A Phoenix man got the boot from a city library for downloading an image on a library computer of a topless woman that he claims is "art." The library security guard, unfortunately, says it's porn and banned the man from the library indefinitely.
Long-time Phoenix resident Mike Seibert, 50, says he was at the Century Branch of the Phoenix Library scouring the Internet for what he calls "classical nude photographs."
When he printed one of the photos on a library printer, a security guard told him he had to leave and that he was banned from the library indefinitely.
Seibert told the guard that there were several books in the library that had images far more "pornographic" than the picture he printed, but in a classic Potter Stewart "I know it when I see it" moment, the security guard told Seibert that it was porn and to surrender his library card.
Seibert says he uses a lot of "classical nude photography" for collages he makes using various nudes and animals -- a little strange in that "it puts the lotion on its skin" sort of way but seemingly innocent.
Phoenix library spokeswoman Victoria Welch says after reviewing the material, Seibert would be reinstated and allowed back into the library.
"The Supreme Court Can't even define porn," Welch tells New Times. "We erred on the side of caution."
Welch says that while the photos Seibert was downloading weren't necessarily porn, it is a public library and kids could have seen it.
Here is a link to the photo that created all the hoopla -- you be the judge.