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What side are you on?
I think on several conclusions and assumptions you are just plain wrong.
" Because those who are opposed to any technologies to refine the availability of Internet resources have been allowed to successfully control the language by coining the pejorative filter to these tools."
That is actually a term used by the industry itself. Those of us that do not like "filters" call then Censorware.
"Let's be very clear. Both groups, lawmakers and the American Library Association, are attempting to strip local control."
Lets be clear, those two bodies cannot be equated. The ALA does not have any legal authority to compel a library to ban the use of censorware on a computer. Only if the Library Board adopts the ALA Bill of Rights does it have any legal force. And even at that, the ALA interpretations do not carry any legal weight. Legislatures, however, can compel libraries to adopt filters, because they have the legal authority to do so. The ALA may have be able to influence, but they cannot legally compel in the same way a state legislature can.
I think you are glossing over the single biggest issue regarding censorware. If Librarians had total control to block ONLY selected sites, then you would be right. They would simply be another form of selection. However, the censorware companies make the choices of what is not allowed, and will not provide that list to the Librarians. The idea that adding censorware to a computer is "local control" is simply false. It is control by the censorware companies. Nor is it in any way selection by the librarian when the librarian really has no idea of what is being excluded until after the fact, if even then.
Lets be clear, those two bodies cannot be equated. The ALA does not have any legal authority to compel a library to ban the use of censorware on a computer.
They may not have legal authority per se, but they do possess a powerful lobbying arm in Washington. Certainly you would agree that ALA's arm twisting (see ALAWON talking points)are distributed to members to put political pressure on lawmakers?
The idea that adding censorware to a computer is "local control" is simply false.
Again no. In fact I practice this daily. First, "censorware" (I prefer "deselection") need not be something purchased from a vendor. Specific IP's/ports/domains can be easily blocked through a firewall. No big deal to do and it costs nothing. Now ask me about life in my library without MySpace ; )
Of course they have a lobbying arm. However, their influence on individual libraries is probably much less than in the legislative arena. Not mandating filters is not the same thing as forbidding their use by libraries. There is still a huge difference between what a legislature can do and what the ALA can do. Unless you think it is wrong to fight the mandating of filters in public libraries by state and federal legislatures?
And I agree. However, your solution is not the same as the solution that is handed down through our legislative bodies. Does your method make you CIPA compliant? Nor is it using Censorware. In this instance, we are talking about two different things.
Obviously different libraries have different issues. A great number of teens use Myspace in my library. We have not had any problems, except some technical issues of Myspace and our servers.
I'm not really trying to advocate a solution here Robert. The issue here is one of autonomy; the decision to use, or not use, any tool for managing a collection be left to the local library. Legislators and ALA are both equally culpable here with mucking and both equally wrong. That's it. Leave libraries to serve their local constituents as they have historically without outsiders pushing their hegemony. Ironically, many of our colleagues (the same who decry Big Brother in their stacks) are just a quick to condemn libraries for choosing to consider the Internet as any other part of their collection.
I agree actually. LOL.. and, fortunately, ALA does not have the ability to mandate.. only influence And, no more so then any other professional organization. :)
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