Lazy reporters get facts wrong, says OCCC librarian

August 20, 2010 Commentary Print Print
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To the editor:

As a former journalist, I’m always pleased to see the Pioneer’s young reporters exploring the pros and cons of various issues relevant to OCCC students.

However, I cannot abide the final product reeking of lazy journalism.

 

The opinion page in [the July 26 issue of the] Pioneer addresses an interesting question: should the campus library be open to the public?

Having served as a librarian for years, I definitely have an opinion on that question.

My opinion is of little importance here though; it is the lack of due diligence on the part of both writers that troubles me.

Whitney Knight states “Every week, it seems at least one library patron, including a registered sex offender last month, is escorted off campus for viewing inappropriate content on the computers.”

Every week? I’d like to see supporting documentation for that statement.

While violations of the Acceptable Use Policy ebb and flow throughout the year, reports of violations have dropped drastically since the implementation of the login system in January.

I’m skeptical that they approach the level reported by Knight.

It is also worth noting that not all violations of the Acceptable Use Policy are committed by visitors; a number of students have been charged with violating the student conduct code for misusing Library computers.

In his rebuttal, Jeremy Cloud states, “The college could also implement the Metropolitan System’s computer sign-up software, which limits users to a single hour if others are waiting.”

The OCCC Library did implement such a system in January. The plans for this system were reported in the Dec. 7, 2009, issue of the Pioneer.

Surely Cloud could have searched the Pioneer archives and discovered this information prior to publication?

If not, Cloud could have contacted a librarian who would have been happy to discuss the system with him.

Neither I nor my colleagues were contacted by either writer.

Knight and Cloud, I appreciate your attempt to address a topic of interest to the campus community. However you will be taken much more seriously as journalists if your supporting evidence and solutions are valid.


—Dana Tuley-Williams
Systems Librarian

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