Deerfield and Highland Park librarians consider their buildings to be bastions of free thought, and have few regulations on children reading or viewing adult content.
It's up to the parents to decide what's appropriate for their children, said Mary Pergander, library director of the newly-renovated Deerfield Public Library.
"Deerfield is a community that has a long tradition of protecting intellectual freedom," Pergander said.
Both Deerfield and Highland Park screen adult-themed movies, some of them with sexual or violent content, and there are no restrictions on who can attend. But the movies aren't the kind to draw the typical hormone-addled teen. As one example, the Highland Park Library recently screened the Spanish drama "Goya in Bordeaux."
"There is sex and violence, but the content is so intellectual and unusual — believe me, kids are not interested," said Sylvana Osorio, the library's A-V manager.
In her 10 years of screening films at the library, Osorio said she's never even seen a kid in attendance.
Along the same cerebral lines, Deerfield will soon be screening a film series of Woody Allen movies. In contrast to movie theatres, where the Motion Picture Association of America ratings are held as rigid guidelines of admittance, the local libraries view them as nothing more than suggestions from one non-profit organization.
"Whether it's appropriate or not for children, that's really up to the parents," Pergander said.
That goes for checking out movies, music and books, too. Library staff can answer questions about content and make recommendations, but different parents will have completely varying concepts of what's appropriate for their own children.
"Some parents know their children can't watch Disney films because of all the emotions," said Linda Wicher, director of youth services at the Highland Park library. "We don't want to make those decisions."
At the Highland Park Public Library, a partition separates computing areas for young children and for older kids up to age 14. Teens 15 and older use the adult computers.
The area for younger children has iPads for educational programs. The section for older kids features computers with headsets where kids might access the Internet, work on homework or play video games.
There's no Internet filter in either library. But in Highland Park, though most video games are allowed, there is a rule against "first-person shooter" video games that have high levels of violence, Wicher said. Library staff monitors and reminds kids as needed.
"They usually know when they see us walking over that it's inappropriate," Wicher said.
In Deerfield, no such rules for gaming exist.
"In general, in this community, we've not heard of any problems," Pergander said. "There a very strong bias here toward intellectual freedom."