A mother is upset after learning a man was viewing pornography on a computer at the Waterloo Public Library while children watched. Library employees say there is nothing they can do, it's perfectly legal.
This same thing happened last week at the Council Bluffs Public Library. A man was looking at material some would find objectionable.
The library has always been a place where you can learn something new and different, but it was what an 11-year-old girl learned at the library that has her mother outraged.
“Her question was why do girls do that?” says mom Stacie. “And I don't want to have that conversation with my 11-year-old."
What the girl saw was on a computer you can find at any public library. "In TV talk, she said she saw a girl...I can't say it in TV talk.”
The man was accessing very descriptive pornography while the girl and her friend watched in shock. What was more shocking, at least to Stacie, is that the man was not breaking any laws in Nebraska.
“Why is that okay, is my question. Why is that okay for him to do that in a public place with children around?”
Channel 6 News received this statement from the Waterloo Public Library.
"The children's computers at the Waterloo Public Library have filtering software and are located in a separate area from computers available for adults. (The adult computers) are clearly marked for adults only. It is the responsibility of the patrons to determine what is appropriate for their informational needs.”
In other words, if it's legal at home it's legal in the library. "She's not allowed to go there anymore," says Stacie, who's now installing a parental filter in her home.
Some libraries, like those in Omaha, have policies prohibiting this type of activity. Stacie thinks all libraries should have this policy. She says since libraries aren't checking out pornographic magazines and movies, they shouldn't be allowing access to this material on the Internet either.