San Francisco Library Providing Helpful Privacy Screens For Online Porn-Viewing Comfort

Just because a person is viewing online porn at a public library doesn’t necessarily mean they want everyone to know that — and plenty of fellow patrons might not want to accidentally catch an eyeful, either. San Francisco’s main library is taking all that into consideration with its new privacy screens on its free computers.

The idea is that the 18 new plastic shields will limit what can be seen on the computers’ monitors to the person using that particular machine, reports KVTU.com.

A city librarian said the library doesn’t want to filter Internet access, so the screens allow for free and equal access to information without offending anyone.

“We’re always looking for any kind of elegant solution that strikes a balance between the right to privacy and folks that want to use the library for any other intended purpose,” he said.

The library also plans on installing more screens if these work out. Computers will also have a pop-up warning asking patrons to be sensitive to others while getting their fix. So far, the screens seem to be going over well.

“You see a lot of people looking at porn and such,” said one regular visitor, who adds that he’s a fan of the screens. “It seems kinda messed up, people doing that kinda stuff in a public environment. I mean, people don’t get on the bus and read Hustler in front of everybody.”

Not everyone is pleased as punch, including the executive director of the anti-pornography group Morality in Media, who thinks the screens aren’t cutting it, and that filtering systems in libraries are the way to go.

“I think it’s definitely not enough,” she argued. “Even with those protector screens, people walking directly behind somebody can see porn. I mean porn in the library? There’s no place for that.”

Online porn viewing leads to privacy screens at SF main library [KTVU.com]

Comments

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  1. Mark says:

    That’s great, now me and my gal do not have to worry about people making snide remarks and judging me as if they don’t porn out.

  2. do-it-myself says:

    It’s SF. Please…..

    People need to mind their own business. I’d NEVER look at porn in a library though…seems pointless to me.

  3. DanDestructo says:

    I look at my own porn at home with a privacy screen.

    wait a minute. that actually makes sense.

  4. Kabusted says:

    I think that filtering in the library should happen. Do you want your kid watching over the shoulder of someone watching porn? If show my kid porn in my home, and he tells a teacher or another adult, It’s my ass. But if he watches it in the library, he’s allowed to watch someone “Specify type of goat?!?” WTF?

  5. Rubberduckgrrl says:

    I’m all for it. I don’t think the library should filter AND this preserves the delicate eyes of the nosy person. Good idea.

    That being said, I don’t view my porn at the library any longer.The library has asked me to leave the wine and vibrator at home now.

  6. CheritaChen says:

    They could offer the privacy screens on unfiltered computers for those of legal age, and offer filtered computers for minors. Win/win.

    I don’t know why anyone would want to view porn in a library, though. What’s the point if you can’t, you know, enjoy yourself?

  7. ole1845 says:

    Even with privacy screens you can still view what is on someones screen. This is more about librarianians having to work in an environment where porn is viewed openly. A hostile work environment. Surprised they care more about providing porn to their patrons than protecting their employees.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Sorry, we’re not ripping up the Constitution just because you’re a little offended.

  8. msating says:

    Just wait until the masturbation begins… the kids will get a real eye opener!

  9. Geekybiker says:

    I say once they start filtering the bible out on those computers they can start filtering porn. How hard is it to mind your own business?

  10. Bladerunner says:

    “I think it’s definitely not enough,” she argued. “Even with those protector screens, people walking directly behind somebody can see porn. I mean porn in the library? There’s no place for that.”

    Hey lady from Morality in Media. FUCK YOU. You are not the arbiter of all that is acceptable for people to look at, nor should you be.

  11. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    Porn-screening filters are a bad idea. They can also filter out legitimate searches, such as someone researching breast cancer. Where do you draw the line?

    • Viajero says:

      At porn. Should be zero tolerance for it in the library Sheesh.

      • Bladerunner says:

        And if you’re doing research on nude models? Looking up a controversial work of art that some have called porn and others haven’t?

      • dayjavoo says:

        Half of those romance novels are porn. Not saying I’m for watching porn at the library, but I do feel that if you’re going to ban it you’re going to have to ban the books too.

  12. bbb111 says:

    There are other reasons to want the screen for privacy
    or modesty.

    Checking financial info
    Job hunting.
    Dieting
    Justin Bieber fan club
    Shopping for personal items
    legal research
    STD info

    Incomplete privacy for the screen is better than none. In most library setups, the person next to you can peek by just turning their head or with a slight leaning back if there is a “privacy” panel. You have a much better chance of hiding the window if the peeker has to get right behind you.

    —-

    At one time I had a desk that put the screen visible from an angle when someone walked into the room – I would try to hide windows with financials or personnel files before they could be seen, but there often wasn’t enough time to react. With a privacy screen I had a few extra seconds to react.
    [One person in particular would enter the room with his eyes on the screen trying to catch anything interesting. He was determined to find out what I was hiding. He would have been very disappointed if he knew the truth. I had planned on letting him catch a peek with something amusing that nobody would believe, but the situation changed before I got around to doing it.]

    Useful hint: a “boss” button can be used by the boss.

  13. cactus jack says:

    Kids should have their own kid friendly content computers in the children section.

  14. mstrmike says:

    Could they hand out trenchcoats at the front desk? Maybe they could offer booths that you could operate by putting quarters into a coin slot? As long as you don’t know the janitor.

  15. tundey says:

    If you can’t watch porn in other public places, why should you be able to do it in a library? Am sure there’s a constitutional argument for it but it escapes me at the moment.