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Staying safe while using today's technology

Parents have faced the challenge of keeping their children safe since the beginning of time, but the job has recently become a technological nightmare! Technology is moving so fast that one never dreamed of things like Facebook, Myspace, texting, blogging, twittering, etc. and everything they entail.

With the constant advancements in technology, parents, especially of teenaged children, are facing new challenges in order to keep them safe. We have all heard the horror stories in the news, reinforcing how important it is to do this job diligently. Teens meeting adults they've met on-line...cyber-bullying... and of course the whole world of child pornography.

The Detroit Lakes Library can help arm parents with the knowledge they need to teach their children to use technology safely and responsibly. The following are a few of the books we have on the subject:

n What in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online? by Barbara Melton and Susan Shankle. Texting. Blogging. IMing. Technology that has become second nature to our children remains uncharted territory for many parents. What in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online? tells you everything you need to know to navigate the parenting issues technology raises, and arms you with the tools you need to protect your children.

n Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens, By Nancy E. Willard. As our children and teens race down the onramp to the Information Superhighway, many parents feel left behind in the dust. News stories about online sexual predators, child pornography, cyberbullies, hate groups, gaming addiction, and other dangers that lurk in the online world make us feel increasingly concerned about what our children are doing (and with whom) in cyberspace. In Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens, Internet safety expert Nancy Willard provides you with need-to-know information about those online dangers, and she gives you the practical parenting strategies necessary to help children and teens learn to use the Internet safely and responsibly.

n Generation Myspace: Helping Your Teen Survive Online Adolescence, By Candice M. Kelsey. Does it seem like your teen can't tear herself away from friends on the computer screen (except to text them on her cell phone)? That's because MySpace, Facebook and YouTube are your son or daughter's life, not just another passing diversion.

All that energy and time spent online is affecting your teen's life in countless ways, from sexual pressure and privacy to social standing and self-esteem. Some schools are banning online networking sites, yet your child insists they're "no big deal." Who's right? Drawing on personal interviews with hundreds of teens, educator Candice M. Kelsey helps parents assess what they should -- and shouldn't --be worried about when it comes to technology.

The Detroit Lakes Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.

For more information on library services and programs, please call 218-847-2168 or visit your library at 1000 Washington Ave. The Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL). Information about LARL services is available online at