She received her BA in Medieval Studies at Syracuse University in 1974, and her Master’s in Library Science from the same university in 1975.
Polly was key in popularizing, but is often credited with coining the phrase "surfing the Internet", being the author of an article called "Surfing the INTERNET", published in the University of MinnesotaWilson Library Bulletin in June, 1992. Coining the phrase has since been attributed to internet pioneer Mark McCahill.
Polly is the author of the well-known series of books The Internet Kids & Families Yellow Pages. (This was a spin-off of the original series Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages, by Harley Hahn.) Because of her long-standing work, devoted to family- and child-related issues on the Internet, Polly is often referred to as one of the original "Mothers" of the Internet.
She was Director of Public Services and Internet Ambassador at NYSERNet, Inc (1992–1995).
She has served on the Internet Society Board of Trustees (1993–1996) and on the ICANN At-Large Advisory Council (ALAC) (2004–2006), as well as on the board of ICRA.
She lives near Syracuse, New York, where she runs the "Net-mom" Internet site. She has one son, Stephen, who is in the doctoral program at the Rochester Institute of Technology.