Listen to Dori Monson weekdays on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
Dori Monson

Will our kids be exposed to porn at a King County library?

After receiving an email over the weekend about a man viewing pornography on a library computer with children nearby, Dori asked what the library was doing about the apparent growing problem.

seattle library
Do you feel comfortable dropping your children off at the public library? (97.3 KIRO FM Photo/File)

"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 97.3 KIRO FM's Dori Monson Show.

She said that if that if staff at the library receives a complaint about objectionable material being viewed on library computers, then, if that content is legal, they ask that patron to cover up what they're viewing with a privacy screen.

Listen to Julie Branch, Community Relations Director for King County Libraries

But Dori said that he's not sure kids viewing pornographic material is the only problem. He said that according to the Federal Way Police blotter, on Sept. 30, police responded to an incident of a man masturbating at a library branch.

Branch said those incidents are few and far between, but when they do happen, "we would certainly intervene and call the authorities for that sort of activity." She also said that content being viewed on the computer must be legal, not child porn, for example, or staff would also step in and call authorities.

Given these incidents and the crowd at the public library, Dori asked if this is was the sort of place where parents could turn their kids loose, much as he was allowed to explore the library when he was younger.

"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. "I think that just like any place you might take your children or your family, you should be certainly be aware and if you see something offensive, come and tell our staff."

Alyssa Kleven, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Alyssa Kleven is an editor and content producer at MyNorthwest.com. She enjoys doting over her adorable dachshund Winnie - named for Arcade Fire front-man Win Butler.
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