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Deadlines? Already?

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By Lena Geraghty, on June 16, 2014

I jumped right into my professional work experience (PWE) this week. Monday brought about my “on-boarding” into the Alameda Free Library culture. This consisted of catching up on all the library news I missed since my last interview of library staff for PUBA 710 Organization Theory. The kids and parents alike loved the Lemony Snicket book talk and signing on April Fools Day. The summer reading programs for children, teens, and adults with a theme of “Animals: Paws to Read” was about to begin. It was really great to be able to walk into the library on my first day and already feel comfortable with the staff and the work environment because of my previous experience with the library.

After the library director finished filling me in, we got down to discussing the nitty-gritty: where to go with my project. Throughout my organization theory interviews, a common theme became apparent: the library needs a little help on the technological side. Its Internet use policy hasn’t been updated since 1998 and the library website isn’t serving its patrons as well as it could. Over the course of the PWE, I’ll update the Internet use policy to adhere to American Library Association (ALA) standards and fit the needs of the Alameda Free Library, and provide the library with some simple steps to make its website more user-friendly.

First things first, the Internet use policy update. The next library board meeting is in July (and then not again until September). To ensure the policy updates are on the docket, I need to finish up all the researching, interviewing, and revising by July 2nd. Yikes! I analyzed the Alameda Free Library’s Internet use policy and compared it the policies of five surrounding libraries and the checklist provided by the ALA.

The good news is that the Alameda Free Library is on the right track. It has some tweaking to do and the library needs to decide if the policy should include procedures, rules of conduct, computer use rules, and/or time limits or if those categories should be separate documents.

It’s interesting to see how the perception of Internet safety and accuracy of information found on the Internet has changed since 1998. The library will also have to adjust its policy to ensure that it upholds the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) enacted in 2000 and updated in 2011 and is clear about the protective filtering the library uses. Lots of decisions to make!

Next week, I’ll get feedback on my analysis and interview all the library supervisors to see if they have any suggestions for the policy update.

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