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  • Shana L posted an update in the tribe Tribe logo of Hyperlinked NewsroomHyperlinked Newsroom 3 weeks, 5 days ago

    This may be slightly off-topic for the course, but I think some input or ideas on how technology might be able to alleviate the issue could relate. It’s also not the timeliest, but I’ve been eager to hear others’ opinions about this. A library in Dearborn Michigan implemented a rule at the end of last school year that minors were not allowed in the library without an adult. I found this upsetting for many reasons, especially considering that the library is a safe space for children to go when their parents can’t be around. As a former latchkey kid, I can’t express enough how essential the library was to keeping me out of trouble and focused on enriching activities while I waited for my parents to return from working long hours. I feel like this could disproportionately affect low-income children and children whose parents work odd hours and can’t afford child care.

    What are some other solutions to the concerns which led to this policy? Are there any technology solutions that could help alleviate these issues?

    News story here: http://www.wxyz.com/news/region/wayne-county/students-not-allowed-in-library-without-adult-during-last-weeks-of-school

    • @slaurienzo So glad you posted this and I think it totally fits with the focus of the class. I think your idea is spot on about how this might negatively impact some folks.

      • Shana, this is so reminiscent of the slide in Dr. Stephens’ Hyperlinked Library lecture that says: “facebook and myspace have been disabled on the library computers”. In my UX class this summer, we got into a discussion about whether reference desks were actually a “barrier”. While these kind of “do not disturb” messages seem apparent and appalling to some, clearly, to others, they are welcome and desirable. I don’t know how to get your library, Shana, to welcome middle schoolers without parents, but I do wonder at why keeping people out or off the computers, as the case may be, is so appealing to some people? (This debate also rages about the homeless in libraries).
        Perhaps part of the issue is how that space is defined? I’ve been doing some exploring of “library as platform” after reading Mathew’s essay for the foundational readings on Think Like a Start up. How do we get people to think about libraries differently? Is it possible to develop a model where “disruption” is not just tolerated but embraced? I say this even though I literally avoid our library whenever the middle schoolers are there because they are so disruptive. But, that has to come out of being brought up for so long with the “Shhhh” mentality around libraries. If we believe libraries are places where everyone is quiet then disruption is unwelcome. If we think about libraries where everyone is creating and innovating, then perhaps not (sorry, I have to bring in Springsteen here—at Springsteen concerts, Bruce says to the crowd “GET UP”, but there are people who get really angry because other people are standing. If you view the concert as a place of viewing, then it is going to tick you off if you can’t see; if you see the concert as a place to participate, then your whole outlook changes). Is there any way to change the outlook of the people who made the middle schooler’s rule?