Porn in Yakima's libraries: 'People have the right to free flow of information'

Porn in Yakima's libraries: 'People have the right to free flow of information' »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Shanna Buckles frequently brings her children to the downtown Yakima library. She was surprised that people can openly watch pornography on these public computers.

"I do have an older child that likes to go on the internet and use the computers on the adult side," said Buckles. "So, I feel this is a safe place for kids and maybe that shouldn't be allowed in the library."

Police say a 22-year-old man was kicked out the library for masturbating to pornography. They didn't arrest him because he wasn't showing any nudity.

Library workers say this was a first and call the behavior unacceptable.

However, they have no problem with the fact he was openly viewing pornography.

The Yakima Library says its customers are free to browse whatever they'd like on these computers with one big exception: child pornography.

Yakima Deputy Library Director Linda McCracken says providing access to all kinds of information is important.

"People have the right to free flow of information in our country and we take that very seriously," said McCracken.

The newly remodeled downtown branch put measures in place to protect kids from adult material.

Areas are designated for adults, teens and small kids. But with a parent's permission, any kid can use adult computers.

Several people we spoke with say they notice people watching porn.

"Watching porn...that's not right," said Library Visitor Katie Lockwood. "A kid could walk up easily. 'Mommy what's that?'"

"I really think this a public place and this stuff really needs to stay at home," said Library Visitor Shane Gillett.

The library says privacy screens on every computer let users browse in peace as long as they don't take it too far.

Library managers say they still want to make sure everyone is comfortable in the library. You can contact an employee if you're offended by someone watching porn.