On November 21, Councilwoman Nury Martinez (CD6) and Councilmember David Ryu (CD4) co-introduced two motions aimed at improving library safety and blocking access to pornographic content on library computers.
Martinez and Ryu Introduce Motions to Reform City Library Security; Block Access to Lewd Content Online
Dual motions would enhance library security and prohibit access to pornography on library computers
Los Angeles, CA -- Today, Councilmembers Nury Martinez (CD6) and David Ryu (CD4) introduced two motions to make City libraries safer and more secure for all visitors, and to reclaim them for our communities. One motion requests the Los Angeles Public Library, in conjunction with LAPD, to report back on all security incidents observed at public libraries in 2017, and on how current security can be improved. The other motion instructs the library to implement filtering software on computers and wireless networks at all 73 City Libraries, to prevent online access to pornography. Councilmembers Ryu and Martinez issued the following statements:
“Libraries are places of learning - they are a place for communities to connect, for individuals to empower themselves with information, and for children to grow and explore. They are not a place for lewd content or behavior. Today’s motion makes that clear,” Councilmember Ryu said. “Reports of individuals using illegal drugs and viewing online pornography are wholly unacceptable. Our families and children deserve better.”
“Our libraries are in crisis,” Councilwoman Martinez said. “Drug use and lewd acts in front of staff, parents, and children are on the rise. As a City, we need to step up and put a stop to this, and give our libraries the funding and resources they desperately need to make them safe again. Today’s dual motions are aimed at making that happen.”
The two motions focus on security protocols in and outside City libraries, and on restricting access to lewd content on library computers and networks. Both note recent reports of lewd and illegal behavior in and around City libraries, including illicit drug use, public sex acts, theft, and the accessing and viewing of online pornography on library computers. At present, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has a $5.4 million contract to provide security at the Los Angeles Public Library’s 72 branches, as well as the Central Library.
The motion focused on improving security in the libraries would do the following:
- Instructs the Los Angeles Public Library, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police Department Security Services Division, to report to the Arts, Parks, River and Entertainment Committee with a month-to-month analysis of safety and security incidents observed and reported at City libraries in 2017.
- Instructs the Los Angeles Police Department Security Services Division to report on how the current security deployment could be enhanced.
- Requests the Los Angeles Public Library and LAPD to offer recommendations to make library facilities a safe and welcoming environment that puts patrons first.
The motion focused on Internet filters for lewd and inappropriate content would do the following:
- Implement filtering software on all publicly-owned library computers, workstations and wireless networks.
- Requests the Los Angeles Public Library to prepare and present a supplemental budget request with recommendations to implement a long-term plan of action to prevent lewd content from being viewed on publicly-owned computers, workstations, and wireless networks maintained by the library department.
“It is outrageous that our libraries enable people to watch pornography on public computers,” Councilwoman Martinez said. “It’s just not right. Libraries are supposed to be for learning, not lewdness. No parent should ever have to worry that their child will be exposed to sexually explicit images and videos.”
“We have 73 amazing public libraries in our City, and not one of them has X-rated materials on the shelves - our library computers should be no different. I doubt that Angelenos believe their taxpayer dollars should be spent on providing access to pornography on public computers,” added Councilmember David Ryu.
In 2011, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion instructing the City Attorney to report back to City Council with options to address the issue of access to online pornogrpahy in City Libraries after an individual allegedly accessed pornography through a Chinatown branch library computer. The discussion resulted in the installation of privacy screens on library computers, as well as the repositioning of desktop computers within library branches to create more private viewing. Today’s motions reflect the view of both Councilmembers that these measures are inadequate.
Read both motions here.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez is the Assistant President Pro-Tem of the Los Angeles City Council. She represents the 6th Council District, which includes all or parts of the neighborhoods of Van Nuys, Lake Balboa, Sun Valley, Panorama City, Arleta, North Hollywood, and North Hills East.
Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.
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