Monday, January 03, 2005

NC Court Case: Public Internet Privileges

On Mary Minow's blog, she references a court case in North Carolina. Apparently, a patron was viewing "unwelcome and unsolicited" nude images. The library immediately took away the patron's Internet use at all the library's branches. The North Carolina court found that, although libraries have a right to prohibit the display of visual depictions that constitute obscenity or child pornography, they do not have the right to take away the patron's due process. In other words, the patron should have had the right to formal notification of the charges, as well as the right to appeal. Bottom line: Be sure there is a process in place that safeguards the patron's constitutional rights.

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