COVID-19 in Washington: Links and resources to help you during coronavirus pandemic

Mom upset her young daughter and friend saw man at library viewing ‘porn’ on computer

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — A Snoqualmie mom is trying to rally parents to bring about some change at her local King County public library where she says her 11-year-old daughter and friend witnessed a man looking at what they said was pornography.

Eleven-year-old friends Alyx Barlament and Ann Kauffman said they didn’t even know what porn was until they saw it at the library. They said they were doing homework at the library when something caught their eye.

“It was a little freaky cause I have never really seen that before,” Alyx said.

Even though there are privacy screens on the monitors, Alyx says she could see images of naked women as she walked from the study room to the restroom. She told Ann and they both told the librarian.

“I was shocked because she goes, well, it’s legal — but if it’s children it’s not legal,” Alyx said.

Data pix.

Alyx called her mother, Meg, who drove to the library to talk to the staff.

"When I hear that this guy is in his rights, it blew my mind," Meg said. "I'm like, well, what about the kids rights?"

"The guy that was watching had no idea that the girls were right there cause he had headphones on so he was listening to it as well," Meg said.

The King County Library System says they don't censor adults from accessing or viewing materials that are constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. And the default setting for adult computers is restricted, so that mans an adult must ask to have the filter removed.

"As far as the rules and our First Amendment rights, and everyone wants to protect the rights of of people what they want to watch, but what about those rights of the kids -- that's what I care about," Meg said.

Unsatisfied, Meg took the issue to social media, forming a community group on Facebook.

On the page, Meg wrote, in part: "My daughter and a good friend of hers were in the study room by the computers. The man using the computer, that the girls could see from their study room, was watching pictures of naked women. Our girls were appalled and went to the librarian. The librarian asked the girls was he watching children or women? They answer the women and the librarian said there isn't anything she can do because it's his 'right' to watch it."

Meg is hoping by rallying other concerned parents, they can get libraries to put one or two computers in a corner of the library for adult viewing only.

The King County Library System, however, says they've found that keeping computers in central, visible location usually deters people from viewing explicit material.

If you want to join Meg's Facebook group, click here.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


  • Mary Goarround

    Oh please! Another parent horrified at the thought of their kids learning about the real world. If this mother had done her job and taught her kid about sex, this kid would have been like..meh?? These girls are old enough to know the basics. This is just another case of mommies getting their panties in a twist over nothing because they can’t do the job they should already be doing.

    • Margo Lilson

      We teach our son about the real world, and I believe that porn, in your own home, is perfectly ok. However, today my 7 and 4 year olds walked by a computer a man was viewing in library right at the money shot moment. My son glanced over as he walked by, in an area where he was looking for a book for school research. He was exposed to a visual of something that is inappropriate at the age of 7, not just genitalia. If you think that this is my fault and I am not doing my job, by helping my son complete a school project while walking directly behind him in a public place, then YOU are a waste of air and space, as is the man who was viewing sex acts in a public place where YOUNG children often frequent.

  • ew

    I won’t go to the library anymore due to the creeps and smelly bums who go there. We need all public library materials available for download. Just put all the books online.

  • Joedoney (@YippyYahQQ)

    Well now WAIT JUST A MINUTE, we hold our cinema * theater’s to a rating and it is specified G,PG,PG13, R, X etc. So must we hold our public places to a standard that represents that our children are protected and so I would rate ALL libraries in that category; so that if your local library doesn’t have an ADULT VIEWING SECTION, than The Library and its computers are considered “G” rated. What can one possibly learn from porn? That there is a time and a place for everything AND THE LIBRARY ISN’T ONE OF THEM. BTW, when King County had the temporary public library (just prior to Koolhaus) I remember waiting in line with several other patrons for our printouts; and this while we watched the printer kick out a pile of XXX photo’s. Soon afterward, printing no longer became free. I do want to also add that I am glad that the librarian asked “What” was he looking at as sexual predators are still allowed in public places and incognito soI Vote “YES” to keeping Our Public libraries, a place we know children will visit, as “G” rated. “Hey Idiot, yeah you with the headphones on; WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME-you’re just WRONG”!

