Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Bytes Week - 9/29 - 10/4

If you haven't already, check out Doug's post "Blocked Bytes Week" on The Blue Skunk Blog.

Libraries have had a code of ethics for 70 years now officially established through the American Library Association. Three points we need to support especially this week are:

• Provide the highest level of service
• Resist all efforts to censor library resources
• Respect intellectual property rights
Intellectual freedom is a core value of the library profession. Article V of the Library Bill of Rights affirms special protections to minors using libraries:
“A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.”
The school library media center has the unique responsibility of introducing young citizens to the world of information. Here children and young adults have unlimited daily access to books, magazines, newspapers, online resources, and the Internet. Students have the right to a relevant, balanced, and diverse school library collection that represents all points of view; school library staff have a leadership role in protecting minors’ First Amendment right to read and receive information and ideas.

The Children's Internet Protect Act requires internet filtering
visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors...during any use of such computers by minors
I am intrigued by the idea that Doug's district uses a formal process similar to most school district's policy for challenged books to block any site other than pornography. What a great idea! Our filter blocks based on keywords we selected and then requests for unblocking are considered and voted on by a team. Perhaps we need to take a look at Doug's district's policy.

As a glass half full person, I think we should be approaching this in a positive light rather than through the negative lens so many district utilize.

Karl Fisch ends his blog post about this topic right on target with the essential question:
how do we best prepare our students for the unfiltered world they live in when they step off the bus? (Or open their cell phones? Or pull out their laptops with their own unfiltered connection to the Internet?)
What do you think?