Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Access Denied, Try Again in 5 Years

This morning, AtHomeDaddy was hoping to find something novel for The Talker to do. So we headed to the library.

Novel, get it? That's right, I am this funny all of the time.

We were on the search for a high-speed net connection so that The Talker could play games on PBS kids. I knew that the main library has a computer area just for kids, so we headed downtown. Once there, The Talker had a blast playing with puppets, activity tables and reading books with The Princess.

Later, we headed over to the kid's computers. 30 machines, set aside for kids. Not a single computer was in use nor was any other kid in sight. The Librarian told me that these computers were for 8-15 year olds only and that The Talker could not use them.

What the heck kind of rule is that? Don'tcha know there are no other kids over there?

Next, her reason was because they only allow independent work, no parents are allowed to sit with the kids while they work on the computers. We could use the computers in the Adult section if we wanted.

Yeah, that its a great policy. Always keep the parents in the dark about their kids online activities. No thanks to the Adult computers. My kids don't need to be hanging out around a room full of dudes cruising porn instead of hooking up with Monster.com.

Finally, she told me that it was because the area was funded by a grant from The Dell Family. They required in the grant that The Talker not be allowed to use their machines. Actually she told me that the ages were stipulated in the grant.

Whatever. Michael Dell has no interest in seeing kids younger than 8 years old begging their parents for a new computer? I bet they just over looked the pre-school market entirely. Yeah. Right.

The Librarian did let me take home a comment card, so that I could explain why I thought the policies were idiotic. Maybe I'll just email a link back here. After a fascinating discussion about the appropriateness of PBS kids for 3 year olds, we checked out some Joe Mcdermott CD's and headed home. At least I KNOW he is pimping his wares to the under 8 set!

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