Comment: No More Restrictive Policies

Sharon Clapp from the Connecticut State Library comments on this post:

Right after I came aboard at the State Library in CT (just a couple of weeks before I ran my blogging workshop) last year, an edict came down from the higher-ups in state government reminding us that we may be monitored and that use of the computers and/or networks supplied by the state may not be used – even on breaks – to access personal email, to “surf” websites, etc.

People who came to my blog workshop – having already been required to sign off on this internet and email use policy – voiced concern that any web2.0 tech (regardless of type – blogs or other social software, including Flickr and YouTube) did not fit strict interpretation of the internet use policy.

Needless to say, it’s hard to innovate in governmental agencies (state libraries included) when there are so many concerns about potential violation of strict policies like this one.

I understand the concerns about potential abuse, but if people are not doing their jobs, it’s simple – fire them. Don’t make such broad and restrictive policies that you end up stifling the effectiveness of your agencies.

I’d like to see some high-level folks in state government start thinking in new ways about the use of technology – to think about taking advantage of Web2.0 tech to better serve the state’s citizens.

In CT, the restrictiveness is not coming from the State Librarian’s office, BTW – quite the opposite. I wouldn’t be surprised if other State Librarians face the same challenges as ours does.

YES! I can’t count how many times folks have said “Why don’t you tell that to my governing body?” at presentations. I think it’s discussions like these that will slowly (I know, SLOWLY) over time creep up higher and higher. We need to be more vocal, especially higher ups. And we can use states like South Carolina as evidence — holding that example up as proof that these type of endeavors work.