  • Derek

    Hey lady tell your daughters to mind their own business.
    Do not look at other peoples screens.
    First Amendment People

    I do not like fox news racist arseholes they are worse than porn.
    Should they be banned because my rights are violated when i walk passed someones computer and i see ugly pooped face bill oreily

    No they should not be banned

    Of course porn is different i know but you preople are liberals and support the first amendment

    Oh i forgot protect the children thats what Hitler said when we burned books

    Actually he did say that

    • Joyce Gilbert

      Why do creepy dues need to be able to look at woman’s boobs in the library? Go to your house and look at boobs! My girls are the library to read and play and learn and keep busy until I get home from work. They are NOT there to watch pornos

      Who cares if Hitler said we need to protect children. If Hitler said he liked bacon, would that make bacon evil? OF COURSE NOT! Nice try, buddy.


  • Devin H.

    Oh god… Get over it! You’ll be introduced to it eventually? Don’t even think about stripping this man of his first amendment rights just because a child wasn’t minding their own business and decided to take a look at what the man had on the computer in the library. Boohoo, poor pitiful me, I saw genitalia… grow up.

  • Julie Acteson

    KCLS realizes that this is a sensitive issue, and can raise strong emotions. It can be difficult and uncomfortable to be exposed to images we would prefer not to see, particularly so for our children. Unfortunately, that is one of the hazards of unrestricted computer access in public spaces, including libraries. That is why all of the KCLS computers in children’s areas are filtered at the most restrictive level. This prevents access to ‘adult’ sites in children’s areas, in strictest compliance with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

    In addition, all KCLS library cards are issued with “moderate” filtering for all patrons, which minimizes access to potentially objectionable sites. Under the law, persons over 18 years of age may request to have this automatic filter removed.

    In upholding our mission to provide free, open, and equal access to ideas and information, the King County Library System neither monitors nor censors what patrons–of any age–choose to read or view. Similarly, we do not prohibit patrons from accessing or viewing materials that are Constitutionally-protected under the First Amendment. Based on Supreme Court decisions, pornography–with the exception of portrayals of children–is Constitutionally-protected. If staff becomes aware that a patron is viewing child pornography, which is illegal, they will intervene immediately and alert the appropriate authorities.

    We recognize that some patrons may view materials that are objectionable or offensive to others. We have explored many options to minimize unintentional exposure, though none can possibly be 100% effective:

    — Filtering all children’s area computers, and grouping other computers centrally in the library space has proven a better deterrent than placing computers in corners or separate rooms.

    — KCLS installed privacy screens on all public computers to minimize the possibility of inadvertent viewing, but patrons can remove them. If staff becomes aware that a privacy screen has been removed, they will ask that it be replaced, but patrons are not required to use them. Consequently, there are times when a computer monitor might clearly be seen from any angle, but this is not against any law.

    KCLS strives every day to create a safe and welcoming environment for all patrons in our libraries. We also rely on parents to supervise their children in the library as they would in any public space. And we encourage parents to report any situation that causes concern, so that staff can determine the best way to deal with the matter.

    It is a real balancing act to uphold the rights of all individuals using public resources. In this case, adults have the right to access information without censorship. We do our best to help them be sensitive to the concerns of other patrons in our libraries. Protecting open access while also creating an environment where inadvertent viewing of pornographic content is minimized to the greatest degree possible remains a challenge and a focus.

    I realize this information may not provide the answer you were hoping for, or even change your perspective. I do hope it gives you a better understanding of our policies, and the regulations behind them

    Julie Acteson
    KCLS Interim Director

    • SafeLibraries

      THIS IS A FLAT OUT LIE: “Based on Supreme Court decisions, pornography–with the exception of portrayals of children–is Constitutionally-protected.” The US Supreme Court said the EXACT OPPOSITE. Pornography is NOT protected in public libraries.

  • FN

    Nonfiction 757.2. Can the district sell all the the books, or must they be burned?

    (Responders, question presupposes you’ve ever used a library for something besides a daycare.)

  • Joyce Gilbert

    When I drop my girls off at the library, I thought I wouldn’t need to worry about them seeing terrible things. I don’t leave my kids at porno theater, do I? And I’m certainly not going to pay for daycare where the teacher is probably some pedofile a liberal judge let out on work release! NO WAY!

    I choose to leave my kids in the good care of a clean, wholesome library! Which I’m pretty sure is something my taxes pay for. And if it is, I don’t want my taxes paying to show pictures of naked women to my kids!

    It’s bad enough they let in women with piercings or low cut blouses or tight jeans. I don’t need my girls thinking that’s an appropriate way to dress. And I CERTAINLY don’t need them seeing naked women either!!!!

  • Iikka Keränen

    Indeed, children should only be exposed to nice healthy videos of people being tortured, gunned down, beheaded, set on fire, and thrown off tall buildings instead of these horrible depictions of consenting adults doing something natural and pleasurable.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.