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Snoqualmie mom launches new fight after kids see ‘creepy guy’ viewing porn in library

11-year-old friends Ann Kauffman (left) and Alyx Barlament (right) were shocked to see a "creepy" guy watching porn recently in the Snoqualmie public libary, and have helped launch a new effort to change policies allowing it. (Photo courtesy Meg Barlament)
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When 11-year-olds Alyx Barlament and Ann Kauffman went to the King County public library in Snoqualmie recently, the last thing they expected was an introduction to porn.

“It was kind of almost creepy because there was this like 60, 70-year-old man looking at pornography. It was weird, kind of creepy,” Alyx told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show Thursday.

“I was kind of upset and I went back in the study room and told Ann and she was also upset,” she said.

The girls immediately went to the librarian to report the man, only to be told it was perfectly legal.

“The librarian pretty much said he was completely within his right as long as he wasn’t watching children,” Ann said. “And I just didn’t understand how that could be legal because it was disgusting, especially in a public place where there were little kids running around behind the guy.”

Alyx called her parents, who came down to the library to find out was going on.

“I was so blown away because I thought ‘no, this is just wrong,'” said Alyx’s mom, Meg Barlament.

Meg was shocked when the librarian informed her The King County Library System allows adults to access or view materials that are constitutionally protected under the First Amendment.

“The library is supposed to be a safe house for kids so they feel comfortable,” Meg says. “But then on the other hand, let’s protect the rights of these weirdos. What rights are protecting these kids?”

Meg was further angered when the librarian informed her to access pornographic sites, users have to ask to have a filter that blocks access for kids removed, “which is ridiculous,” she said.

It’s far from the first time the King Count Library System has faced complaints about allowing porn.

“Libraries protect the rights of the patrons to view and access whatever information they choose to look at,” Julie Branch, the community relations director with King County Libraries, told the Dori Monson Show during a similar controversy back in 2011.

“Everyone needs to remember that a library is a public building and like any public building, you’re going to encounter all walks of life and all sorts of people doing different sorts of things,” Branch said at the time. “I think that just like any place you might take your children or your family, you should certainly be aware and if you see something offensive, come and tell our staff.”

Meg isn’t simply accepting that. She’s started a Facebook group aimed at pressuring the library system into blocking porn, or at least set up computers in a different area where kids can’t be exposed to it.

The girls plan to write letters to the King County Council this weekend, and Meg says she’ll appear at the library system’s board of director’s meeting in March to push for change.

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