Phil Bradley has made some cogent points recently on local authorities which block pay-day loan websites, and the implications for public libraries and on David Cameron's promise to rid the world of pornography through the magic of image fiters.
Today I was in my public library branch. Having five minutes to kill, and since there was a spare computer, I wanted to check the race cards for this afternoon's horse-racing, in particular the Irish Championship Stakes meeting at Leopardstown. I logged on, launched a browser, typed in http://www.racingpost.com, which, for non-racing enthusiasts, is the website of Britain's only racing daily newspaper, after the demise of the Sporting Life. The site was blocked.
When I was a librarian 'prentice, old hands would tell me of the bad old days when library staff would black out the racing pages of the daily newspapers on display in the reading room, for fear that the working classes might be tempted from paths of virtue. I never knew it happen in my time, though I'd wager that few public libraries ever stocked the Racing Post, or the far superior Sporting Life. I wonder if they also block sites covering football or cricket or motor-racing. I doubt it. I expect they associate horse-racing with gambling, and believe they have a mission to save the people of the county from immoral behaviour, though they stock books on the subject.
I've made a complaint.