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Public libraries - Unsafe for children - (My title)
American Library association | Dr Laura

Posted on 12/03/2002 8:17:17 PM PST by ODDITHER

I am not a regular Dr. Laura listener, but caught part of her show the other day. She was reading e-mails that were sent to her anonymously by a librarian.

The e-mails were between Librarians through the ALA web site. The jist of them was that Dr. Laura had noted on her show, that children are given access to pornography age, inappropriate information, and parents are denied access to information concerning what their children have checked out or accessed while at the library.

The ALA calls all of this "intellectual freedom" and feels that any censorship or limitation no matter the age is an assault on this freedom.

The e-mails were between librarians talking about Dr. Laura's attacks on librarians. One librarian who works in the Canon City, Co. Public library stated that she does not allow any of Laura Schlessenger's books in her library and when "patrons" as for them she tells them that taxpayer monies should not be spent on right winged diatribe intent on shutting down libraries. (Intellectual freedom only applies to pornography?)

One of Dr. Laura's concerns was that libraries encourage librarians to provide a link to the "Go ask Alice" web site. This site is for teems access to information concerning sex.

I decided to check it out, I found that if anything Dr Laura understated the problem. This website provides information that should only be viewed or accessed by adults. It makes Hustler look G rated.

I then read the information provided by the ALA concerning their position on "Intellectual freedom". (Code words for providing pornography to children) and found it quite interesting. Below is the "Official postion of the ALA

"As the chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC), I am pleased to present this update of the Committee's activities.

Our most urgent and pressing business at Conference was the IFC's continuing discussion regarding library access to the Internet, particularly focusing on access for children.

Internet Access Issues

During the past year, a variety of Internet bills have been introduced on the federal, state, and local levels-some of which passed-that could potentially affect how libraries serve adults, teenagers, and children. These bills consistently:

Fail to define what constitutes "harmful to minors"; Require librarians to police minors' use of the Internet; Disregard the fact that children and minors have First Amendment rights; and Intend to block constitutionally protected speech for minors, as well as potentially block that speech for adults. In addition to facing this potentially harmful-and very likely unconstitutional-legislation, many librarians, armed with their own long-held beliefs in intellectual freedom, are courageously weathering public diatribes, angry letters, pressure and criticism from their communities and boards, and exaggerated and misleading media reports.

Because these librarians look to ALA for guidance and assistance in defending the core principle of the library profession, the Intellectual Freedom Committee urges that the American Library Association:

Invest in ensuring that our mission and our messages are as clear as possible; Publicize that the role of libraries is to bring people together with the information they need and want, not restrict access to that information; and Publicize and disseminate as widely as possible the 21st century intellectual freedom statement-Libraries: An American Value-which proclaims that libraries "defend the constitutional rights of all individuals, including children and teenagers, to use the library's resources and services" and "affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own children's use of the library and its resources and services." The IFC has been working on a statement designed to help explain the filtering policy Council adopted at the 1997 Annual Conference and its ongoing effect on libraries and their Internet service provision. This working draft was begun at the IFC's 1999 spring meeting, worked on through the spring and at this Conference, and will be shared with ALA members at the Midwinter Meeting. It is important to note that the IFC's intention was to share the statement at this conference, but Internet access is such an important intellectual freedom issue, and the debate surrounding the practical aspects of providing that service is so complex, that the IFC decided not to rush the completion of the document, but to spend some additional time to ensure that it will both help our members and affirm ALA's policy on Internet filtering.

Internet Training

Studies show that while 75 percent of libraries have access to the Internet, only 30 percent provide ongoing, organized Internet training for their users. IFC and OIF will encourage libraries to balance these percentages in the belief that formalized Internet training, in conjunction with basic instructions in First Amendment principles and the role of librarians, will become even more essential in the year 2000 and beyond.

include program ideas, activities, and focused responses to the specific needs of various library constituencies.

