Librarian Suit: Computer Porn Use Lead to Groping While Children Present

A Birmingham, Alabama librarian has filed a federal lawsuit alleging a hostile work environment because, according to her, the public library where she is employed is filled with men surfing the internet for porn who sometimes grope her and perform lewd acts in front of children.

According to ABC News, 10-year Birmingham Public Library veteran Barbara Ann Wilson alleges that the library is a “sexually charged hostile work environment.”

“I don’t think people realize that if you send your kids to the downtown library in cities like these, they better think twice,” Wilson’s lawyer, Adam Morel, told ABC. “There is stuff going on that quite frankly shocks me, and taxpayers are funding the place.”

What kind of stuff? “They are using the computer to access hard-core porn in front of other patrons and children, and some of these people manipulate themselves in the open library,” Morel said.

Morel also said that Wilson has made multiple written and oral complaints to her employer, but to no avail, and has even filed at least one police report.

While the library’s computers do have filters, those filters can be turned off at the request of any adult, the ABC report says. Officially, the library’s policy allows staff to end internet sessions if patrons are viewing graphic sexual images in sight of children, or anything involving sex with minors, or anything that encourages others to break the law.

Yet Morel alleges that Wilson and other employees have tried, but are met with hostility and sexual comments. When they have called security to handle the issue, “security rolls their eyes like it’s her problem,” and say they can only do something if they “catch them in the act.”

Attempts by ABC to contact the central branch of the Birmingham Public Library and its administration, and the press office at City Hall, were unsuccessful. Wilson, who is suing the Birmingham Library Foundation and the City of Birmingham, was also unavailable for comment.

Chris Hansen of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) told ABC that if Wilson’s allegations of being touched are true, and nothing was done about it, she has a case.

“But the fact that the patrons in the library are accessing sexual material she doesn’t like is not sexual harassment.”

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