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OK. Now that I've looked around at Library2.0 I am thinking that it might be kind of cool to set up a social network for my public library. Not just a page for the library like on MySpace, but a network like what we have here. I could see patrons blogging about books they've recently read. This summer we could have forum about the new Harry Potter book. There could be a forum about "Why I love the library."

However, an obvious question occurs to me: How do I address parental concerns about safety & privacy? Are there other issues I should be concerned about? Please share your thoughts with me.

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What a very good idea! I don't know enough about how ning works to know how you address safety and privacy - I'd be interested in hearig from some other folks.
Are you paying attention to DOPA? It could change how many libraries operate. See the information from ALA.
Thanks for the link. I will follow this more closely and hope it dies again.
As far as opinions go, I'm all for their free expression. What we will have to guard against is abusive or offensive language and flame wars. As long as people are respectful of each other, they can post any opinion, belief, dogma, or propaganda.
Well, I am going ahead with network. Here is what I am doing re youth protection: First, I rejoined Ning using my real name for my ning id and a photo of me in my profile. This way people joining the network have a name and face they can rely on if they have any concerns. Second, I made the network a private network, and chose to approve all photos and videos added to the site. Third, I created a form email to send to everyone who requests an invitation. The email looks like this:


"Thank you for your interest in My Library Space (mylibraryspace.ning.com). In a few moments you should be receiving your invitation to join. Please remember that we are trying to build an "all ages" network. Here are some of the things we are doing to keep it that way:

1. We encourage parents to read (and discuss with their children) the Parent's Guide to Social Networking found at:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/tech/tec13.htm before allowing their children to join.

2. Our Network is a private network. Membership is by invitation only, although anyone can request an invitation and most requests will be granted. This does not guarantee that people are who or what they claim on the network.

3. The administrators of this Network reserve the right to delete anything posted on the Network, and the right to delete/block any member who repeatedly adds posts which we deem inappropriate for an all ages network.

4. The administrators will preview all photos and videos before they are displayed on the Network.

You can help too! How? First by keeping your own language, photos, and videos appropriate, courteous, and kind. Second, by teaching your kids safe Internet practices and monitoring their use of the Network. Third, any time you see anything which you think does not belong on an all ages network report it to the administrators by clicking the "Report an Issue" link at the bottom of the page. This link appears on the bottom of EVERY page next to the copyright information and "Feedback" link.

Thank you. We look forward to seeing your additions to My Library Space! --
James B. Lenze, TechnoBoss
Garden City Library

jlenze@tln.lib.mi.us "

Finally, I ask two required questions on the first page members see when they join: Age (0-17, 18+); and Do you have parental permission (Yes, No, I'm 18+). Of course people can lie, but at least I have a mechanism to make younger people think "Maybe I should check with Mom or Dad before I do this." Also, since it is a private network, they must have a live email address to join.

So what do you think? Will this be a good start?
Looks like a great model for a library network. I'm teaching a class next week and would like to include this as an example. Mind if I send you an invitation request?

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