Library Juice 1:22 - June 10, 1998


Note: Library Juice is taking a vacation.  Next issue will come out July 15th. 

1. Readings for Sam Trosow's new Cyberlaw class 
2. American Libraries Online news stories for June 8 (ad) 
3. Scout Reports for Social Sciences and Business & Economics 
4. Compensation and Working Conditions Online--BLS [.pdf] 
5. Info on Current Cites, a monthly internet-based review journal in LIS 
6. Animated American Sign Language Dictionary 
7. Federal Courts Law Review [frames] 
8. Dow Jones Business Directory 
9. FYI  -  Legislation which would govern weeding in NY Libraries 
10. United Nations Information Center on the Question of Palestine Database 
11. Query and response - Bibliographies on "Queer Theory" 
12. "Save PBS" Email petition now has unofficial "urban legend" status 
13. Sources of Scholarly web reviews or reviews of scholarly web resources 
14. Content Analysis of Academic Departmental Homepages 
15. MOO based class on using a MOO for distance ed at "Diversity University" 
16. Gary Webb Book Tour 
17. Filtering debate on Web4Lib 
18. The Library Juice Position on Internet Filtering. 
Quote of the week: 
"The vast number of titles that are published each year - all of them are 
to the good, even if some of them may annoy or even repel us for a time. 
For none of us would trade freedom of expression and of ideas for the 
narrowness of the public censor.  America is a free market for people who 
have something to say, and need not fear to say it." 
-Hubert H. Humphrey, New York Times, March 9, 1967, p. 42 
(cited in _Respectfully Quoted_) 
1. Readings for Sam Trosow's new Cyberlaw class: 
2. American Libraries Online news stories for June 8 (ad) 
News stories appearing in the June 8 American Libraries 
* South Dakota Tornado Demolishes Library 
* Congressional Pressure May Halt Universal-Service Program 
* Contra Costa Voters Reject Library Tax Measure 
* Loudoun County Supervisors Vote to Fund Lawsuit Defense 
* Dissenting NOW Chapter Supports Internet Filtering Efforts 
* Atlanta-Fulton Trustees Appoint Yates Interim Director 
* Prince William Board Approves Unrestricted Internet Policy 
* Atherton Explores Outsourcing 
* Palo Alto Moves Public-Access Computers to Library 
* Jefferson Davis Library Dedicated in Mississippi 
* Reagan Library Pulls Quilts from Display 
* Rare Atlas Pilfered in Paris, Recovered in London 
American Libraries' Web site also features the latest "Internet Librarian" 
columns by Karen Schneider; AL's "Career Leads" job ads; listings of 
conferences, continuing-education courses, exhibitions, and other 
events from AL's "Datebook"; and Tables of Contents for the current 
3. Scout Reports for Social Sciences and Business & Economics, April-May 
1998 Scout Report Bimonthly Compilation 
Scout Report for Social Sciences 
Scout Report for Business & Economics 
Scout Report Bimonthly Compilation--April-May 1998 
The eighteenth issues of the Scout Reports for Social Sciences and Business 
& Economics are available. Each Report annotates over twenty new and 
newly-discovered Internet resources. The In the News section of the Social 
Sciences Report annotates eight resources on the new regime in Indonesia. 
