Social Networking has really taken off over the past five years with networks like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter being the major networks. I myself have been part of a social network for four years now and it has replaced my address book. Social Networks can help families stay connected by easily communicating with them at both family members convenience. My sister recently moved to
American Library Association recognizes the importance of social networking and the roles they play in the library (“Podcast Script”, 2009). A social network can also be used on school projects as a learning tool such as collaborations between students and teaching them how to use a new application. The Young Adult Services Association also points out that another benefit of social networks to minors is that they “make sure teens are able to plan and manage projects.” (“Social Netwroking and DOPA”, n.d.)
With the improvements of recent web browsing technologies on your mobile phone you can now be connected to these networks all day long. However what if you can not afford one of these phones or internet access, than you would need to access these networks through the local library.
However the federal government was trying to pass a law that would block the access of many people who use these networks at the library. This act is called the Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006 to protect children from being taken advantage of on the internet, and “require recipients of universal service support for schools and libraries to protect minors from commercial social networking websites and chat rooms.” (“H.R. 5319--109th Congress: Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006. “ 2006).
Therefore any library that receives any federal aid must block minors from many interactive websites such as Facebook and Myspace. However
As these social networks continue to grow the debate will continue over the benefits and the dangers of these social networks. Furthermore future bills may appear in congress trying to block access to social networks through the libraries. Librarians will have to continue to defend the right of intellectual freedom when it comes to social networking and possible other applications on the web.
I will end with a few questions for you to ponder.
Are social networks more of a danger or a benefit to society?
Can social networks really be used as a learning tool for children?
Should the Federal government be able to tell libraries that they help fund, what sites their patrons can access?
Evans, M. K. (2009). The Pandora's Box of Social Networking. Retrieved October 6,
2009, from http://www.technewsworld.com/story/must-read/50812.html?wlc=1254518357
H.R. 5319--109th Congress: Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006. (2006). In GovTrack.us (database
of federal legislation). Retrieved Oct 2, 2009, from http://www.govtrack.us/congress
Online Social Networks. (2009). Retrieved October 6, 2009, from
Social Netwroking and DOPA. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2009, from
Podcast Script: Online Social Networking and Intellectual Freedom. (2009). Retrieved
October 6, 2009, from. http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/ifissues/