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YALSA needs your help defeating DOPA!  Listed below are six simple steps you can 
take to save your library from DOPA.  Also, YALSA has created and compiled three 
great resources for librarians, which are all available at (and we'll get them up on the YALSA site later). 
 Click on the DOPA page for the: Legislative Advocacy Guide, DOPA Information 
Packet and Teens & Social Networking in School & Public Libraries Toolkit.  

1. Contact your Senator before Sept. 5th to:  
a. Tell him/her your opinion of DOPA (see YALSA’s Legislative Advocacy Guide for 
quick tips on contacting your Senator).  
b. Educate him/her about the positive uses of Social Networking Sites (use the 
information in YALSA’s Teens & Social Networking in School & Public Libraries 

To find out who our Senator is & what number to call, go to To 
email your Senator, go to and click on "Take Action."   
2. Sign the online petition opposing DOPA at
3. Host an information session at your library about DOPA and social networking 
sites (see YALSA’s Toolkit on Teens & Social Networking in School & Public 
Libraries for tips and ideas).
4. Tell YALSA how you’re using social networking technologies at your library. Go 
to  From there you can add a link to your 
library’s MySpace space as well as join in on the discussion about how you’re using 
social networking technologies in your library.
5. Invite your Senator to your library while they’re home from DC between August 
7th and September 4th.
a. Have teens on hand to demonstrate productive ways they use social networking 
b. Provide the Senator with a photo-op (e.g. giving a summer reading award to a 
teen or reading a story to kids)
c. Give the Senator information about social networking sites and show him/her what 
your library is already doing to keep children and teens safe online.

6. Personalize and send the following sample letter to the editor to your local 
newspaper, and encourage your library patrons to do the same.
Sample Letter to the Editor
(please feel free to make additions or changes so that it better fits any 
particular messages you want to get across)
Librarians care deeply about children and teens and are concerned about their 
safety online and in our community. While Congress’ effort to make children and 
teens more safe online is admirable, the proposed Deleting Online Predators Act 
(DOPA) that is currently being debated by our nation’s legislators, will actually 
do little to make our kids safer. What it will do is block access to critical 
Internet resources and communication tools in schools and libraries that our kids 
need to learn how to use in order to be successful in college and the workplace. It 
also takes control away from communities like ours, and leaves the decision making 
about what our children can access on the Internet to the politicians in Washington 
DOPA seeks to further limit kids’ access to online resources at school and in 
libraries. That means it would prevent librarians and teachers from instructing 
students and their parents about how to use all kinds of Web applications safely 
and effectively. Because it is linked to federal funding, DOPA also hurts most 
those kids served by schools and libraries in low-income communities. 
DOPA would restrict online support groups, email programs through which family 
members can communicate with each other, and educational tools used to provide 
distance education, squashing kids' first attempts at becoming acquainted with 
applications that will soon be essential workplace tools. Just one example of what 
could be lost in a rush to legislate is a recent online field trip to Carlsbad 
Caverns in N.M., in which more than 10 million students participated and First Lady 
Laura Bush took part. 
Perhaps the most troubling part of DOPA is the false sense of security it gives 
parents who are seeking solutions to the problem of online predators. Like dangers 
to kids in the real world, dangers on the Internet are not easily overcome. 
Teaching young people to practice safe behaviors and guard their privacy online the 
same way they would in public is critical if we want to protect them.
Please join me in urging Congress to make a real commitment to kids' safety by 
abandoning bad legislation like DOPA and funding our libraries and schools 
adequately so they have the resources they need to empower our community’s kids to 
stay safe on the Internet. 
[insert your name here] 

Thank you for all the hard work you do for the teens in your community!  Also, I'd 
like to extend a special thanks to members of YALSA's Legislation, Technology & Web 
Advisory Committees for their help in developing these resources.  

Beth Yoke 
Executive Director 
Young Adult Library Services Association, 
fastest growing division of the American Library Association
50 E. Huron St. 
Chicago, IL 60611 
1 (800) 545-2433 x4391
Register for Teen Read Week! 
Celebrate Oct. 15-21, 2006

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