Responding to Freedom of Information Act Requests

Recently, libraries across the country have been receiving requests for information concerning "patron and staff complaints about patrons accessing inappropriate material on public Internet terminals." To assist librarians facing these Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Freedom to Read Foundation counsel, Bruce Ennis, provided the IFC with a working memorandum from which the committee has developed a step-by-step guide (Attachment 2) for responding to these requests (see The full memorandum is Attachment 3.

Go Ask Alice!

"Teen Hoopla: An Internet Guide for Teens" was developed by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, as a collection of online resources for young adults. Its purpose is to ensure young people have access to helpful, factual information on topics they want and need. One of these online resources is Go Ask Alice! Sponsored by Columbia University Health Education Program, Go Ask Alice! was selected as an online resource because it is factual, straightforward, comprehensive, and provides accurate and medically sound information for young people. Health professionals review the information provided. The site has been praised and recommended by the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Atlanta Constitution, the Harvard Health Letter, and others. The Go Ask Alice! Q & As are used in some high school and college health education classes.

Since a link on Teen Hoopla to the Go Ask Alice! site was established, ALA has been under verbal attack by such organizations as Family Friendly Libraries. Recently, radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger delivered several over-the-air diatribes against ALA and Go Ask Alice! that included the accusation that ALA was providing "pornography" to children.

At the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee Issues Briefing Session on Monday, June 28, Jordan Friedman, MPH, director of Go Ask Alice!, addressed why the Go Ask Alice! site is an important medical resource for young people.

See for yourself</

If you have children, a library is not a safe place to leave your children on a rainy afternoon.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events

1 posted on 12/03/2002 8:17:18 PM PST by ODDITHER
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Like most Americans, librarians are computer/technology idiots and don't know anything about computers.

Internet web browsers store a history of the sites that have been visited. By default, this history is kept for up to 20 days and you can review it if you like.

2 posted on 12/03/2002 8:25:25 PM PST by xrp
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To: xrp
I normally kind of like Dr. Laura. But, based on one of her columns quoted on another thread, Dr Laura evidently thinks cunnilingus is a perversion. No wonder she's a little grumpy at times.
3 posted on 12/03/2002 8:30:01 PM PST by eno_
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To: eno_
"...based on one of her columns quoted on another thread, Dr Laura evidently thinks cunnilingus is a perversion. No wonder she's a little grumpy at times...

Sure, she's grumpy as a result of this...

But imagine how relieved her husband must be.

4 posted on 12/03/2002 8:33:50 PM PST by DWSUWF
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At my local library children under 12 are not allowed at the internet computers unattended and if anyone is caught looking at something inappropriate, they are banned for a day. If they are caught a second time they are banned for a week. A third time, a month. A fourth time a year, a fifth time and it's permanent.
5 posted on 12/03/2002 8:35:55 PM PST by Commander8
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The e-mails were between librarians talking about Dr. Laura's attacks on librarians. One librarian who works in the Canon City, Co. Public library stated that she does not allow any of Laura Schlessenger's books in her library and when "patrons" as for them she tells them that taxpayer monies should not be spent on right winged diatribe intent on shutting down libraries. (Intellectual freedom only applies to pornography?)

People get the government they deserve. If anyone in Canon City gave a damn, they'd wire someone up, or just barge right in with a video camera, and demand to know where the Laura Schlessenger books are. Then take the tape to the local TV stations or, if they won't bite, to local talk radio, or even Rush or Sean.

Except it doesn't really matter, because the Canon City librarian is lying through her teeth. Go visit their card catalog and type in "Schelssenger," then hit the "author" button. They have five of Dr. Laura's books and one audiotape.

6 posted on 12/03/2002 8:37:37 PM PST by Timesink
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"But imagine how relieved her husband must be."

Now if she also doesn't want "to cuddle"--a dream date!
7 posted on 12/03/2002 8:40:25 PM PST by APBaer
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I don't agree with the ALA on their position. However, a lot of libraries are concerned with what the local community thinks of them and the service they provide, and they get their funding mostly from the local community. So if you have concerns, you stand a good chance of keeping the library within bounds if you speak up about it. Our local library will not allow anyone underage to have access to the internet at all, unless the parents sign a permission form. The kids are completely barred from all access unless the parent says it is all right.

