North Carolina Libraries, Vol 63, No 1 (2005)

How “Safe” Should Libraries Be?

Brian Sturm

Abstract


Contemporary American society seems fraught with concern over our lack of “safety” – whether in the form of national security (USA
PATRIOT Act, fighting terrorism internally and abroad, building the nation’s economic underpinnings, etc.) or individual security (identity
theft, Child Internet Protection Act, criminal background checks available online, etc.). We are both fascinated and frightened by the growing global community and the global information infrastructure, and we are struggling to find our place in it: individually, socially, ethically, and legally. Safety has turned from an American assumption into the consuming American question, and this change is transforming our culture, for good and for ill.

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North Carolina Libraries is the official publication of the North Carolina Library Association.