Teach Your Children Well

It’s true, some of the high school students that invade the library after school can be disruptive.  They congregate in the Internet room and look at MySpace, or play games, or IM each other, and generally get noisy.  If you are in the Internet room between 2:20 and 3:40 and are expecting solitude and quiet, you’re going to be unpleasntly surprised.   There was talk of creating a teen space with computers for them – nothing ever happened with that.  Instead, we got a new set of rules from our Assistant Director about what we’re going to be doing.  Students must show an unexpired library card AND a picture ID before they are even allowed in the room.  Students and nobody else.  They must be signed in so we have a written record of them using the computer, too.  This is insanity!  In this time of opening up libraries and welcoming all community members, we are going backwards and getting more restrictive.  These teens are the tax payers and library supporters of the future.  What message are we sending?  Could the message be any clearer – WE WANT YOU TO GO AWAY.

Instead of managing the few behavioral problems, we chose to discriminate and punish the many.   I’m ashamed. 

I have seen the future and it ain’t us

Revilo at slashdot makes a good point.  We are at the beginning of the reality of Internet TV.  I’ve been using Joost just for a bit of fun, but I can see how the tide is turning.  The interface seems a little clunky and confusing but wow, the shows looks great, even on my old computer.  And it grows every time I look.  Will our patrons continue, if they’ve even bothered to start, to jump through the hoops we make force upon them for our mediocre content?  I so want it to be successful but I’m beginning to think we’d be better off going in the opposite direction and making our own home-grown, cozy programs than trying to compete.  Maybe we should revel in our lack of commercial viability.

Turn off the TV, what?

I was reminded today of a campaign that’s still going on – the misguided “Turn Off The TV Week” that suggests that tv is bad for you.  TV’s not the problem, it’s using the medium as a babysitter and a means to ignore your children.  There should be a Turn Off The Cell Phone Week for parents, instead.