The Toronto Sun
Saturday, February 26, 1999

Cyber-smut kids spook librarians

by Tom Godfrey

Some North York librarians say they're in fear of the gangs of young school children who flock around their computers to view free sex on the Internet.

And Police Services Board chairman Norm Gardner said he'll send officers from the forces pornography unit to Downsview Public Library to see what can be done about blocking sex images available to children on the Net.

"Anyone would be concerned if pornography is getting in the hands of children", he said.

The issue surfaced this week after a librarian was chased and called racist names by a 19-year-old who was cut off from viewing porn.

Hard to supervise

Downsview librarians said yesterday they were worried because local students flock to the branch during lunch or after school to view dirty pictures and use sex chat lines.

The librarian who was chased was off work yesterday but staff said she was doing fine.

Toronto Public Library spokesman Michele Topa said it's hard to supervise the 500 computers with Internet access at its 98 libraries.

"It's not possible to monitor what people are looking at on the Net", Topa said.

She said it'll take about a year before the board can study software for blocking sex from the Net in libraries.

Copyright © 1999 by The Toronto Sun. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.