Santa Clara County

Milpitas Library Safety Concern

The Santa Clara County library system has been dealing with people watching porn on library computers, police say, an issue that has been seen nationwide.

A Milpitas library visitor snapped a picture claiming a man was masturbating in between book racks last month, prompting the involvement of law enforcement.

"It’s very troubling," said Lt. Raj Majaraj from the Milpitas Police Department. "It’s four o’clock in the afternoon. A lot of kids go to the library and are studying and reading, trying to educate themselves. And to stumble across this. It should be very disturbing to everybody."

Though the library system in Milpitas says it hasn’t received any complaints, the porn issue has become a thorny one for libraries nationwide.

"It’s pretty surprising. I wouldn’t expect it," said Library Visitor Tarynn Warren. "I come here all the time and everyone is really nice, really polite. So it’s kind of shocking if they are."

To the surprise of many, watching adult porn at the local library isn’t necessarily illegal, but there are some rules.

"When you sign onto our computer or internet networks, you agree to certain terms," County Librarian Nancy Howe said.

At the Milpitas library, for instance, unaccompanied adults in the children’s section may be asked to leave, and if a visitor witnesses another person watching something they deem inappropriate on the computers, they’re encouraged to complain.

"If someone gives us a complaint, if there’s something that makes a person feel uncomfortable because of the behavior of someone else in the library, we’ll try to intervene," said Howe.

Many in Milpitas fear that with BART arriving in the city, there will be potential for crime increase. Sources say more safeguards need to be in place to prevent any porn watching or perhaps something worse.

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