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Librarian Responds to Allegations Against Library

Chief Librarian Cites First Amendment Rights

POSTED: 6:51 pm EDT May 23, 2008
UPDATED: 7:35 pm EDT May 27, 2008

Safety concerns are being raised at the brand new Hartford Public Library after reports of drugs and sexual activity were made.

The reports also revealed that the library's computers have been used to view pornography. During a taping of "Face the State" on Thursday night, the library's chief librarian defended her leadership and discussed the controversial subject of what material should and should not be restricted.

A discussion about the Hartford Public Library turned to First Amendment rights when Channel 3's Dennis House asked Chief Librarian Louise Blalock if pornographic Web sites should be blocked at the library.

"Libraries across the country support First Amendment rights," she said.

While everyone who spoke with Eyewitness News on Friday agreed that pornographic Web sites should be banned on library computers, Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez didn't say whether he think it's right or wrong.

Perez did say that he supports the Library Board of Directors.

"Safety is Job No. 1 and that's going to be the biggest concern for the board," he said.

One member of the board spoke to Eyewitness News on the phone and said the issue is "definitely a subject of public concern. The board is debating the issue and considering whether to apply a community standard which would limit some content viewed on library computers."

Watch Face The State this Sunday at 11 a.m. for the entire interview with Blalock.

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