Thursday, August 16, 2007


Back in January, I had an article in School Library Journal called "The Elephant in the Room." It was about filtering beyond the filters, where additional layers of "security" further impede students and teachers from getting the information they need and deserve. The elephant is now trumpeting out some profanity in elephantese, based on frustrating recent experiences. Here is the story: Our department has been awarded a wonderful grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Studies, which will enable 20 fortunate South Texas students to move through our MLS program with all expenses paid, also receiving other great benefits. Naturally, I am communicating with candidates via email. Well, here are two ridiculous issues I have encountered:
  • In one instance, ALL responses to applicants were blocked as SPAM by a district. I had to make several calls to convince the powers that be in that district that emails from my university address about an opportunity for their people to get a master's degree free of charge did NOT CONSTITUTE SPAM.
  • And now this: I sent out a message this morning to 70 applicants. So far I have gotten blocked by two districts, stopping seven messages. Why? In the body of my message, I gave out the address to my blog. Evidently even mentioning a blog is dangerous. I know it is a four letter word but good grief! I am thinking some others right now. So...I will go back and remove the terroristic use of the "b-word" and see if the message gets through. I also gave a wiki address. I am going to leave that part in just to see if the messages get through anyway, as a little test.
People, if your districts are this paranoid, I do hope you get on technology committees and try to make some changes! By the way I did NOT use the word "specialist" in my message but you DO know it gets things blocked, right? After all, it contains "cialis."

1 comment:

  1. I agree to the ridiculousness of the spam blockers. The one our district uses is more than ridiculous.... I was looking up Franciscan pottery and it blocked THAT! Why? Because it said "pot". So I tried again, this time blocked because "franciscan" was in the title, thinking I was searching a gay website. Another day, I was teaching a lesson in class from the World Religions section of the text, and a student asked me to explain the apocrypha, so I typed that in the search box and IT popped up as pornography! Surely, there was something wrong, I thought, so I called the tech people to let me see that site, and they wouldn't, because it contained the story of Mary Magdalene and Jesus..... I completely agree with the protection of children, but please! :)