Until recently, Utah students (including at private schools) were able to conduct academic research on the EBSCO database, which provides reliable and peer-reviewed resources. After a single parent found questionable images on the site, the Utah Education Network (UEN) opted to close the database in order to review site content and vote on whether to continue contracting with EBSCO.
Unfortunately this is part of a national effort by a minority group to remove access to EBSCO and could result in student’s losing access to academic journals permanently, reducing the standard of their research and work and preventing academic freedom.
The alternative to EBSCO, a highly regulated academic database, is students freely searching the web where they are not only likely to find objectionable content but have fewer ways to assess the credentials of a publication, a skill that is part of the Utah Core Standards. Canceling the UEN’s EBSCO contract would only increase the number of concerns parents may have while decreasing the academic rigor educators can foster in their students.
Moreover, most districts use filters that would alert school administrators if someone had used objectionable key words, like the complaining parent. Students can still be held accountable for responsible digital learning by local entities (like schools and LEAs) without removing access to the database for all of Utah’s schools.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- E-mail the UEN for general comment here: email@example.com
- Come to the UEN meeting on October 19th, 9-11am, and speak up about restoring EBSCO. The meeting will be held at the Dolores Dore Eccles Broadcast Center, 101 Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.
- Sign this EveryLibrary petition today!
- Share this action!