Jean Armour Polly

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Jean Armour Polly is a librarian by profession, the author of a series of books on safe Internet services (Surfing the Internet, now freely available at Project Gutenberg[1]), and has been an active Internet user since 1991.[2]


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.[3]

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 Minnesota Wilson Library Bulletin in June, 1992. Coining the phrase has since been attributed to internet pioneer Mark McCahill, who used the same phrase months earlier in February 1992.[4][5][6] It turns out that even earlier, in October 1991, surfing the Internet was popularized in a comic Book, "The Adventures of Captain Internet and CERF Boy", published by one of the early Internet Service Providers, CERFnet.[7]


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.[2]

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.

Personal life[edit]

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.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2008-01-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b, Editor at. "The woman who coined the expression "Surfing the Internet"". SurferToday. Retrieved 2018-11-14.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Polly to head Liverpool library". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  4. ^ "Google Groups". Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  5. ^ "surf, v. : Oxford English Dictionary". Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2016-04-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Internet Archive". Retrieved 2020-06-03.


External links[edit]