Yesterday on Talk of the Nation (I ❤ Neal) I listened to a very interesting discussion on sex offender registries. I think it’s pertinent to this blog because there was much talk about the availability of information, and the possible downsides of said information, on the internet. As a parent, I have utilized sex offender information on the internet. I have checked out my neighborhood for the safety of my children and checked out my hometown for sheer curiosity. In my role as a parent a sex offender was a sex offender, a danger to society and subject to ridicule. They must be dangerous if neighborhoods have to be notified when the creep moves in, right? Turns out, not always. Because there is no standardization from state to state as far as determining what acts constitute a sex offense, in some states a person could have to register for urinating in public. That’s correct. A person who drinks a few too many PBRs one night and pees in a parking lot could join the ranks of rampant child molesters and rapists. The same goes for a teenager who has consensual sex with another teen. Another example is an individual who committed an act many years ago and is now completely rehabilitated. Minor offenses like these can haunt you for years and even put you in danger according to a report released by Human Rights Watch. But my point here is not to outright oppose sex offender registries or defend sex offenders. I just found it interesting that something I had previously embraced (widespread availability of sex offender information) has a flip side that I really had never thought seriously about before. and as I understand it, with the enactment of the Adam Walsh Act every sex offender will be on the registry, for a minimum of 10 year (for tier 1 offenders) and EVERYONE will have access to it. Everyone who will not stop and think that perhaps not everyone on the list is waiting to steal their children and that their uncle has a greater chance of molesting their children. As a librarian, am I supposed to side with the privacy of sex offenders or the availability of information to all? Excepting truly heinous people, my gut sides with privacy. In this case, I think there is a little too much information to be found.
Category Archives: npr
This afternoon as I was driving to Target, I heard an interesting story on Day to Day concerning the environment and a website called Change the Margins. I was struck by the simplicity of the idea, having everyone change their page margins to 3/4″, and how this simple little idea could impact the earth in such a big way. She points out on the site that it’s not a new idea and I think that’s the great part. Everyone’s always looking for ways to help the environment and “go green” and this campaign attests to the fact that you don’t have to go out and buy a Prius to help out the Old Lady, Mother Nature. You can do something as simple as changing your margins which will take approximately 30 seconds if you are super slow. Help the landfills! Save some trees! Please sign her petition!