When libraries across the country rolled out their Internet workstations, the truth is that we really didn't know how they would be used.
Sure, we HOPED people would see them as portals to the many databases we have purchased, full of all kinds of authoritative information.
Back when I was working on my graduate degree, my parents moved. It was the house I'd lived in for most of my childhood. I went up for the last weekend before they packed, and it was very strange.
My childhood home was a two-story, brick gingerbread sort of house, surrounded by towering trees. I spent a nostalgic evening rocking by the fireplace, listening to the sound of the old water pipes popping and hissing. And that was the last time I was ever really able to feel like I was "home."
Some years ago now, there were two ministers living on my cul de sac. One minister worked for a fairly liberal Christian church. Another was the pastor of a more conservative, evangelical congregation. Each of them had a daughter about the same age as Maddy, who was then about 4 years old.
I don't know what to think.
I've written before about the Patriot Act, passed in haste after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.
The provisions were disturbing to librarians. Among other things, the Act:
* lowered the legal standard for obtaining a search warrant from "probable cause" to "suspicion;"
* allowed the FBI to get a special search warrant to retrieve records of library use;
* overrode state and local privacy laws;