Monday, April 25, 2016


Baggage comes in all sizes
Working as a Reference Librarian can sometimes be a rough job.  Take, for instance, the other day whilst reading an article about a guy who got caught fiddling with young kids, a young woman came in saying she was referred to me by a "friend."  Seems young woman has recently been charged with violation of California Penal Code section 311.4(b) and 311.11 as well as a number of other related crimes.  Basically, young woman is looking as some hard time in the pokey.

The thing is that I really don't keep a running tab of what the code sections are.  So, picture it:  I'm standing with a patron and they have me do a quick search for their codes of choice.  Up comes CA Penal Code section 311.4 which reads:
311.4(b): Every person who, with knowledge that a person is a minor under the age of 18 years ... knowingly ... induces, or coerces a minor ... to engage in either posing or modeling alone or with others for purposes of preparing any ... videotape ... that ... incorporates ... a live performance involving sexual conduct ... shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison...
For the record, 311.11 deals with much of the same (child porn), and the whole time young woman is standing there smiling away with nary a care in the world.  I finished reading (now with a pit in my gut) and young woman wants to know what resources she can use to help her beat the rap.  Being the dutiful Librarian I am, I lead her over to:

Of course, I also pointed out that California Penal Code Section 311.8 dealt with defenses to the charges young woman was facing.  In particular, 311.8(a) reads:
(a):  It shall be a defense in any prosecution for a violation of this chapter that the act charged was committed in aid of legitimate scientific or educational purposes.
I really don't know how young woman is going to spin what went on as "educational"  or "scientific" but she seemed a bit more relieved when she saw that section and off she went happy as a lark.

I guess I'm getting soft in my old(er) age because stuff like this didn't use to bother me.  Maybe it's because of my upbringing or maybe because I've got kids under 18. Whatever the reason, or issue, know that your local county law Librarian has got mad research skills and knows how to put aside their issues to help you with yours.