The Business & Economics Report's In the News section annotates eight 
resources related to economic sanctions and the arms race in India and 
Pakistan. The Scout Report Bimonthly Compilation for April-May 1998 is also 
available. Individual compilations, arranged by subject, have been split 
into separate files for ease of use. Each complete compilation is also 
available. [JS] 
[from The Scout Report: ] 
4. Compensation and Working Conditions Online--BLS [.pdf] 
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has recently begun to provide this 
publication, a complement to its print counterpart, via the web. The online 
version mirrors the articles, briefs, and tables of the print version. Some 
articles are available in text, and some only in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] 
format. Each issue is accompanied by relevant BLS tables such as the 
Employment Cost Index, Major Work Stoppages, and the Occupational 
Compensation Survey. The present issue (Vol. 3, No. 1) contains articles on 
professional sports team salary caps, fatal work injuries for 1996, and 
scientists' earnings. [JS] 
[from The Scout Report: ] 
5. Info on Current Cites, a monthly internet-based review journal in LIS 
			    _Current Cites_ 
 			    Volume 9, no. 5 
 			       May 1998 
   			     The Library 
                 University of California, Berkeley 
                    Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne 
                           ISSN: 1060-2356 
  Digital Libraries 
   Fox, Edward A. and Gary Marchionini. "Toward a Worldwide Digital 
   Library" Communications of the ACM 41(4) (April 1998). -- As they have 
   done before, (see the April 1995 issue of Current Cites) the 
   Communications of the ACM has devoted an issue to the topic of digital 
   libraries. Anyone involved in digital library development probably has 
   favorite online resources (such as our own Digital Library SunSITE for diving deep into specific problems, 
   but this provides a wide scope in one neat package. To quote from the 
   introduction, "This special section is a snapshot of the current state 
   of digital library development around the world." The worldwide 
   digital library theme has been carried out by including articles which 
   focus upon technical, informational and social interoperability across 
   national boundaries. The special section is broken up into the 
   following categories: Interoperability, Special Types of Digital 
   Libraries, Multilingual Support, National Efforts, and Supporting 
   Technologies. And there's a related "Legally Speaking" column by 
   Pamela Samuelson titled "Encoding the Law into Digital Libraries." As 
   always with CACM, the work is scholarly, well-documented and 
   foot-noted. -- JR 
Current Cites 9(5) (May 1998) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright 
1998 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. _All rights 
   All product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their 
   respective holders. Mention of a product in this publication does not 
   necessarily imply endorsement of the product. 
   To subscribe, send the message "sub cites [your name]" to 
   listserv[at], replacing "[your name]" with your 
   name. To unsubscribe, send the message "unsub cites" to the same 
   address. Copying is permitted for noncommercial use by computerized 
   bulletin board/conference systems, individual scholars, and libraries. 
   Libraries are authorized to add the journal to their collections at no 
   cost. An archive site is maintained at in 
   directory /pub/Current.Cites 
   This message must appear on copied material. All commercial use 
   requires permission from the editor, who may be reached at 
   trinne[at] // 
6. Animated American Sign Language Dictionary 
Created and maintained by Randy Stine, an ASL enthusiast, this site is 
designed to help users learn about ASL and the Deaf community. The heart of 
the site is the Dictionary, a collection of basic words that are signed in 
a brief video sequence, a simple, but very clever idea. The Dictionary also 
contains the signs for A to Z and 0 to 9. Users will also find a large 
number of resources for and about the Deaf community. These include related 
links, articles, services, and non-profit agencies. [MD] 
7. Federal Courts Law Review [frames] 
Federal Courts Law Review is an electronic publication provided by the 
Federal Magistrate Judges Association and edited by Carol Heckman, United 
States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of New York. It aims at 
being a "forum for the publication of legal scholarship relating to federal 
courts and federal legislation," and claims to be one of the few law 
reviews sponsored by a judicial association. The first issue contains 
articles entitled "Discovery in Computer Software Patent Litigation," 
"Instructing the Jury in an Employment Discrimination Case," and "Civil 
Case Voir Dire and Jury Selection in Federal Court." Two of the authors are 
magistrate judges. Articles are also available via email. [JS] 
[from The Scout Report: ] 
8. Dow Jones Business Directory 
Dow Jones & Company, publisher of _The Wall Street Journal_, provides this 
annotated and searchable webliography of business sites to help users find 
in-depth and accurate Internet business information. Editors rate quality 
sites covering business news, economics, companies, industries, and 
financial data according to content, access speed, navigation, and design. 
These ratings are coupled with descriptions, and most reviewed sites are 
free. The site also includes links to career information, government data, 
and discussion groups. [MW] 
[from The Scout Report: ] 
9. FYI  -  Legislation which would govern weeding in NY Libraries 
Below is a bill introduced into the State Assembly of concern to 
research libraries.  It would require submission of collection 
development policies which include a clear deaccessioning policy. 
The bill was drafted in reaction to the controversy over the 
New Yorker article about materials deaccessioned at NYPL. 
Please take a look at the attached legislation. 
It would mandate a collections management and deaccessioning policy for all 
libraries in New York. 
I would appreciate any comments you have, and any comments from other 
academic and research librarians (who are really the focus of the 
The bill is currently in the Libraries committee, but sponsor would like to 
move it this session. 
