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personal responsibility is gone

Just had a woman in here to complain that her grandson was watching pornography at the library yesterday, and what were we going to do about it. I explained that we have a web filter, but it's only on the children's computers and does not catch 100% of inappropriate content, and that's all we can do.

She wanted an assurance that it wouldn't happen again. I re-explained about how filters aren't perfect, and told her a determined kid can always find something that the filter doesn't catch. I ended by saying that it's the parents responsibility to supervise their child, and if they don't want the kid using the computer when they're not here, they should take away the library card.

Her response? "I think it is the library's responsibility!" Uh, no. I am not the parent. It is not my call whether any specific item is or is not appropriate for your child. That is a PARENT's responsibility. You don't like what you kid's up to, then supervise them more. Don't tell the school or the library it's their job. It's not, and there are a lot of other parents who would take serious umbrage if they were to try.

Oh, and she also thought that the filter should be on ALL the computers - I explained that adults have the right to look at whatever they want, but she didn't much like that statement either.

ETA: Look, a comic on just this topic!



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Sadly, it's an old, old story. You're lucky she came to the library to complain and didn't go straight to the news media (yes, that happened to my branch, back in the 90s. '97, maybe?)

Hopefully it will all blow over quickly. If not, hope someone at the branch is good at dealing with reporters (and always remember to call the PR dept.)

Good luck!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )