05/22/05

Fingerprinting at the Library?

The Naperville Public Library has contracted with U. S. Biometrics to provide a fingerprint recognition system to allow patrons access to the Internet computers. Currently, the system for internet access asks for the patrons’ library card and pin numbers. However, an investigation following an incident involving the viewing of pornography by a patron discovered that people would often use another patron’s login information. For example, a child whose parents have selected filtered Internet access for him might use the unfiltered access provided with the login information of his friend.This technology brings about many questions regarding privacy, confidentiality and freedom of information. What would you think about this if you were a staff member or a patron of this library? One of my questions is this: how long does the computer retain information about sites visited by a specific patron? This would be the same question, regardless of the mechanism for identification. U. S. Biometrics states in the article below that the fingerprint scans can not be used to recreate an actual fingerprint and then searched in a law enforcement database.This should be interesting to follow in the future.Here are some articles for to check out for more information. Even though this news was picked up by the Associated Press, no information was available on the Naperville Library webpage as of this posting.American Libraries online.The Chicago Tribune.The Washington Post.U. S. Biometrics

05/12/05

Libraries and Blogging

So, public libraries are getting onto this blogging bandwagon. Here is an example of one library and how they use a blog (from PLA’s blog, cited on the Library Stuff blog: http://www.waterborolibrary.org/blog.htm.Another interesting tidbit also from the Library Stuff blog is that patrons using the Hennepin County catalog can generate RSS feeds from searches. In other words, they can be notified when new books are available from certain authors or subjects. How cool is that?

05/10/05

Entry Level Librarians Beware

Graduate school is hard enough, but what happens when you graduate and you cannot get a job? Let’s hope none of the current graduates I know are dealing with the problems depicted in this article from Library Journal about the lack of positions for entry level librarians. Also discussed is the fact that some positions that do not require experience rarely go to new librarians.

03/19/05

No Privacy for Kids at the Library?

Here is an article from the Portland Press Herald about a bill that is being suggested in Maine that would allow parents to view what children up to age 17 check out of libraries! Scary!