Internet Use Policy

I never know before that the policy of the use of internet in American public libraries is existed until I need to do my assignment in one of my classes this Fall 2008. It is so fascinating to know that this policy needs to be made because the nature of the internet is not all about good, positive things…I am amazed, amazed with how considerate people at the American librarianship world are.. 

This policy, however, is about creating awareness to people that not all information provided on the internet is useful. It could be harmful to some individuals, especially to children. It is about how the library could help in anyways to educate, and to supervise people on how to choose the best information from the internet. Besides, the policy is also created to protect the library….to keep it safe, and comfortable. 

Then, my mind was wandering back home to Jakarta, the place where I grew up. I realize that the public library is not a “cool” place to visit in many cities in Indonesia, moreover having an internet connection therein. However, I recall that there are a number of Internet Kiosks started to grow. I remember visiting on of them and found many teens browsing the internet. I did not know what they were viewing, and I did not even think that the internet might harm them. Foolish me! I just thought, it was a good thing for them to sit still and get knowledge from the internet. But who knows, my guess would be that they were just playing games or do online chatting.  

In any case, I realize that this phenomenon cannot be taken for granted. Indonesian teens need to be taught that there are many good, positive things that we can get from the internet and vice versa. Parents and teachers need to be aware that they need to educate young people on how to use the internet wisely, specifically on how to select the information in the internet. 

The question now…  “Are teachers and parents themselves aware of this rising concern?”  “Are they themselves try to familiarize themselves to the internet, so that they could tell young people about it?”  Another question is.. “Who are going to let the teachers and parents know about this?” “Should we depend this on the government? Which governmental division? What about school, public or academic librarians?”  I stop right here…I do not know what to write…

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