Librarians are Guardians of a Trust
8 April 2011
In rural communities like the one I serve, all computers are usually in one spot because of the amount of electric wires needed. So the person viewing porn on one computer is sitting next to a child playing a game or doing homework on the next computer. It is very easy for that child to view what the adult is viewing.
How the Nampa, ID, library handled that was to put privacy screens on their computers. Rural libraries do not have the money, nor often the desire to do so. If computers are in the middle of the library, people are less likely to pursue questionable topics on the Internet, especially since other library users are walking by.
What would the result of her silence been? Another fire bomb with perhaps human deaths this time. We are guardians of a trust that few public workers have. That librarian did honor the trust of her community.
I would add a third mission for rural libraries, caring for the children. Latchkey kids are seen in all rural libraries after school. We watch over them until parents get home from work. In the summer it becomes a full-time job for rural libraries. Parents are trusting us. Let's be worthy of that.
Jo Ellen Ringer, Notus Public Library Director
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NOTE FROM SAFELIBRARIES:
Libraries are not well served by blind adherence to the anything-goes attitude of the American Library Association [ALA]. And the ALA will not publish, let alone entertain, the works of conservative librarians. Scott Savage comes to mind. Therefore, SafeLibraries has presented the above excellent guest blog post by Jo Ellen Ringer. She is the library director for the Notus Public Library in Notus, ID, where she has been since 2003. All graphics and hyperlinks were obtained and inserted by SafeLibraries. All guest bloggers are welcome.
By the way, legal pornography may be legally removed from public libraries, privacy screens are demonstrably ineffective, and even rearranging furniture does little to stop porn viewing in public libraries.
Note that Jo Ellen Ringer has appeared prominently in one of my blog posts on the Idaho Public Libraries Internet Filter Act, specifically this one:
- "Librarian Strongly Supports Filtering Legislation; Notus Public Library Director Jo Ellen Ringer Tells It Like It Is."
© 2011 Jo Ellen Ringer; published by SafeLibraries with permission.
JO ELLEN RINGER WILL BE HAPPY TO RESPOND TO YOUR QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!! Enjoy!