Section  1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 260-d 
     2  to read as follows: 
23    S  2.  This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall 
have become a law. 
10. United Nations Information Center on the Question of Palestine Database 
Information About UNISPAL 
The United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights has made a portion of 
its 3,000 document database available on an experimental basis. Documents 
(in a Lotus Domino database), beginning with the 1922 League of Nations 
Mandate for Palestine and running mostly from 1946 to the present, are 
accessible by date, subject, title, publishing entity, and type. Sources 
include press releases, _Yearbook of the United Nations_ excerpts, DPR 
studies, and Secretary-General reports, among others. Unfortunately, the 
search interface does not work at this time, but the many browse access 
methods, and the amount of accessible material give this site great power. 
[from The Scout Report: ] 
11. Query and response - Bibliographies on "Queer Theory" 
>From the list GAY-LIBN 
On Wed, 3 Jun 1998, Dion Smythe wrote: 
> As this is about _books_ I think it qualifies for here and isn't chat! 
> I tired this on another discussion list but they were so busy have a 
> queer momentof fanniage and name-calling that the request sank with 
> only one response. However: if _you_ were asked for a beginner's 
> biblio on Queer Theory, what would _you_ recommend? 
> I'm not after so much the full monty [ho ho] of the scholarly biblio, 
> but what people think is useful/accessible/a good read/provoking. 
> To preserve bandwidth, please e-mail me directly at 
> dion.smythe[at] 
> [Oh God! The British are coming! The British are coming! =:-) ] 
> and if people are interested I'll remove duplicates and identifying 
> information to protect the guilty and post it onto the list. 
> Dion 
You might try looking at: 
Nordquist, Joan. 
Queer theory: a bibliography. 
Santa Cruz, CA: Reference and Research Services, 1997. 
(Social theory, no. 48) 
Here are some monos/collection that may help: 
Garber, Linda 
Lesbian identity poetics: judy Grahn, Pat Parker, and rise of queer 
Foster, Thomas C.... 
The gay '90s: disciplinary and interdisciplinary formations in queer 
Jagose, Annamarie. 
Queer theory: an introduction. 
Seidman, Steven. 
Queer theory: an introduction. 
More gender trouble: feminism meets queer theory. 
Sinfiled, Alan. 
Cultural politics, queer reading. 
Garber, Linda. 
Tilting the tower: lesbians, teaching, queer subjects. 
De Lauretis, Teresa. 
queer theory: lesbian and gay sexualities 
12. "Save PBS" Email petition now has unofficial "urban legend" status 
[sent in by a reader] 
Hey, this might be a good one to mention in Library Juice. 
There's this cool petition to save NEA, NPR & PBS funding which is 
circulating like crazy all over the web. The problem is it's an urban 
legend. It first had the subject line "Save Sesame Street!", but I got 
it yesterday with the simple subject line "petition". 
Here are the big problems with it: 
"First, no one in any position of authority takes email petitions 
Electronic signatures are meaningless, no matter how many hundreds of 
thousands are collected. 
Second, Sesame Street was never in danger of cancellation, not even if PBS 
mhad been on its last legs. The petition was sent out under false pretenses. 
Third, the University of Northern Colorado was not pleased to find its 
email system deluged with responses to the students' unauthorized mailing. 
And finally, there was one little technical problem the students hadn't 
foreseen: how to stop the petition once its purpose had been served. 
Fast-forward to 1998, three years later. The students have long since been 
reprimanded for their ill-conceived actions (one has even left the 
University, allegedly as a result of the fiasco). They and officials of the 
University have issued repeated pleas for mailings of the petition to halt. 
And, lo and behold, their misbegotten brainchild remains in wide, constant 
circulation to this very day, all across the Internet and around the world." 
Full story on it: 
Home page for The Mining Company's Urban Legends area: 
A great resource! 
13. Sources of Scholarly web reviews or reviews of scholarly web resources 
exchange on Web4Lib  <> 
> > Hi all -- 
> > 
> > I apologize if this is something previously discussed on the list -- 
> > 
> > I'm looking for sources of **scholarly** web reviews or reviews of 
> > scholarly web resources. I'm putting together a "how-to" workshop on 
> > collection development and I would like to make sure that I have my bases 
> > covered -- 
> > 
> > so far, some of the sites I have id'd as suitable include: 
> > 
> > Argus, Magellan, LJ digital Webwatch, ADAM, Ariadne, College & Research 
> > Library News,Scout Report. 
