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You know you have student loans and got a job in the public sector when you're going back and forth about whether you should spend $30 on a Linux distro. I know, they should be free but I really like SuSE and I'm not going through the pain in the ass of recompiling my kernel. Besides, if I don't pay SuSE, they will go out of business, and I won't be able to go to their web page and gaze upon that mighty fine blonde dude with the bicycle.
My heart stopped today. Mid-Sim City 4, the ubercomputer stopped. Dead. Turns out a transformer blew and half the town lost electricity, but for a few seconds I was cursing my power supply. All I could think of was RMA'ing another one to newegg, who must think I eat these things for breakfast. Hey, you can't have too many power supplies.
More thoughts on filtering: government and the ALA be damned (no, really, damn them!), I really think the decision comes down to the community in the short run, and the library in the long run.
The first library I interviewed at said it really wasn't a problem. They said, on occasion, a stray patron would come in, view it, and get spoken to. This library is in an affluent community (more affluent than mine, anyway), with an older population of totally different demographics. They don't filter.
Whether it is a problem or not really, I don't know. But both the reference librarian and the director seemed to hold the opinion that it wasn't an issue there.
However, our library is in a closer proximity to the city, and is in walking distance of several schools, both primary and secondary, public and parochial (guess which kids are the most trouble?) I had the new computers up, literally, an hour before I realized I forgot to put the proxy in for SurfControl. How did I realize? Someone left pictures of people "doing it" (as my husband would say) on the minimized on the screen for the next person to find. This was prior to school letting out. It took approximately one hour, in our least busy time, to have the boundary stepped over.
The fact is no filter is perfect, sure. Stuff's going to get through that shouldn't and stuff that should is going to get blocked. And yes, that sucks. But honestly, what is perfect? Choose your evil.
Without filters, I am convinced, there would be no internet access at our library. Or it would be so severely limited, that it would be non-existent for certain hours. It's a cover your ass sort of thing. I am not saying I necessarily agree with the filter or nothing approach. Honestly, I don't know if I agree with it.
All I know is, I spend two hours on reference policing the terminals as it is... The timed access helps loads (though people are still complaining a bit) and the filtering... well, that's one less thing I have to worry about too much. Our major problem now is a certain group of young men that like to gather around in hordes and look at each other's girlfriends' pictures online.
So I spend two hours playing, "Move along, move along." I haven't shut off a computer yet on them. Yet.
They're nice enough boys, though they look a little scary. I sent a text message to the computer telling them to back off or I'd shut it down, and then they came over to my computer asking how I did it... One kid said, "It must be cool to be a librarian!"
Yes, I wield great power. And don't you forget it.