Seeking a Balance: Online Safety for Our Children
Teacher Librarian Volume 37, Number 2, ISSN 1481-1782
Without specific education in online safety and security issues, putting any limitations on access could seem counter to what a librarian is trained to do. At a cybersecurity workshop sponsored by Washington Library Media Association (WLMA) last October, an informal show of hands from attending teacher-librarians uncovered a range of motivations for interest in learning more about cybersecurity. Most were frustrated with setting school policy for Internet access control when they had little training in what to consider. Some defaulted to universal access, and others established criteria for allowing access that ranged from teacher/parent permission to one librarian's elaborate procedure that arose from a bad experience with a student who used a library computer to send a bomb threat that closed the school. Before a catastrophe occurs, it would be prudent to develop a clearly communicated Internet policy that will provide access controls and guide safe student Internet use. This article provides an approach for creating and establishing meaningful policies and directing readers to online resources for cybersecurity literacy that teacher-librarians need to help build effective policies. The discussion begins with a description of the context in which this dilemma arises and concludes with recommendations for some of the things to consider in developing Internet use policies. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
Endicott-Popovsky, B. (2009). Seeking a Balance: Online Safety for Our Children. Teacher Librarian, 37(2), 29-34.