Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Blog #5 Cybersafety

One thread that has run through this blog since its inception is the issue of safety, particularly as it relates to children in libraries.

Probably, you have all heard about the “Teen Angels,” kids that help police popular teen sites and report on questionable online behavior and worse. Well, I recently came across the “mother” website, which is called

Here’s a bit of what it’s about:’s work falls into four major areas:
• Assistance for online victims of cybercrime and harassment
• Advice, Training and Help for law enforcement worldwide on preventing, spotting and investigating cybercrimes
• Education for children, parents, communities, law enforcement, and educators
• Information and Awareness on all aspects of online safety, privacy, responsible use and security

Those who can benefit from’s expertise include:
• Parents, grandparents and caregivers;
• Kids, preteens, teens and college students;
• Members of the Internet and interactive technology industries;
• Law enforcement, legislators, the judicial community and regulatory agencies; and
• Schools and other educational institutions

This site is really a group of linked sites with different URLs. The kids’ site is called wired and there is a list of all the related sites on the homepage. If you follow the link to, you will find a great deal of information, and not only for kids. Click on the “Educator” tab and choose “Librarians” and you will get information on filtering and blocking as well as a safe site database.

This person behind all this is Parry Aftab, a mother of two and a security, privacy, and cyberspace lawyer who now donates about 90% of her time to issues of Internet safety. A free speech advocate, Parry is devoted to educating and empowering parents, not the censors.
It’s an interesting and important website with a LOT of information.

Now for the caveats.

Much of the information on the kids site is in all capital letters! For a site that tries to teach Netiquette, I’m both surprised and confused by this.

The navigation on is not bad, really, but a child would definitely need help, at least at first. Of course, children have to be registered to use the site, and that requires parental permission as well as verification from the child’s school (so no one can masquerade as a child).

Take a look at this site and tell me what you think.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The New Me!

Thanks to Jody for the idea

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Well, it's Sunday at 7 p.m. and I'm finally getting my turn at the computer.

Back to the legislation re blocking social networking sites. I'm pretty certain these activities aren't going to go away, so I'm on the side of education for everyone, but especially children, on safety issues. That being said, I know that kids don't think ahead very well, and even well trained children can be lured into "breaking the rules" pretty easily.

In my library, in the children' department (which only serves up to 5th grade), any kind of chat or social networking is a tough issue. Parents are the ones responsible when their kids go on the Internet at the library, but our "regulars" are there every day until around 5 p.m. waiting for a parent to pick them up (after work). Many are "dropped off" in the department while the parent goes downstairs or across the library to use the adult computers. MySpace hasn't been a problem since it is illegal to have an account if you are under 14. But Disney is starting a place for 8-to-12 year-olds. What do we do about that? So far, we are just refusing to help a patron open an account, saying that one's parents have to do that for them. I really think libraries are going to have to be pro-active about this by hosting programs for families giving them information about these sites and teaching them how to stay as safe as possible.


Now I'm back from surfing. Those links! I went to Michael's blog and from there went to an article in SLJ about how schools are using Second Life. It seems that the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklinburg County in N.C. are partnering with Alliance Library System in Illinois to own some islands in a
Teen Second Life site. Read this - it's really cool.

This article, along with the job postings we've been seeing (see Michael's Feb. 24th posting
Maricopa County Library Seeks Virtual Branch Manager) have my head spinning. I wonder - as a Children's Librarian, how much of this is going to affect my job? I think I'd like to have a "What's New" blog on the Kid's Space page, but I don't think we're going to be going to Second Life any time soon.

What do you think? (You out there in LIS 753 Land) Will kids younger than 10 be listening to podcasts and contributing to blogs on the library web page? Chatting with friends on the library computers? (We already have a few 5th graders doing this) How much of Library 2.0 will affect Children's Librarians?

So why did I label this Post "The Lure of the Links"? Because it took me two days and about 8 hours to do this one. I just can't quit clicking those links!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Susan's trading card

Susan's trading card
Susan's trading card,
originally uploaded by childlib.
Well, here it is, finally.

Blog #4 The Lure of the Link

About two hours ago, I started reading the article listed on Squidoo for Week 2: On the 2.0 Job Description (Part 2): LIS Students in a 2.0 World. Along the way, I decided to explore all the links. This took me to Michael's Facebook account and Heidi's blog at . (Can anyone tell me what a geocache is?) I started out considering the problem of incorporating all this new technology phenomena into LIS classes. (I do think it should be a part of pretty much every class we take).

But the next link got me thinking about how to use this stuff in a library website. I went to
the St. Joseph County Public Library the St. Joseph County Public Library, where I explored the Subject Guides (Geneology, among others), Kid's Space, TeenNet, and Game Blog (watched two UTube videos). The site is very easy to navigate and it's pretty intuitive. (Also visually well-designed). I bookmarked it to show to my supervisor at work. They're redesigning our Kid's Space on our website. Of course, I was thinking of our web page assignment and all I'm learning about that. But I was also considering how blogging, using comments, and video were seamlessly used. It didn't even seem like I was using anything new. This is a really good example of how to incorporate web 2.0 tools into a site in a non-threatening way. (Here I spent a good 15 minutes digesting.)

From there, I somehow got to Thoughtful Advocates: An ALA TechSource Interview with ILA's Robert Doyle and my thoughts then went to the legislation Michael told us about that has to do with libraries that accept e-rate money having to block all social networking sites. What a can of worms!

Hey, it's 11:15 p.m. I'll have to finish this tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Blog Post #3 (finally)

Okay! Thanks to Dan and Jody, I now have a trading card on my blog. It's great to have friends who know what they're doing.