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Thomas B. Craig wrote:
 
> The issue of official/scholarly/educational/research use is probably the key.
 
I really think it's more an issue of free access. If it doesn't
obstruct access by users who  _are_  using the Internet for
official/scholarly/educational/research activities, then I think it
should be allowed, possibly even encouraged. For that matter, who am
I to say that the library user in question isn't working on research
that, while not directly related to a class, may be the seed of a
master's thesis or a dissertation? (perhaps a sociological study of
pornography) Or may be important to the user's
cultural education or emotional well-being? (maybe online support
groups or information on topics that many consider offensive such as
lesbigay issues) Or it may not be any of these things, which, as far as
I'm concerned, is none of my business.
(Please note that this is NOT the policy of the institution for
which I work.)
 
In academic libraries, our primary responsibility is to serve the
academic interests of our clientele. I don't think that serving those
interests precludes providing free access to materials. In fact, I
think that free access is an important part of that responsibility. A
university education should be more than a series of courses
passed--it should teach the student to think and learn and explore
for himself or herself. Stifling curiousity via censorship is a quick
and effective way to destroy a sense of wonder.
 
Stacey Burright
Reference Librarian
Fordham Health Sciences Library
Wright State University
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> *********************************************
> Thomas B. Craig, MSLS
> Assistant to the Director of Library Services
> Watson W. Wise Medical Research Library
> University of Texas Health Center at Tyler
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> *********************************************
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