Thursday, January 31, 2008

News Report 2: Golden Compass Controversy

The article found from the American Libraries website entitled “Golden Compass Returned to Calgary Schools” mentioned the removal of The Golden Compass from library shelves at Catholic schools. The book was originally taken off shelves near the release of the book’s feature film to the theaters. Reasons for removal were due to the book’s negative views towards organized religion and church. The book also contained “underlying themes of abuse, torture, and death.” Parents were concerned with the book being available for their children. The book has now been returned to the shelves in Calgary schools and it is a job of the librarians to monitor books and inform teachers of books containing potentially offensive content. The decision to place the book back on the shelves was made because this book could be used in a sensitive manner. The themes of the book could be taught and discussed in reverse way at these schools under strict guidance by teachers.

Due to my experience in Christian school for the majority of my educational career, I can definitely see where parents and teachers would be concerned with having a book accessible to children that could be negatively influential if taken seriously. I remember questions being raised when the first Harry Potter book was released. Some parents forbid their children to read the book, but it was never taken off shelves. I think these books are valuable education tools. They are written extremely well and themes can be picked out that can be used to teach morals. If children want to read the book they should be allowed; it would be a good idea to have the child read it along with the parent so if a sticky situation arises they will be there express their view and discuss the topic. I don’t believe that books should be taken off shelves. Everyone should have free access to all books to help broaden their knowledge. If books were taken off shelves it would be possible for people to have a narrow view of subjects making them almost naive to other subjects. (Word Count: 346)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reading Response 1: Will Librarians Become Obsolete?

The article by Will Sherman, 33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarian are Still Extremely Important really opened my eyes to the need of libraries and librarians in the technology-driven world that we now live in. As the internet becomes more accessible and houses more and more information with each passing day, the library and librarians still hold incredible value. Libraries are embracing technology and using it to help their searches; librarians are one of the best teachers to help people with their searches. Librarians are trained to help people find information; the internet is a good tool with plenty of valuable information. Librarians can use this tool and guide people in their internet searches through databases and web searches. There is a need for libraries because the resources they carry are more than just books. They provide access to databases and archives which can only be accessed through libraries; these databases are not publicly available on the web and provide great scholarly information important to research. A library is a much easier place to retrieve information than the internet, librarians are available to help patrons search and they are able to get information that will actually be of use. Not everything is accurate and reliable when found on the web. Books and articles have to pass certain set standards to be in a library; therefore providing information that does not have to be questioned.

Libraries are adapting to the culture changes by providing an atmosphere for group studies and social interaction. The library will also continue to be a safe haven for learning and reading. A physical book is an approach to learning that cannot be replaced; it’s a different medium that is much more comfortable to read in any setting. E-books are not something that a person can just cuddle up with a on a rainy day. Furthermore, book accessed through libraries are completely free of charge and internet access is not. Therefore the library provides service and products that are available to everyone.

The article was very interesting. Before I read the article, I thought that in this age of technology the library would soon lose the need for existence. After reading this article, I believe that the need for libraries and librarians will be long-term. I do not believe they will become obsolete, at least not for a severely long time. Information is very easily accessed through the internet, but the article brought up several points that had not crossed my mind. I think I will have a new appreciation for the library and the many things they offer to the mass public. (Word Count: 436)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

News Post 1: Free Wi-Fi Hotspots Make Information More Accessible

The source of my article is the Technology section of the New York Times website (posted on 1/23/08) and can be accessed through . This article is titled “AT&T Expanding Free Wi-Fi Offer” and the article states that AT&T is extending free Wi-Fi to their broadband internet customers at their 10,000 hotspots. Hotspots have popped up all over the world as the demand for internet access has increased over the past few years in relation to people’s constant need for up-to-date information. However, most Wi-Fi internet hotspots are only available after paying a daily or monthly access fee. AT&T is planning on changing this for their broadband customers. The article states the service will be very beneficial to their customer’s using the iPhone and other mobile phones with internet capability. Many more people today are using their mobile phones to access information via the internet. If these users want to use the internet on their mobile phone they must purchase the broadband service; in the past, they would have had to pay to additional fees to access the Wi-Fi hotspots. This change will allow those AT&T customers free access to the internet at most everyday, public places such as airports and restaurants that host AT&T as their Wi-Fi provider. This is significant in the information technology world because making those hotspots free of charge will encourage the use of computers and mobile phones to access the internet more frequently than they had before. This also a very competitive move by AT&T that is aimed at enticing new customers to sign-up with AT&T or to drop their mobile phone service providers. This new movement by AT&T would make information more readily available to more people at more times. This is an incentive to gain more customers, making the number of people accessing the internet at no extra charge much bigger. Information is out there and people want to access it; everything is changing on how that information is accessed. It has evolved over the years from books, to newspapers, radio, television, computer databases, internet on computers, newspapers on the internet, blogs, and now internet on mobile phones. It is hard to imagine how information will be accessed in future decades or even years. (Word Count: 373)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008