Internet Access Policy

Use of the Internet by Children and Teens

As with all library materials, parents, guardians and caregivers are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet. Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to work with their children to develop acceptable family rules of Internet use. Helpful tools may be accessed at http://safekids.com/ and at http://www.safeteens.com/.

Background/Philosophy

The Chatfield Public Library serves as a vibrant community center which meets the various and ever changing needs of all Chatfield area community members. Services are specialized, individualized and relationship-focused to provide a high quality and positive experience.  Patrons can expect friendly and knowledgeable staff, non-biased service and a comfortable physical environment. 

The library provides access to the Internet as an integral part of this mission.

The Internet is a worldwide computer network that provides easy access to an enormous and growing body of information. The resources available on the Internet expand the library’s information services well beyond traditional collections and electronic resources. In providing community access to the Internet, the Chatfield Public Library enhances its existing collection in size and depth, and provides the opportunity for any citizen to utilize the exciting resources available through the Internet.

The library’s focus in this area is on providing access to online information resources. Additional services such as setting up email accounts, web pages, blogs, and other technical support should not be expected.

Open Access

The library provides open access to all parts of its collections, including access to the Internet, and usage is not restricted by age (supervision is the responsibility of parents, guardians or caregivers). Also, use is not prioritized by information need (everyone’s information need is important to him or her), and it is not restricted by residency.

The library recognizes First Amendment rights of its customers and their individual right to privacy. However, Internet users must be sensitive to the fact that workstations are in public areas and, therefore, images on the screen and at public printers are subject to view by a wide audience.

Internet access at the Chatfield Public Library will be used for educational, informational and recreational purposes only; it may not be used for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes. Patrons may not send, receive or display text or graphics that may be construed as: obscene by local community standards and under Section 1460 of title 18, United States Code; child pornography as that term is defined in Section 2256 of title 18, United States Code; or harmful to minors as defined in Section 9134 (7)(B) of title 20, United States Code.

Information Disclaimer

The Internet offers open access to information, ideas and commentary from around the world and a vast array of tools and resources for different age levels and points of view. Not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current or legal. The Chatfield Public Library does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy of information obtained through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. Some resources and destinations contain material that some customers will find personally offensive or inappropriate for children.

Care should always be taken to protect personal information, such as names, telephone numbers and credit card information, when using the Internet.

Internet Filtering

In compliance with federal law, the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Chatfield Public Library Board of Trustees has approved the use of software designed to filter content considered to be obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors on all library owned Internet workstations in the building. Users should be aware that no device or software will block every inappropriate site, and sites may be blocked that perhaps should not be. The library does not accept responsibility for these incidents. If you encounter a site that you believe is objectionable, or if you are blocked from a site you believe is appropriate for viewing in the library, please fill out a “Website Consideration Form” and give to staff so the website may be evaluated. This information will help us adjust the filtering software on a site-by-site basis.

Downloading

Customers may download information from the Internet to their own data storage devices. Diskettes may be purchased at the Circulation Desk. Users should not expect library staff to do this for them nor to know the specifics of how all data storage devices work or why they may not work on the library’s computers. The library assumes no responsibility for any direct or indirect damage resulting from downloading or use of information accessible through the library’s internet connection.

Use of the Workstations

The library does not limit the number of individuals using a single workstation because we recognize that group work can be a valuable learning experience. However, if a group creates a disturbance to the effective use of the library by others, they will be asked to correct their behaviors, disband, and/or leave the building, as appropriate.

You may reserve time on a computer in advance. If you do not arrive on time, the computer you reserved may be checked out to someone else. Otherwise, workstations are available on a first-come first-serve basis. We expect customers to be considerate of others. Time on the Internet is limited to 60 minutes when others are waiting.

One workstation is configured only for access to the library’s online catalog and electronic databases and you are not required to “check it out.” It is clearly marked as “Online Computer Catalog.”

Customers should notify library staff immediately if they experience any problems with the equipment or software.

Instruction

Staff members will devote a reasonable amount of time assisting individual library users with the Internet and software where needed. They cannot devote large amounts of time to each customer because staff members are handling many information requests from many individuals and other important duties, as well.

Copyright

U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of “fair use.” Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs, or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

Indemnification

Users shall comply with all age restrictions governing access to specific sites, as limited by the content provider. State and federal law prohibits minors from disclosing, using, or disseminating personal information about themselves without written authorization from their parent or legal guardian. All users are prohibited by law from disclosing, using, or disseminating personal information regarding minors without written authorization from the parent or legal guardian of the minors involved.

All Internet users should avoid disclosing personal information over the Internet to preserve their own personal safety.

Some commercial databases on the Internet require a fee. These fees are the responsibility of the customer; they are not the responsibility of the library.

In no event shall the Chatfield Public Library have any liability for lost profits or for any direct or indirect special, punitive, or consequential damages, or any liability to any third party, even if the library is advised of the possibility of such damages, arising from use of its connection to the Internet.

Termination or prohibition of User Access

Library employees are authorized to terminate any user’s access session, or to prohibit a user from subsequent access sessions, given cause to believe that the user has failed to comply with this Internet Access Policy and/or Rules of Conduct.

Internet users whose access session has been terminated or prohibited may protest the action to the Library Board and/or request that Internet access privileges be reinstated.

This Internet Access Policy will be reviewed by the Board of Library Trustees at least yearly.

The purpose of this Internet Access Policy is to insure the best use of and access to the Internet for the greatest number of our patrons. This policy is subject to change as necessity dictates.

Approved by the Chatfield Public Library Board of Trustees, April 14, 2008.

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