> > 
> > If anyone else in interested, I'll summarize for the list. 
> > 
> > tia -- 
> > Angela 
> Hi. Not sure if these actually meet your criteria, but I would include: 
> BUBL: 
> Infomine: 
> and maybe: 
> WWW Virtual Library: 
> (some reviews, though not many). 
> And I for one would be interested in a summary of what you find. Good 
> luck. 
> Larry Campbell              email:      larrycam[at] 
> Information Services        telephone:  (604) 822-2076 
> Koerner Library 
> University of B.C. 
> On Fri, 5 Jun 1998, Angela Elkordy wrote: 
I would add two more: 
Access to Network Resources 
Indiana University Libraries 
Another source is Academic Info 
Mike Madin. 
14. Content Analysis of Academic Departmental Homepages 
[Sent to the list LIS-L] 
   As a science reference librarian and bibliographer [Yes, I do have a 
real job, (and a wife, three kids, mortgage, etc. [:->], I seek to maintain 
an understanding of the information needs of my clientele as well as the 
research interests of the faculty and staff I serve in the selection of 
materials that will best support their research interests. 
    Last year, in an effort to gain a better understanding of such 
interests, I identified and reviewed the Web pages of my liaison 
departments as well as the official individual homepages of each member of 
a department, e.g. Aeronautical Engineering. My immersion and digestion of 
this formal information, has been of greay benefit in identifying and 
selecting materials for purchase for our library collection [This knowledge 
has been most useful in decisions realating to the purchase of more 
expensive engineering monographs and proceedings]. 
    At one point, I considered tabulating the interests of my departmental 
faculty into a spread- sheet as a formal aid for assisting in the decision 
process for retrospective purchases as well as  future considerations. 
However, in a recent revisit to my project on the use of Intelligent 
Software Agents for library applications, it occurred  to me that an ideal 
application of Agent Technology for collection development for libraries 
would be one in which Agents analyze the contents of departmental homepages 
and generate a group user profile  department based upon a synthesis of the 
expressed (and possibly implicit or latent) collective research interests. 
    With such a collective user profile, one could now consider using it as 
a Mega Search Statement  that another agent would use to search the Web, 
local (or remote) licensed index and abstract databases, other OPACs, etc. 
to identify relevant resources for subsequent consideration for selection 
and purchase and/or incorporation within the local 'collection'. Of course, 
we would want the ability to instruct the  Content Agent so that we would 
be able to be selective in a choice of a department an/or to specify the 
type of electronic database for a subsequent search by the Search Agent. 
   One would of course wish to manage that agents such that one could 
massage the results of each agent  such that results could be organized 
according to professional judgment. 
    It would be hope that the results could in turn be used to identify the 
deficiencies of the local 'collection'. For example, to identify those 
e-journals that best 'suit' the interests of a department, or to identify 
key Web resources that would serve the interests of a department or a 
rsearch group within a department. 
One could also imagine providing an alerting service to which a faculty 
member could subscribe that would provide them with a Mega Current 
Awareness Service of newly discovered items. [One could indeed consider 
using another agent, a Feedback Agent, that in turn could provide a Real 
Time update to each and every faculty members interests based upon their 
selection and use of selected resources] 
    In planning for the formal establishment of my clearinghouse devoted to 
the use of Agents for collection development, reference as well as 
technical services, called _Library Agents(sm)_ {:->], I would be 
interested in learning about any efforts envisioned, as well as those 
related to it.      BTW: The address for Library Agents(sm) is: 
    Currently, this site has a fuller description of the Larger Project, as 
well as links to key Agent clearinghouses. 
    [I am aware of the various e-mail alerting services offered by 
publishers (e.g., Elsevier, IOP) and information services (e.,g EBSCO, ISI) 
and would appreciate learning about any compendium of such Agent-based 
services as basic background for Library Agents(sm).] 
   As Always, Any and All citations, sources, contributions, critiques, 
questions, concerns, comments, or queries are Most Welcome! 
