29 March, 2010

Yes, I continued the debate.

OK, I can be quite rude sometimes caustically sarcastic perhaps. But come on folks, "The stupid. It Burns"

I will avoid going into detail about the various bush lawyers who leapt into the debate, all with their personal ideas about copyright law
Dear John Regardless of the personal practices of particular photographers, international copyright law still vests the photographer with the copyright ownership of their images.
No, it doesn't! That is simply untrue under Australian law, there are just too many variables to make that statement.

It wouldn't surprise me if this is a breach of the Privacy Act if she hasn't obtained permission of all the people in the photo to use their image or name.

Ah for crying out loud. We are librarians folk, we have the ability to look stuff up. Two clicks later and I can confirm that the Privacy Act covers personal information gathered by " government agencies and private sector organisations."
Wow, the Privacy Act doesn't cover information 13 year olds put on Facebook? Who could have guessed that!
Even private schools aren't included in the act unless "they have an annual turnover greater than $3 million, or provide a health service"

OK, lawyers aside...

How should I respond to this;
I am deeply concerned by your trivialisation of an issue about which so many of our colleagues
have so justifiably expressed concerns.
Because one of our ex-students (aged 15 years) was stalked and murdered by a middle-aged interstate predator who "discovered" her via her social networking page (MySpace).
A non-issue? I don't think so.
I will await people's ideas of how I should have responded, then will put up how I actually did respond. Sound fair?


Tom Goodfellow said...

Stephen Conroy must be alerted!

Also, have you seen this? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/7508945/Facebook-linked-to-rise-in-syphilis.html

ADHD Librarian said...

Stephen Conroy indeed. Try this little quote from one of my debating buddies today.

"If today's kids know more about safety and privacy online than most of their teachers... Why do our education authorities impose filters? Why are there government programs like NetAlert and the proposed national filters? ... Why is there now a squad of police whose only role is to identify and apprehend predators before any meetings take place?"

Where do you start with someone who has turned off critical thinking before beginning the debate?

Andrew said...

Every time I try to respond to this post, my comment degenerates into a tirade on how disappointing the library industry is, on a whole.

So all I'll say is:

Bloody librarians.

And shake my head.

There are so many good reasons that the industry should attract bright, forward-thinking, and information-smart professionals. But, from the way I see it, one major reason why people are leaving the profession is that the workplace culture tends to get in the way of opportunities for innovation. And by workplace culture, I mean the attitudes of co-workers.

People who have the conversations that you've outlined are (a) embarrassing themselves, and (b) completely missing the point.

And, when, as you say, the stupid-it burns, then it's probably time to unsubscribe. You can't change such ridiculous attitudes, and I daresay you'd have an uphill struggle to change that kind of widespread culture in certain libraries. The best you can do is subscribe to the networks where there are people on the same wavelength as you, and ensure that you don't get burnt-out by the stupid, or, god forbid, relent to the stupid!

As for your question - how should you respond?

How about "We're meant to be fucking professionals, so leave your overly-emotive kneejerk reactions at the door."

18 Channels said...

There's a crazy thing called parental responsibility. We are librarians, not parents. Parents have the right to make all kinds of bad decisions about their children's activities and many parents seem to think that information providers (be they librarians or pornographers) are somehow responsible for their children's behavior choices. Fascinating...and frustrating.

Oh but it's perfectly alright to stalk children as long as your intentions are good and their safety is your intent? It's okay to butt into people's personal lives as long as YOU think it's necessary?

I don't see a problem with giving parents fact-based information about child-safety issues.

But implying that librarians should be parenting children blurs all kinds of professional lines that we should all hope to God don't someday get officially blurred.

The issue of a murdered student is a sad one...somehow that's an issue for information professionals to solve? At the risk of sounding like a real a-hole, and not knowing the particulars of the situation, I do wonder: where were her parents in this equation?

Asaryu said...

Would these people like us, as information professionals, to keep tabs on every child in the school to find out what they're up to and how they're "exposed" to predators.

Perhaps we can send a dossier of a childs activities to parents each week?

When does this stop being "protecting" and start being a denial of a childs rights of expression, freedom of association and a stymie to their development as a human being? We are not going to be able to keep our children in an opaque bubble. When do we start thinking about them as humans with rights instead of children who don't know better?

As a new librarian, I can't help but bring personal experience into my professional practice. As a young person, before social networking became such a hit, I was denied the ability to socialise with other people, I was monitored in a way that only over-protective parents are capable of and I was utterly denied agency in my own life...all for fear of predators. As such, like any normal, headstrong young person, I rebelled. I was homeless at 17, living out of my school-bag between the houses of friends who had understanding parents while finishing my HSC.

So yes...please, by all means, think of the children. But think of their rights and think of the effect these restrictions will have on them. There comes a point when you have to let a person make their own decisions.