There’s a book out now that has a chapter I contributed. The book is Settlers of the New Virtual Worlds, and my chapter is called Kids and Digital Ownership.
Here’s an excerpt from my chapter:
Managing Youth Creativity
What is the value of a digital creation, and who owns it? Particularly among the young, the line between creator and consumer has blurred, as has the question of ownership.
Some companies claim full ownership of content created with their tools or stored on their servers, while others take a more hands-off approach. When it comes to kids, neither strategy is ultimately effective.
The hands-off approach, whereby the company denies responsibility for and ownership of user-generated content, is not compatible with laws and standards that are in place to protect young people. For example, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) makes it difficult for website operators to allow children to share freely, and when the website is monitored, the operator can’t deny knowledge of a problematic piece of content.
And using an online contract such as a Terms of Service or an End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) to claim ownership of user-generated content does not work with children, and such digital contracts end up being worth the paper they’re written on.
The solution, however, is not to shut the gates to children. Today’s youth are the ones who will build and manage tomorrow’s virtual worlds as well as enact policies that govern those virtual spaces. The manner in which we address their needs today will have a direct impact on tomorrow’s virtual cultures, laws, and best practices.
Go here to learn more about the project:
A dear friend of mine is doing some research into the current situation of libraries that serve children, and particularly school libraries. I offered to help, so I’m posting her questions here.
Feel free to answer here or email me directly at Rettstatt (at) gmail (dot) com. Also, if you happen to know of any good online resources, please share.
If any of my readers work in the field and have a few minutes to answer three questions by tomorrow (Tuesday) evening, then I’ll owe you a big favor. At the very least, I’ll owe you a signed copy of The Sky Village for your library or personal collection, whichever you prefer.
(1) What is the biggest challenge facing your library specifically and libraries serving kids (especially schools) in general these days?
(2) What’s the best thing that’s happening with your library?
(3) What do you see on the horizon–emerging trends, possible opportunities, potential obstacles to look out for?
Bonus (optional) questions:
(4) Who does the buying for your library? What is the process? Is it effective? Why or why not?
(5) What do you wish people knew about libraries and kids these days? Or, if you prefer, anything else you’d like to say to someone who’s very interested?