with the aim of restricting Internet pornography.

Libraries may go out of their way to purchase non- mainstream materials in response to community interest, but the extra effort costs both money and precious staff time. Some information is unavailable in the library due to "community standards." Libraries rarely carry hard core pornography, but they will circulate Harlequin romance novels.

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Last week, a cross-party group of MPs warned that it was too easy for children to view pornography. They called for legislation to force internet providers to block access automatically to pornographic websites.

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“Our inquiry found that many children are easily accessing internet pornography as well as other websites showing extreme violence or promoting self-harm and anorexia,” said Claire Perry, who launched the study in August with the backing of Ed Vaizey, the communications minister.