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Researching Technology Policies

Date:  2021-05-19 19:12:43
7 pages  (1841 words)
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The increased use of the internet, and especially social media platforms among the youths, some of whom are underage, requires the application of policies to regulate the type of content accessed online. Informational institutions have come up with technology policies aimed at ensuring greater user compliance. The policies are meant to regulate and guide individual behavior and to streamline internet use, so as to limit cyber abuse (Johnson, 2014). That way, any person that intent on accessing the content must indicate that they agree to comply with policies before continuing to access the data or the computer assets of that organization. The policies deal with protecting the organizations confidential data and also ensuring the safety of user specific confidential information. In this discussion, we shall focus on technology policies which have been applied in libraries, more specifically the Belmont public library, to ensure the protection of library users through fostering compliance to established book-reading practices (Law, 2004).

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The Belmont public library has established technology policies, in as far as the regulation of internet use in the sections of the library that are reserved for use by children is concerned. The library does not restrict the access of internet materials from other sites other than those which it expressly approved for academic referencing. This responsibility has been left to the parents and the guardians who are to help their children in deciding which library source to use. The parents and the guardians have been left with the responsibility of also educating their children on the appropriate use of the internet. The parents, therefore, must ensure that their children use the internet for educative purposes only and that they are discouraged from visiting some sites with adult contents. The library doesnt also monitor the communications made by the children within its premises. It requires parents to offer valuable advice to their children on the importance of not sharing personal information online, especially with strangers (Becker, Crandall, Fisher, Blakewood, Kinney & Russell-Sauve, 2011).

The users are also required to obey the internet guidelines which include; prioritization of computer usage by children in childrens room, deference to copyrights, respect for the privacy of other computer users, maintenance of silence and avoidance of unnecessary disturbances to other users while they are using their computers; one person should use one computer at a time, and inhibitions of any attempt to change the computer set ups. They are also made aware of the prescribed punishment for violation of any of the policy direction of computer use (Bates & Gawande, 2003).

Brooklyn public library complies with the childrens internet protection act. The computers in the library are equipped with technological protection measures, to ensure that the users especially children, dont access unapproved content like child pornographic videos and pictures while using the computers. The staff is required to offer guidance and ensure that the users comply with the policies and guidelines, as far as computer usage is concerned (Law, 2004). The policies and guidelines for computer use include; use of cards to register for sessions, applications of respect as per the public behavior code of conduct, the users must use privacy screens if asked to do so by the staff, children and teens to use computers allocated to them within their rooms and in the unlikely event an adult wants to use those computers, must request for official permissions, computers may be used by two persons at a time especially if those two are well behaved, computers automatically close after 15 minutes after the library is closed and the library is not responsible for the loss of information thereof. The library also has put up restrictions on the use of Wi-Fi for illegal activities; users are not allowed to use the internet in accessing pornographic materials. Also, use of unauthorized networks with the aim of hacking into confidential library information like financial reports is not acceptable. Users are also restricted from deleting, adding or damaging library installed software. They are also not allowed to download materials against the copyright laws and regulations (Bates & Gawande, 2003).

On the use of the internet, the library has made efforts of using filters to restrict access to some sites but in case the parents feels that the site is wrongly filtered, they can ask for a review to be made (Tenopir, Sandusky, Allard & Birch, 2014). The parents and guardians are also encouraged to offer guidelines to their children on the appropriate use of the internet. The child must be informed the importance of keeping personal information confidential, especially whilst they are using social media. The parents should constantly monitor and check email accounts and online discussions to ensure that their children dont share their personal information. The parents are required to encourage their children to be honest about their birth dates when signing up in social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter (Bates & Gawande, 2003).

In order to improve the secure usage of online materials for young children especially those below 16 years, the library has come up with an online platform for Internet use Q&A for the caregivers , parents, and guardians. There is also a development of age-appropriate sections for children and the availability of training programs to help the children make good use of computers (Law, 2004). Such educative programs help the children to be aware of the dangers of the irresponsible use of the internet. They become aware that while the internet may be useful, it can also harm and destroy ones life. Through that, they become careful on how they use the internet and social media.