The library is definitely not a place to let children stay by themselves. Librarians are not babysitters, have no authority to discipline children. They also have no authority to prevent anyone from harming a child. In extreme circumstances, about all they can do is call the police and let them handle it. Even if someone comes in who is a known felon or a known sex offender [to the librarians] they cannot warn patrons in the library or prevent anything. They can only call the police after something happens.

In addition to concern for the type of material on the shelves and what kids could see on the internet, anyone can walk into the library. Sexual perverts, criminals, rapists, anyone. Homeless wanderers can hang out in there. It is an understatement, that that is not a safe place for a child to be on their own without their parents. Our library has a policy that requires young children to be with a supervising adult. If a parent drops a four year old off for story hour and takes off for exercise class, the parent would be in trouble.
8 posted on 12/03/2002 8:46:17 PM PST by hoosierpearl
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To: hoosierpearl
I've heard a fair amount about this issue, but there's one thing I have not seen covered at all. Does the ALA have a position on libraries voluntarily using filtering software or policies like the one you describe? From what I've heard about them, they seem to be a pretty extreme left-wing group, somewhat akin to the NEA, so my inclination would be to think they are totally opposed to voluntary measures taken to keep kids away from inappropriate material on the Internet.

To be honest with you, I keep expecting to hear that the ACLU or the ALA has sent a kid into a library such as yours to try and visit porn sites. The purpose being, of course, to file a lawsuit "protecting" his 1st Amendment rights when the library doesn't allow him access to the smut.

9 posted on 12/03/2002 9:14:04 PM PST by CFC__VRWC
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I think the ALA is very extreme and would not support what our local library was doing. Nothing that they would try would surprise me.

My main point would be that local librarians get their money from local government, not the ALA. You can't force local politicians to shell out big bucks for library services if the community doesn't support what the library is doing. I don't think many locals would support the likes of the national ALA leadership. Also a lot of librarians would not support the policies of the ALA or the leadership.

A lot of individuals who work in libraries refuse to join the ALA because of their extreme positions, at least everywhere that I have worked.

Because of the funding being local, it isn't like public schools. They get a lot of their money from the federal government. Libraries get next to nothing from the federal government unless it is some sort of grant or group funding for internet access.

I think you are right about what you think of the ALA and NEA but they are different issues when it comes to local control because the funding is different.

That whacko librarian quoted in the piece might have a lot of sisters out there, but libraries establish that communities have a need for them by statistics. How many people come in and use the system and check out the books? Circulation statistics are everything. The local lady who buys nonfiction isn't a big conservative, but if people ask for conservative books, and check them out and give her big circulation numbers, she is going to buy those books.
You can also have an impact on the local system if you don't approve of their policies by staying out, not going in or checking out their books. The lower the numbers they have, the less funding they get.
10 posted on 12/03/2002 9:36:15 PM PST by hoosierpearl
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To: hoosierpearl
I live in rural SW Oregon, and at the local small library I was telling one assistant about Worldnetdaily and the head librarian literally started shaking and bleating "I hate conservatives! I hate conservatives! They are anathema!" and so on. I came to place a hold on Anne Coulter's new book - they grudgingly did it for me.
Another time I was in a library in a larger very liberal OR town and saw a misplaced book which I automatically picked up - in one paragraph I read the most vivid graphic discriptions of brutal sick sex I ever had seen (not that i have much experience reading s**t like that). Any kid can get ahold of whatever is in libraries. They are truly dangerous places.
11 posted on 12/03/2002 11:26:17 PM PST by First Amendment
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To: pram
Any kid can get ahold of whatever is in libraries. They are truly dangerous places.

I'm reading Sea Wolf to my kids. The cook aboard the ship that picks up the narrator is obviously a homosexual. Brutal reality is not a recent invention.

12 posted on 12/04/2002 6:32:14 AM PST by eno_
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