Library Privacy Rights

Library Privacy Rights Trump Child’s Right to Life

  • Libraries used to be for and all about kids. Little kids are new, voracious readers who soar through tons of picture books, and who, if allowed, would read through more books than most parents would be able to buy. Libraries should also still be the best place for kids to do homework – not everyone has a computer at home.
  • Are libraries now more for adults to anonymously ogle kiddie porn, or for terrorists planning to bomb a daycare center? Maybe they are now more for adults having cyber affairs, or for older kids to be on myspace without their parents watching. Well, that implies that there are still parents who watch their kids, but that’s another issue.
  • According to a recent AP article by John Curran, a librarian “demanded a search warrant, touching off a confrontation that pitted the privacy rights of library patrons against the rights of police on official business.”
  • Those policemen were desperately searching for clues in the disappearance of a child the day before. Brooke Bennett was found later, dead. The wait for a search warrant wasted 8 hours of search time.
  • “Data mining” and “privacy rights of library patrons” were the things most important to the librarian on the scene, fellow librarians, and the American Library Association.
  • Here is one quote from the article: ” ‘It’s one of the most difficult situations a library can face,’ said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of intellectual freedom issues for the American Library Association.”
  • Is that really a more difficult situation than walking by a computer with your 5-year-old child when a man is looking at a close-up of a sex act on the screen? These are not private computers, nor are they in private institutions (the sign outside says PUBLIC library), nor are they kept in a private area.
  • Why are the privacy rights of terrorists, child molesters, rapists, or bombers more important than the rights of their victims? Why are the privacy rights of anyone more important than a child’s life?
  • As a researcher, I have been on enough questionable sites that I am most likely on lists compiled by the FBI and Homeland Security. So? As long as I am not a terrorist, am not planning any crime, have not committed any crime, am not a fugitive, etc., I have nothing to worry about and nothing to hide.
  • I regularly order a “bomb” from the local Hoagie Hut. If police, Homeland Security, the FBI, or anyone else is listening and wants to ask me questions about bombs, I’ll simply ask them if they would like fries or onion rings with theirs when they come by.