Ottawa Public Library changes porn policy - 1310 NEWS
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Ottawa Public Library changes porn policy

Ottawa Public Library's central branch, at Metcalfe and Laurier. (Courtesy: Google Maps)

OTTAWA — A controversial policy involving users viewing graphic content on public computers at the Ottawa Public Library is about to change.

Previously, staff would ask the user viewing the objectionable content to move to a more discreet location in the library, but would not stop the user from viewing violent or sexually explicit content — including pornography. Now, users will be asked to stop viewing the content when a complaint is received.

The new policy will be based on complaints, and will not involve software that blocks objectionable websites. The library believes it strikes the right balance.

“We don’t want to impede people’s ability to be able to search for information,” said Councillor Tim Tierney, chair of the library board. “There’s people doing doctorates or masters, and they require access to information and that is a pillar of the library.”

The library’s previous policy made national news when a mother and her children witnessed a man viewing pornography in a public area of the library.

The library will now brief staff at all 33 of its branches on the new policy.

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