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\"Upset about reports of Internet pornography in public view and a perceived lack of action to prevent it, the Minneapolis City Council may nudge the city\'s Public Library system to take action sooner rather than later.
While the council doesn\'t have authority over the library system, Council Member Kathy Thurber planned to seek approval today of a resolution encouraging a policy like that of the St. Paul Public Library, which bars the use of Internet facilities to \"display graphics that are obscene or harmful to minors.\"
\"Mary Lawson, director of the library system, has argued that First Amendment rights are a concern. But other officials say the First Amendment doesn\'t extend to public access to pornography at libraries.
\"As the child of two librarians, this is not about the First Amendment,\" said Council President Jackie Cherryhomes.\"
\"Kristi Gibson, spokeswoman for the Minneapolis Public Library, said the Library Board would look at tightening Internet use at its next meeting May 17.
Until then, the library will require all patrons using the Internet to sign up in 30-minute increments and show identification. In addition, Police Chief Robert Olson has agreed to send patrols to the library to help look for \"activity on computers that may be in violation of Minnesota obscenity statues.\"
That doesn\'t mean the officers will stand behind patrons to look over the shoulders of those using the Internet. \"I guess the understanding reached was officers would do a walk-through with us and get a sense of what\'s going on at the library,\" Gibson said.\"