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."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Well Duh, Einstein!

The Houston Chronicle ran a story today about the Baby Einstein videotapes. It seems they may not turn your kid into an instant genius after all! In fact they might do the opposite and dumb him down! It seems the tapes jump around a lot and have very little language. The more a child watches the tapes, the less new words he may pick up. One expert even said he would rather see a kid watch American Idol than those videos, because then the little tyke would hear more words and maybe interact with others in the process. And here is the reason for the DUH...guess what was suggested as a better activity? Your little one would be better off if...revolutionary idea...YOU READ TO HER!!! Hmmmmm nothing like stating the obvious and calling it news...