A York mother wants the county's library to put a disclaimer on its free online movies, saying some of the films feature images and language that aren't appropriate for children.
Nan Robinson said she wasn't prepared by one movie's synopsis and poster for explicit scenes involving two women and profanity in one not-rated foreign film she downloaded from the York County Library's Web site.
"I know there's questionable books in the library, but my younger kids don't go perusing into those sections," said Robinson, mother of four, ages 9 through 15. "I'm very disappointed with the library."
Robinson said foreign films and current movies on the site include nudity, profanity and graphic things she tries to keep her children from finding on their computer.
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"Only they won't have to sneak because that's a Web site (where) I let the kids go," she said.
My Library DV offers about 450 DVD-quality movies, including children's movies, foreign and Hollywood films, for anyone with a York County Library card in good standing. The movies are available to view for about 24 to 72 hours.
Around 200 library users have downloaded this program, which has been active for about a year, library Director Colleen Carney said . About 75 to 100 movies are viewed a month.
The county pays for this subscription because it's more cost-effective than buying new DVDs for people to borrow from the branches, she said.
"Our policy is parents monitor what their children watch," Carney said. "It's the parents' responsibility, not something a librarian has the right to make."
The category with current movie titles wasn't available to view Thursday. But Robinson said she could still access them with a version of the program downloaded from yclibrary.com about a month ago.
"I saw several R-rated movies. It didn't dawn on me I was at a library Web site," she said. "I was just looking for some entertainment, a free movie to watch with my husband that night."
The library doesn't subscribe to R-rated films through the program, but Carney said they occasionally "slip through."
Because foreign films often aren't rated, Carney said the only option would be to block all of them, including award-winning and classic movies.
"It is difficult when we block ratings or filter -- we reduce every adult to the level of a child," Carney said. "I'm not advocating the library spend taxpayer money on anything inappropriate, but I hate to block access to award-winning films because of this."
Carney said they've only received one complaint about My Library DV.
While R-rated films aren't part of York County's collections, the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County loans these movies out to those of age. Sam Shapiro, manager of the music and movie room for its main library, said librarians have access to birthdates of library cardholders.
Charlotte's online movie programs provide PBS programing and about 50 to 75 movies described as "D-list" by Linda Raymond, collections management director for its libraries.
"We don't have anything graphic or R-rated to download online," she said. "We do have them to be checked out of the library."
Robinson said some of the movies available for download through York County's library don't belong on a "family" Web site and should have disclaimers.
"They should put a caution on these films," she said. "They should put something on there."