Gerry McKiernan  Curator, CyberStacks(sm)  Iowa State University  Ames IA 50011 
"The Best Way to Predict the Future is To Invent It" 
Attributed to Peter Drucker 
15. MOO based class on using a MOO for distance ed at "Diversity University" 
[sent to Web4Lib: ] 
Using Diversity University Moo for Distance Education: 
Bibliographic Instruction and other Topics? 
This will be a series of three 2 hour classes in 
Diversity University MOO, learning how to use the 
MOO environment to enhance teaching of Distance 
Education Students.  In the course of this class, 
you will become familiar with many basic moo 
commands, become a builder on DU MOO, create an 
office there as well as at least one basic teaching 
tool.  Upon successful completion of the course, 
you will be given the ability to create your own 
group of students and have them come into DU. 
Dates and time for online attendance: 
Tuesdays, 7-9 pm, EDT - August 18, 25, and September 1, 1998 
Format:  MOO based course. 
Students will be given characters on DU MOO 
and will attend sessions there.  In MOO homework 
time will be necessary to complete projects for the 
course.  Assistance will be available between class 
Syllabus of course is available at: 
Registration Information 
Deadline August 15, 1998 
Contact Diane K. Kovacs diane[at] 
Tuition: $55 
Payable by Check or Purchase Order 
Instructors: Diane K. Kovacs diane[at] and Isabel Danforth 
About the Instructors 
Diane K. Kovacs is President of Kovacs Consulting - Internet  & World Wide 
Web Training & Consulting and is the editor-in-chief of the Directory of 
Scholarly and Professional  Electronic Conferences. She has more than 6 
years of experience as an Internet Trainer and Consultant. 
Diane's first book The Internet Trainer's Guide, was published by Van 
Nostrand Reinhold in 1995. The 2nd Edition:  Internet Trainer's Total 
Solution Guide was published by VNR in 1997.  She has also co-authored with 
her husband Michael Kovacs, Cybrarians Guide to Successful Internet 
Programs and Services  which was published by Neal-Schuman in 1997.  She is 
co-authoring with  Ann Carlson a forthcoming book Health and Medicine on 
the Internet from Library Solutions Press 
She was the recipient  of the Apple Corporation Library's, Internet Citizen 
Award for 1992 and was the University of Illinois Graduate School of 
Library and Information Science Alumni Association's first recipient of the 
Young Leadership Award in 1996. 
Diane received an M.S. in Library and Information Science  from the 
University of Illinois in 1989 and an M.Ed. in  Instructional Technology 
from Kent State University in 1993. 
Isabel L. Danforth is currently a reference librarian in the Wethersfield, 
Ct. Public Library, and is active in issues  dealing with technology in the 
She has also worked in the fields of business data processing and 
education. Besides her MLS degree from Southern Connecticut State 
University, she holds an MS in Geology from the U. of Michigan, and a BS in 
mathematics and geology from Tufts University. She is  active in bringing 
the Internet into her public library, and  serves on the committees to 
design and implement web pages for both the Town of Wethersfield, and the 
Wethersfield Public Library. 
Isabel walks through the MOO world as Ringer, serving as an administrator 
on several MOOs. She is co-founder and  director of Librarians' On-line 
Support Team, an organization which reaches out to librarians around the 
world, providing moo-based workshops and mentoring to librarians who have 
been thrust onto the Internet. Isabel has been active in the online library 
world since 1993. She has been cited for her  work with L.O.S.T. several 
times in Karen Schneider's  Internet Librarian column in American 
Libraries.  She has taught online in DU since 1997. 
Additional Summer 1998 workshops: 
For Credit: 
BA3636 Business Resources on the Internet 
Tuesday July 7 and Thursday July 9 1:00p.m.-4:00p.m. EDT. 
BA3635 Health and Medicine on the Internet 
Tuesday August 4 & Thursday August 6 1:00 - 4:00 pm, EDT 
Fall 1998 Workshops: 
For Credit: 
BA3636 Business Resources on the Internet 
Tuesday Sept. 22, 29 & Oct. 6, 1998 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. EDT 
BA3635 Health and Medicine on the Internet 
Thursday October 15, 22, 29, 1998 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. EDT. 
