The Burlington Post
Friday, October 25, 1996
page 40

Kids will be kids


It's not always easy staying one step ahead of youngsters thirsty for knowledge. So that's why it's not surprising some curious children want to get a jump on their sex education by using the Internet at the library.

We suspect there are a few parents who may have wondered about their child's daily desire to head to Tansley Woods on the pretense of gathering information for a homework assignment. It seems some innovative kids discovered the computers at the new facility had full access to the information highway. While the Internet is a useful learning tool when used appropriately, it quickly became a nightmare for librarians. The youngsters were not tapping into University of Toronto or Harvard web sites. Instead, they busied themselves trying to find the latest in pornographic entertainment.

Knowing they would be in trouble if caught, the kids developed secret codes to alert the keyboard operator of impending danger. No on wants to anger a librarian.

Obviously, this problem is serious, but it is also a sign of the times. It wasn't so long ago little kids skulked around variety stores grabbing the latest edition of Penthouse or Playboy. The adult entertainment magazines were then moved to a higher rack, out of reach of enquiring young minds.

We are confident the library will come up with a solution which will meet the needs of all of its users. But for now, parents who have Internet access at home may want to keep a close eye on what sideroads their kids are taking on the information highway.

Copyright © 1996 by The Burlington Post. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.