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« Et tu, Google? | Main | The single most important post, ever »

Aug 05, 2010


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"If you want this issue to be considered carefully and not just on hearsay and emotion, it might help to let your Councilman know how you feel."

How long has it been since the issue was initially raised with Neerman?

What are the action plans contemplated within the "evolving policies" framework?

What direction on this problem has Neerman been given from those to whom she directly reports?

Ed Cone


1. I'd guess that Neerman raised the issue before anyone raised it with her -- the usage policies go back several years.

2. What comes next is what's under discussion. As messy as it has been, that discussion is a good thing, and I hope it leads to good outcomes.

3. Neerman is to have a report to the Manager by Weds.

Michele Forrest

What does "incidents logged" mean?


According to my calculator, the percentage of inappropriate incidents logged this year is 0.000157571301.

While zero percent would be ideal, it seems to me that the current system works pretty well.

Is this really worth getting all hot and bothered about?

Ed Cone

Incidents logged = Reported by/to security and staff.

Not every incident involving inappropriate computer use necessarily involves pornography, but since I haven't seen the reports I used the total figure.

It's important to remember here that Sandy Neerman is not only a highly-regarded professional in her field, but she's also a thoughtful, decent person who does not want people viewing porn at the library. She has been dealing with pervy people at libraries since before the web was born, and has deployed a form of screening tech already, with promising results, and said she will consider others.

She deserved better than a cursory phone call five minutes before the council meeting, and she deserves better than the insinuations that she's some sort of callous porn enabler.

Michele Forrest

I have a very favorable opinion of Sandy Neerman. (And of the downtown library staff, in general.) The people I know who have witnessed porn-viewing have not reported it. There's no way to know what the actual number of incidents really is. However, I would assume that the (impressive) reduction in reported incidents probably indicates that the number of actual incidents has similarly decreased. One five-minute phone call? That's not great.


This all sounds better than I had assumed but I'm with Michelle...
"incidents logged" might be a bit misleading. At least something has been done and perhaps more will be as tech and $$ allow.

You are right Ed, for the most part the discussion has been good and for me ... informative.


So how is that foi request coming along to see what papers danny thompson was holding up at council meeting, ed because it would be beneficial to see what was in those reports as well because there looked liked more than 18 pieces of paper in danny thompson's hands.


"Incidents logged = Reported by/to security and staff."

How many incidents were never reported to security and staff?


".....she deserves better than the insinuations that she's some sort of callous porn enabler."

When was she first aware of the problem?

What active steps did she take to control it?

When did she take them?

Ed Cone

Bob, please read the previous posts and comments about bandwidth shaping, staff presence, etc. before repeating the same questions, again. Thanks!

Michele Forrest

Bubba, I'm pro-filter, but I don't think Sandy Neerman is trying to be a porn protector. Maybe librarians see internet filtering as being similar to book censoring, and the bandwidth shaping software seemed like a better solution. I would filter. And maybe do a little book-banning, too. Bonfire!! ;)


"Bob, please read the previous posts and comments...."

I am asking what active steps she took as a manager to prevent further problems. What you describe is reactive.

"Maybe librarians see internet filtering as being similar to book censoring...."

Hence, my questions about time frames involved and action taken.

Perhaps my questions should be addressed to her immediate superior.


Not being a Greensboro resident, I usually avoid these hyper-local discussions. But...

... as I tried to suggest in another thread, keeping pornographic books out of a library is a whole lot easier than keeping pornographic web sites out of a library.

If I publish a book or magazine of porn, it won't be in a library unless a librarian makes a specific decision to buy it. However, if I create a porn web site, it's available to anyone and everyone on the web. It isn't a librarian's choice to allow it into the library. It's a librarian's problem to keep it out.

Filtering porn is not, then, synonymous with censoring. Choosing not to buy a book for a library is not censorship; neither is choosing to block access to pornography.

Barring silly arguments about what is or is not porn, I have no problem with filters or any other software intended to deal with this issue. Best to deploy the best software you can find, keep an eye out for the odd perv, and move on.

Preston Earle

Posted by: TL | Aug 05, 2010 at 01:36 PM: "According to my calculator, the percentage of inappropriate incidents logged this year is 0.000157571301."


Actually, the percentage is 0.0157571301%. The fraction of complaints is 0.000157571301, but what's a factor of 100 among friends.

Mendel Potok

I'm pretty sure the percentage of real incidents is much higher, but the one reported are an accurate representation of how concerning the issue is.

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