INTERNET SAFETY POLICY

Introduction

The library offers public use of the Internet as part of the library’s mission to provide access to services and information in a variety of formats that promote lifelong learning thus enhancing quality of life and broadening horizons for all citizens of Lincoln County.  The Internet, as an information resource, enables the library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection.  It allows access to ideas, information and commentary from around the world.

In order to offer quality Internet service to all of our patrons, potential users must agree to follow the policy guidelines outlined below.

Disclaimer

Along with many outstanding information sources, the World Wide Web (www) does contain material that is inaccurate, misleading, obscene, and offensive.  Library users must be wise information consumers, critically assessing sources.  Individuals who are offended by what they may come across are advised to leave that particular site.  More accurate, comprehensive, and current information may be found in the non-Internet sources locally housed by the library.

The Library has installed filtering software on all computers connected to the Internet.  If you feel that a site has been blocked that should not be, or if there is a site that was not blocked that should be, the person has the right to notify the library staff of this site, and based upon review, a decision will be made about the site in question. 

In general, the library will treat information on computers as confidential; however, the library cannot guarantee privacy in a public setting.  Request for disclosure of information regarding an individual’s use will be honored when authorized by the owners of the information, or when required by local, state or federal law.

Virus Warning!  Although the library uses a program that checks for viruses, there is no guarantee that files downloaded from the Internet will not contain a virus.  The library is not responsible for any damages that may arise from saving or downloading files to a diskette or flash drive.


Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

In accordance to the Children’s Internet Protection Act, this library is using filtering software to protect minors from visual depictions of pornography.  This software is active on all public access computers.  An adult may ask for unfiltered access without divulging the nature of his or her search, however, a person using an unfiltered computer is still restricted for viewing pornographic images.  Minors will not be granted unfiltered access.  The filtering software will not be used to keep records of what sites are visited; the only purpose of this software is to block pornographic images or illegal downloads.

 

Responsibility

As with all library resources, the library affirms the right and responsibility of parents and guardians to determine and monitor their minor children’s use of the Internet.  Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to access the Internet. This means that the parent must be sitting next to the child.

All Internet resources accessible through the library are provided to all users.  There is no age limit for use of any materials provided on the Internet.  Children have access to the same resources as adults.  It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to decide what resources are appropriate for their children.

The library does not monitor an individual’s use of any sites except for length of use in order to ensure equal opportunity of access for everyone, or when materials displayed on the screen are not appropriate in a public environment and user responsibilities are violated.  Persons use the Internet at their own discretion.


Guidelines for Acceptable Use

Computer use is not limited to a set amount of time per day, as long as other patrons are not waiting to use a computer. If all computers are in use and others are waiting, library staff will announce the need for others to use a computer. If no one volunteers to forfeit their spot, then a time limit of 30 minutes will be invoked using the sign-in sheet to determine the beginning of use, or a report will be run to determine which patron has been at a computer the longest.  Individuals must check out a computer at the front desk. Those who possess a library card will have a computer checked-out to them; however, those on a guest pass will be required to show photo ID and staff will add their name, license number, computer used, time in and time out to the daily computer log. There are two computers with games with extremely limited internet access. These computers may only access websites pre-approved and loaded by library personnel.

Users must accept all U.S. copyright laws and licensing agreements pertaining to software, files, and other resources obtained via the Internet.  The library expressly disclaims any responsibility resulting from copyright infringement by a library user.

Downloading of images or files from the Internet to the computer’s hard drive is strictly prohibited.  Individuals may either bring in a flash drive for storage of downloaded information.  Unknown files will be purged from the system periodically.

The library will conform to all local, state, and federal laws regarding minor’s access to materials harmful to minors.

All Internet users should avoid disclosing personal information over the Internet to preserve their own safety.  Library Internet users are prohibited by law from disclosing, using or disseminating personal information regarding minors without written authorization of the parent or legal guardian of the minors involved.

Engaging in any of the following activities is a violation of this policy:  libeling or slandering of others; uploading a worm, virus or other harmful form of programming or vandalism; participating in hacking activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.


In accordance with the Tennessee Code Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 9, sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics that may be reasonably construed as obscene by community standards are prohibited, regardless of age.

Internet users are prohibited from using the library computers to compromise the safety and security of minors when using e-mail, chat rooms and other forms or direct electronic communications.  Such use includes, but is no limited to: giving private information about one’s self or others or arranging a face-to-face meeting with someone one has met on the Internet without a parent’s or legal guardian’s permission.

Violations

The user’s access to the library’s computer network and Internet is a privilege, not a right.  Misuse of the library computers will result in the loss of computer privileges and possible criminal prosecution. It should be noted that the library is a public building, therefore, anything accessed on the computers may be seen by staff or other patrons at any time. 

 

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