "a woman" regarding a man who the woman claimed was a "pedophile" but when I spoke with Police Chief Tim McCarthy, he explained that when police arrived, the woman refused to comment and the alleged "perpetrator" -- a man who was using the computer -- was no longer there.
Instead, the woman supposedly gave info about the man and the police went to his home and discovered he had nothing to do with the library.
Over the past few weeks now, the Orland Park Library has been turned into a cesspool of filth and pornography. The woman from New Lenox who raised these issues has given Orland Park a Black eye. She has given the Orland Park Library a black eye. People are talking about the Orland Park library like it is a resource center in a prison for pedophiles, instead of being one of the best library systems in the Midwest.
The New Lenox activist has the right to express herself. That's what our Freedom allows. But I don't agree with her views and demands and I think her concerns contradict our concerns as a community.
I go to the Orland Park library with my 12 year old son all the time.
I have NEVER seen an adult sitting at an adult computer viewing "pornography."
But more importantly, when I am with my son, we don't go to the adult computers. I help him at the children's computers, where he belongs.
The woman got what she wanted, however She has turned the phenomenal and great Orland Park Library system upside down in the media, defaming not only the integrity of the employees and the library administration but also casting a shadow of filth on a system that deserves so much more.
To quiet the lady, the library board is now considering to apply "filters" to the adult library computers. Those filters sound great in principle, but they don't work very well. Not only do they prohibit access to pornography sites -- sadly in America where FREEDOM is still an important concept, the Congress and laws allow pornography to be displayed -- but filters will also prohibit access to many other sites that are not pornographic or related to pornography. In fact, many news sites that cover the pornography debate will be banned. Websites that deal with R rated issues and terms -- like politics, and the Orland Library "pornography debate" will be banned.
If the carpet bagger from New Lenox gets her way, because she wasn't too happy with the way the Library responded to her concerns, according to the news reports I can read online today, then the Orland Park Library will surrender to bullying and intimidation and limit access to adult users of the public computer system paid for by the law-abiding taxpayers.
Mayor Dan McLaughlin is a good person and I know the new Library Board President Nancy Healy very well. They are good people. They want to do what's right. But placing filters is not the way to "protect" our children.
It will simply reduce the amount of research data that adults will be able to access on the computers. And it will give adults who ask that the filters be lifted the "aura" of being pornographers, as defined by the selfishly-motivated activist from New Lenox whose video has been distributed throughout the Internet to embarrass Orland Park.
The Mayor should withdraw his proposal to place filters.
Let society take care of itself.
All the library needs to post at the computers is that these computers should not be used to view pornography because they are located in a public place. That's not an act of censorship, but a caution to keep people from viewing pornography -- if in fact that is what they are doing AND I SURELY DOUBT THE ORIGINAL CLAIMS THAT SOMEONE WAS.
If a person is viewing pornography in a public place where children are nearby -- and it can be proven, then the library should be notified and then can eject the library user.
Accusing someone of being a "pedophile" because they were allegedly viewing something that the New Lenox activists doesn't like is outrageous. I didn't elect her to manage Orland Park or the Orland Park library.
But I do live in America where freedom is more important than censorship. Falsifying claims just to enact laws should be treated harshly, as harshly as the activists are calling for censorship in our library.
If they can ban access to websites, then the next thing you know they will be able to impose bans on who can access the computers, maybe ban Arabs like me. Who cares if I served active duty fighting for my country during the Vietnam War? Maybe people don't like Arabs in New Lenox and they might come here to shut down our library to people like me. Why not confront racism and hatred? Why not censor what people can say?
Don't censor the Orland Park Library.
Our population of Adults are Adults. We are smart and we care for our community. Let us police the computers. Let the employees apply the law, not someone else's judgment of what the laws should be.
The activist from New Lenox should instead take her battle to the U.S. Congress and get Congress to ban pornography -- but they have tried. Because trying to define what is and what isn't pornography has been a problem. Good Art sites would be injured, as would be good public debates about this and other controversies.
Don't submit to the bullies, Mayor McLaughlin.
We have a great library. Let's keep it that way.
-- RAY HANANIA