Emporia public library has in place information technology policies to ensure that the children are protected against any form of violation. The children must sign in at the childrens desk before any of them is allowed to access the computers. The patrons in the library are allowed to make use of the computers for a minimum of 60 min a day. The users are not allowed to cause disruptions in computer rooms due to the use of internet sound bites. The parents and the guardians are required to take responsibility in guiding and choosing what material is best for their children. They are also required to monitor the internet sessions of their children so that the child may not be victims of cyberbullying (Sturges, Davies, Dearnley, Iliffe, Iliffe, Oppenheim & Hardy, 2003). Through employing personal advice sessions, the parents should let their kids be aware of sites that will be bad for them and therefore advise them to avoid accessing them. The users are allowed to use the computers for legal and constructive purposes only. Using the computers to abuse or defraud people is completely unacceptable since that is a violation of the law. Users should also avoid printing materials against the copyright rules and regulations. Unless officially permitted to print or copy a document, no one should copy or print as those documents are protected by copyrights. In case one is found to have violated copyrights, they may face charges and prosecutions as per the copyright laws and regulations (Bates & Gawande, 2003).

The three technology policies share some similarities and at the same time retain differences in terms of structure; topics covered and in the level of strictness. On similarities, all the three policies have a section provides for parents to take responsibility for their children when it comes to the internet and social media use. The three indicate that parents and guardians are required to take responsibility in guiding their children on internet use. On the use of filters, only the Brooklyn Library has made an effort to have user-friendly filters incorporated into their computer systems. The three are structured in EULA format in that they have included the copyrights that must be respected by all the users (Law, 2004). The policies are long, and each technology policy covers a different topic. For instance, Brooklyn public library covers five topics; policy statement, guidelines, customers may not and internet use. Under those topics, there are appropriate explanations on what is expected and what is not expected of the user. On the other hand, Emporia public library has six topics covered; purpose and disclaimer, times and guidelines, responsibilities of users, supervising childrens use, legal and acceptable uses and copyright. All the topics are clearly explained. The Belmont public library is different from the other two policies in that it has no specified topics.

In reference to the American Library Association (ALA), computers accessed by children must have filters to ensure that all of the content accessed is appropriate. Out of the three policies, Brooklyn public library has complied with this requirement and has its computers fitted with filters. On the topics covered, the ALA covers many topics including internet use policies, specific internet use provisions, internet acceptable uses, guidelines for internet acceptable use policies for academic libraries, public libraries, and school libraries. ALA encourages the use of awareness programs to educate both parents and children on uses of the internet. The parents are also encouraged to monitor social media accounts of their children so as to ensure they are safe (Johnson, 2014).

On the strictness of the policies, only the Belmont public library has indicated the punishment that one will face if found to violate the set policies. The policy states that, if one is found violating the policy, then they will be denied access to the computer, due to which many users will make sure they comply with the policies. If policies are accompanied by specific consequences that will be taken once one is found violating the policy, they compel users to exercise extra care so as to avoid violating such policies. For instance, most people unless they are aware of the punishments, find complying as per the policy requirements hard. Therefore to increase the strictness of the policies, policies should state clearly punishments that will be applicable in a case where users fall victim of a violation of the policies (Johnson, 2014).

In conclusion, from the above discussions it is evident that without technology policies, the children and the youth will have access to explicit content materials, which might destroy their lives. The information institutions, therefore, must ensure that the policies are clearly stated so that all of its users work within the frameworks established by those policies. Failure of an institution to have clear policies is an indication of managerial failure, and such institutions need to be closed pending reform.

References

Bates, D. W., & Gawande, A. A. (2003). Improving safety with information technology. New England journal of medicine, 348(25), 2526-2534.

Johnson, P. (2014). Fundamentals of collection development and management. New York: American Library Association.

Tenopir, C., Sandusky, R. J., Allard, S., & Birch, B. (2014). Research data management services in academic research libraries and perceptions of librarians. Library & Information Science Research, 36(2), 84-90.

Becker, S., Crandall, M. D., Fisher, K. E., Blakewood, R., Kinney, B., & Russell-Sauve, C. (2011). Opportunity for all: How library policies and practices impact public Internet access.

Law, D. (2004). Digital libraries: policies, planning and practice. Ashgate, 30-80.

Sturges, P., Davies, E., Dearnley, J., Iliffe, U., Iliffe, U., Oppenheim, C., & Hardy, R. (2...

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