Friday, April 29, 2011

N.Y. Public Library now offers porn...sort of.

I know when I'm at the public library I like to look at a little porn on the internet before I peruse the books.

The following excerpt comes from Jonah Goldberg's latest post for

"... the New York Public Library has gotten into the porn business. "With adults, anything that you can get on the Internet, you can legally get on a computer in the library," explained an official. "It's difficult, but we err on the side of free and open access."

Well, imagine you went to your local library in, say, 1989 -- or some other year before Al Gore invented the Internet.
Then imagine going up to the librarian and asking him, "Do you carry Hustler?"
The shocked librarian answers, "No."
"Back issues of Swank? High Society? Penthouse?"
"No, no and no," quoth the librarian.
"OK, OK. I get it. Do you have movies?"
Librarian answers: "Yes, of course."
"Great!" you reply. "I'd like to sign out 'Debby Does Dallas.'"
"What? No!"
"How about the VHS of 'On Golden Blonde'?"
Finally, the librarian explodes: "Sir, we do not carry any pornography. What do you think we do here?"
Well, the answer to that question is suddenly in doubt. Because up until very, very recently, the idea that public libraries should -- nay, must! -- peddle unfettered access to hardcore porn would have baffled almost everyone.
I'm hardly an anti-porn crusader, but the list of reasons why libraries didn't -- and shouldn't -- carry porn is vast. The two most obvious and mutually reinforcing reasons are moralistic and budgetary: A) "It's wrong," and B) "We have very limited resources and we must choose what we think is worthwhile and what has no redeeming value."
The problem is that the legs have been knocked out from under both answers. Of course, the moralistic -- or "judgmental" -- bias against porn has been eroding for generations. How bad or good a development that is depends on your point of view." 

You can read the rest of the post by clicking here.

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