Editor-Directory of Scholarly and Professional E-Conferences or 
Diane K. Kovacs                                	| 
Kovacs Consulting -                          	| fax: (330)225-0083 
Internet & World  Wide Web Training 		| phone: (330)273-5032 
16. Gary Webb Book Tour 
        Former San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb has expanded 
 upon his "Dark Alliance" series in a new book entitled "Dark Alliance: 
 The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion," published by 
 Seven Stories Press. 
        Media activists might remember the "Melt the Media Snow Job" 
 campaign that FAIR organized at three major print outlets-- The New 
 York Times, Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post-- to draw media 
 attention to Webb's findings, and to the media's apparent 
 unwillingness to seriously investigate Webb's charges (to read Norman 
 Solomon's analysis of the coverage of the Webb series, "Snow Job: The 
 Establishment Papers Do Damage Control for the CIA," go to 
        In the intervening months,  the links between the CIA and the 
 drug trade still remain largely unexplored by the national press, even 
 in the face of recent CIA documents that support some of Webb's 
        To read FAIR's coverage of the Contra-Crack controversy of the 
 past ten years, go to 
        Webb will be appearing in several cities in June to promote his 
 new work. You can go see Gary at one of the following locations: 
 -New York City 
        June 10 
         6:00 pm Revolution Books 
         More Info: 212. 691. 3345 
       June 11, 6:30 pm: 
       "CIA, Drugs & the Media" with Louis Wolf, Michael Levine, Bob 
 Law & Utrice Leid. 
        Sponsored by WBAI 99.5 FM.   More info: 212. 226. 8760 
 -Amherst, MA 
       June 12 
       Food For Thought Bookstore 
       More Info: 413. 253. 5432 
 -San Francisco* 
     June 13 
        7:30 pm, King Middle School, 1781 Rose Street, Berkeley 
        More info: 510. 848. 6767 ext 609 
        June 15 
        Talk and booksigning at Robin's Bookstore 
        215. 735. 9600 
 -Washington, D.C. 
        June 16 
        Talk and book-signing with Congresswoman Maxine Waters at 
        Vertigo Books, 6:00 pm 
        More Info: 202. 429. 9272 
        June 17 
        Panel & booksigning sponsored by Chicago Media Watch 
        June 18 
        Talk and booksigning at the University Bookstore 
        More Info: 206. 545. 9477 ext 202 
 -Petaluna, CA 
        Talk & Signing 
        First Annual Progressive Festival 
        More Info:  707. 763. 8134 
        "Gary Webb brought back before the American public one of the 
 darkest secrets of the 1980s-the cocaine smuggling by the Nicaraguan 
 Contra forces-and paid for this service with his job." 
                ----Robert Parry, winner of the George Polk Award for 
 National Reporting 
 For more information on Webb's new book, go to 
Peter Hart 
(212) 633-6700 ext. 304 
17. Filtering debate on Web4Lib  [ ] 
On Mon, 1 Jun 1998, Bob Cherry wrote: 
> First, the child wanted this material.  It didn't just "Pop up" 
> on the screen.  The child had to spend time searching it out, 
> finding the URL, selecting it and requesting a download.  It 
> was not an accident! 
Again, I have to disagree. Another thing with sex on the Web ... 
I don't know if anyone else has noticed this but there are more 
and more non sexual sites on the Web that, while not sexually 
explicit in and of themselves, are sponsored by and contain ads 
for pornographic sites. And, furthermore, these ads are usually 
moving GIF files that are VERY sexually explicit. More and more, 
some of the kids and teens around here are searching for 
materials on their favorite rap stars or supermodels and pulling 
up, inadvertantly, some very sexually explicit material. 
And, even beyond this, what about the sexually explicit sites 
who put some very common and seemingly innocuous terms in their 
META tags? I've been on the 'Net for years and there have still 
been times that I've inadvertantly pulled up some pornographic 
crap simply because of the META tags and the way a page was 
indexed because of the tags that were used. Wasn't there just 
someone on this very mailing list who searched for the words to a 
nursury rhyme and wound up at a pornographic site in Germany? 
> Secondly, the same child could enter many 
> public libraries and pull down books off the shelves which 
> contain foul language for a child as well as material mean for 
> adult patrons. 
Yes, but the books don't have live action video shots of men 
having sex with children or women having sex with animals, do 
they? <SARCASM> At least the ones on my library's shelves don't. 
