Librarian tip leads to sex charges against RI man

An investigation that began with a librarian's tip produced an indictment against a 59-year-old local man who now faces charges of sexual assault, child molestation and possessing child pornography. The library employee notified the police after she discovered that he had been trying to engage others in "explicitly sexual chat" on one of the library's public computers.


OK, why is this OK? Is a patron's computer use not a patron record?
If it is a patron record why is it OK to divulge it.
Why is the librarian reading patron chats, I can understand walking by and seeing child porn, but sexy chats - since when are sexy chats illegal.

While I support public stonings for child molesters, why was the conduct of this librarian (or library staff member) admirable?

I absolutely agree with the previous comment.

Part III of the Library Code of Ethics states:
We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

I would have to assume that online actions would fall under information transmitted. This patron was done a disservice, and while this may have been a "bad guy," what about all the not so bad guy patrons whose actions are being monitored by this overzealous employee?

One of the not so good things about the ALA Code of Ethics is that it hasn't insufficient teeth. Depending upon how state statutes for reporting are written, the librarian might have been forced to comply with civil law before ethics statements. A school media specialist in Nevada who failed to report such could face being disbarred as a teacher.

Unless and until the ethics code is codified in statutes, even if by reference, it unfortunately will not carry enough weight to matter on the front-line of public service.
Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
PGP KeyID: 899C131F

I would have dropped a dime on the guy if I thought he was doing anything wrong -especially if it involved children.

If he was just being a run of the mill perv I would have stood behind him and cleared my throat every time he did something distasteful.

I've never really agreed with the ALA about their stance on the right to be a pervert in the public library. We parted ways a long time ago, but librarians seem to think everything is a patron record if the police ask a question, but obviously if they run to the police about the same thing it is OK.

I'm wondering where the librarian outcry is about this. After all it was what the guy was looking at on the computer that was used to incriminate him. I guess librarians think they know better than the police what is illegal. Librarians can decide if a crime should be investigated where the police just eat doughnuts and have those horrible guns.

Librarians are hypocrites. Well not all of them, I admit I would drop a dime on this guy, and help the cops review computer logs if they were looking for the kidnapper of a little girl. Sue me for not insisting on a search warrant.

All I can say is that I agree. The ALA code is pretty toothless it seems. If enough librarians felt this was a transgression, maybe this should spur a drive to create state-level mandatory licensing of librarians with disciplinary bodies. Until then, relying on good will to keep things together doesn't seem to allow for any coherent approach to professional ethics.
Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
PGP KeyID: 899C131F