Man licking screen at Stark County library reignites porn debate

STARK COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - After Cleveland 19 reported on a man viewing pornography at the Stark County Library, Perry Sippo Branch, a healthy debate began on whether it is a violation of free speech to stop it.

The viewing has continued.

Now, a picture of a man posted on social media showing him kissing or licking the screen of a library computer has reignited the debate.

The pictures were taken by Shane Branning's wife, who was disgusted. Shane saw what appeared to be a live nude chat the man was watching.

"To read the story about it a couple weeks ago and then to see it actually happen, it was just kind of surreal. Odd, kissing the screen and you know he knew what he was doing. He was looking over his shoulder," he said.

When Shane walked behind the man to see the screen, the man quickly closed several tabs and left the library.

"I physically viewed the monitor, monitor 13 where he was seated," he said.

The screen faces toward the library's children's section. The library has been clear about its policy in the past. It's everybody's library as long as they keep it legal. And the Supreme Court says pornography is free speech-protected.

"We are not in the business of tracking what you've read, what you've looked at, what you think. That's not what the library is about," said Interim Library Director Jean McFarren.

"I'm not saying it's the library's fault, but you know they're, you know, it is their library," said Shane.

McFarren says it is a tough issue, "There's issues beyond filtering here. It's about everyone in the community being able to use the library."

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