Saturday, March 17, 2007

Filters in Space

My 5 1/2 year old son, Andrew, is fascinated with space and the solar system. His uncle shared with him DVD footage of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon the other day and it's nice to know that nearly 40 year old space footage still has relevance to a child born in the 21st century. I was somewhat disappointed to learn that Pluto, recently demoted to a dwarf planet, is still being referred to as a planet in Andrew's kindergarten lesson plan on the solar system. Perhaps his school needs some updated books on the planets? Like most kids, Andrew also has a certain fondness for Mars. We talked a little about NASA's Mars explorer program and this is especially exciting to him. He got a telescope for Christmas and it's amazing to him what can be seen with the naked eye versus what he can look at through the telescope. I love to see kids excited about science! Andrew says that he's going to go to the moon someday and that he won't be scared at all. I explained that he needs to study very hard and do very well in science and math. My husband and I want to nurture his love of science and hope to see him receive his PhD (Magna Cum Laude, of course) from this school (approved by his uncle).

Another subject that Andrew takes great interest in is voting. On Election Day back in November, Andrew and my infant son came with my husband and I to our polling place to vote. I explained to Andrew what it means to vote and offered a very simple explanation of the electoral college. Andrew was also very fascinated by the voting process and wanted to know "how many sleeps" before he could vote. Quite a few, thankfully.

Speaking of voting, you may have heard the buzz about House Bill 1727 on Internet Filters in Public Libraries. You can read a summary of the Bill and its full text here. The Kankakee Public Library doesn't rely on software to filter pornography and graphic violence from the public internet computers. We use something far more powerful and effective – the Library Staff! The Kankakee Public Library Staff is 100% committed to keeping our children and teen users (and all users) SAFE.

And furthermore, if you wanted to read this blog post on a computer with filters, you'd be disappointed because the bolded words would have been filtered out since they are deemed "inappropriate" by most or all software filters. (The only one that may need some explanation is the "Mars exploration" – ending in the letter "s" and the next word starting with the letters "ex" hence forming the word "sex.")

Allison Beasley
Head of Adult Services


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