remember: don't look at potentially offensive images in the art history libraryMail today from the research library at the Getty Center; they have a new Internet use policy. My favorite policy update is the one found under the heading, "Potentially Offensive Material." Emphasis added:
"Some content, especially visual images, on the Internet may be necessary for your work but, at the same time, it may be offensive to others even though it is not illegal, obscene, and/or pornographic content. The Research Library requires that all users be sensitive to the display of Internet material that might be offensive to others working in the area."
So: In a research institute dedicated to art and art history, please don't look at visual materials that may fall into a vague and exceptionally broad category defined subjectively to refer to anything that anyone else might find offensive. What if there's a strict Muslim in the building who finds figurative art to be offensive? What if John Ashcroft shows up? Is it me, or is this an odd standard?
My suspicion is that this standard is meant to be applied with great discretion by library staff, and won't be put to any really broad use. There must be a story behind this, yeah? ("Sir, I think it's really great that you're a scholar and everything, but, um, we all kind of doubt that you're writing a dissertation on digital representations of horny schoolgirls. Could you please close your browser window?") Still and all, for an art institution, don't look at anything that might offend anyone seems a little out there.
(Note: I love the Getty like crazy, and am very very happy to have reader privileges there. So. Yeah.)