But, then again, I am from a fairly *conservative* part of the 
country. Maybe other public libraries do things differently. 
> Geeze.  Sum peeples chillens! 
If only it *were* the children ... <SIGH> 
Erin M. Noll                  Kenton County Public Library 
Assistant Systems Librarian   5th and Scott Streets 
enoll[at]        Covington, KY  41011  v. (606)491-7610  f.(606)655-7960 
18. The Library Juice Position on Internet Filtering. 
One of the pitfalls of running an internet-based forwarding service is that 
the content of the material that makes it into an issue can be skewed 
according to what is flowing through cyberspace most copiously at any given 
moment.  Chuck Munson's messages on the issue of internet filtering tend to 
be thought provoking and entertaining.  However, I have included them in 
Library Juice so often that I probably appear to endorse the same positions 
on internet filtering that he expresses in his email and on his web page, 
[at ].  In fact, I don't. 
Although I think the effects of exposure of children to pornography are 
really not known, it's a legitimate fear, and libraries will pay dearly if 
they do not accomodate families on this issue.  Legally, it is not clear 
that children have the same rights as adults.  I think it is probably 
untenable to argue that they do.  It's also not seriously likely that 
children (pre-teens) need to have access to the internet in the same way 
that adults do.  The basic interest parents have is in their children 
becoming computer literate, and that seems to many to mean knowing how to 
use the internet. 
I think that there is an alternative to providing filtered internet access 
to children, and that is to create "web" content for kids that "lives" on a 
CD Rom, either in the computer or on a LAN.  They can safely surf this CD 
Rom using Netscape or any other browser, potentially even one with a 
customized "Kidz" interface, without being connected to the actual 
internet.  The content of the CD Rom could be put together by children's 
librarians and web programmers. 
In the adult's area, internet terminals must remain unfiltered, to enable 
access to the sometimes valuable and important sites that filtering 
software accidentally, and sometimes deliberately, blocks out.  (Some might 
argue that erotic and websites are a legitimate interest as well.  I won't 
get into that issue here.) 
The library can apply its existing policy on children's use of the general 
collection to the internet terminals as well.  Some children are encouraged 
by their parents to use the general collection.  In the relatively serious 
environment of the adult's area, there is no reason to make the internet 
"off limits" in the adult's area as long as the library's policy allows 
unsupervised children (pre-teens) there to begin with.  There isn't a much 
better environment for children to learn in than the communally 
intellectual space of a main reading room.   The same is equally true of 
adolescents, whom we should be thankful to see in a library.  I don't think 
teenagers will be harmed by accidentally bringing up pornography on a 
public web terminal.  If pornography is in fact harmful to teenagers, a 
glimpse of it in a public place shouldn't worry parents.  There are plenty 
of other things to worry about. 
More to the point in this controversy might actually be the public's 
attitude towards public space in these times.  More and more, the general 
public has grown fearful of "what's out there" in society at large.  A 
library ought to be thought of as a safe place.  It might be that parents 
aren't as afraid of the pornography on the internet as they are of how it 
will be handled by the adults in the library (especially the librarians) if 
it does come up in front of their children, whether deliberately or 
inadvertently.  I think that if parents can be made to trust the public 
space of their public library as a safe place, they will be less interested 
in trying to protect their children from what they might find there.  Yet 
it is difficult to do this when librarians are increasingly unable or 
unwilling to take responsibility for the safety of unaccompanied children 
in a library.  The REAL issues are deeper than the filtering controversy, 
and come down to the fact that our nation's children aren't being taken 
care of very well, either by their families or their "village" or community 
of responsible adults.  Perhaps with respect to the internet it is 
important to advocate supervision, either by parents or librarians, of 
children in their neighborhood or school libraries. 
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| Items appearing in Library Juice are copyright-free,     | 
| so feel free to share them with colleagues and friends.  | 
| Library Juice is a free weekly publication edited by     | 
| Rory Litwin.  Original senders are credited wherever     | 
| possible; opinions are theirs.  Your comments and        | 
| suggestions are welcome.  mailto:Juice[at]          | 

Web Page created by Text2Web v1.3.6 by Dev Virdi
Date: Thursday, October 29, 1998 12:08 PM