An investigative report is already making waves, and instigating change.
WBRC Fox6 News recently did an exposé about EBSCO Information Services, a school online library database that is on the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Dirty Dozen List for its role in exposing elementary and middle school students to pornography and other sexually graphic content.
The report stated:
The databases are part of set of products offered by EBSCO Information Services, a company with a division based in Birmingham. Their products are used in thousands of schools around the country. 4 of the biggest school systems in the Birmingham area all use the Alabama Virtual Library, which includes several EBSCO databases.
EBSCO told us it looked at the Alabama Virtual Library and discovered it was allowing users with elementary or middle school profiles to access 2 databases that EBSCO doesn’t recommend for students that age.
EBSCO says it’s reaching out to the Library to try and correct this because of our investigation.
The databases are meant to give students access to safe and reliable information through the school’s library computers.
“…EBSCO has made significant improvements to the system and we applaud them for that,” [Dawn Hawkins from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation said.] “But we found more than 50 articles today in 50 minutes promoting extremely explicit material, so there’s far to go. We have to educate the schools and parents so they recognize this is a real threat to their kids and that’s the part that’s been missing in this fight.”
EBSCO still has major improvements it must make if it wants to be a trustworthy educational resource.
It’s encouraging to see how this report has already motivated the company to clean up specific Alabama systems that were allowing children to access databases with graphic sexual content…but Alabama isn’t the only place this is a problem!