Electronic Information Networks and Public Library Computers Use Policy
I. General Policy
The Cook Memorial Public Library District ("the Library") endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of the District's patrons. It is within this context that the Library provides access to electronic information, databases, media, and the Internet (“Electronic Information Networks”). Patrons can access the Electronic Information Networks inside or outside of the Library using their own computer systems or personal devices. The Library also provides access to Electronic Information Networks on desktop and portable laptop computer equipment on the Library’s premises made available to the public (“Public Library Computers”). Providing access to Electronic Information Networks is intended primarily for use as an information resource tool and is consistent with the Library’s collection development policy and mission statement. Electronic Information Networks and Public Library Computers will be collectively referred to as “Electronic Resources”.
II. Patron Rights, Responsibilities, and Risks
Electronic Information Networks are dynamic, global resources that provide access to a wide variety of information. The Library does not have control over these resources and is not responsible for the content, availability, reliability, currency, accuracy or appropriateness of information accessed via their use. Library patrons use these resources at their own discretion and the Library is not responsible for any damages, indirect or direct, including but not limited to loss of data or any violation of privacy, arising from a Library patron's use of Electronic Resources. Patrons using Electronic Resources agree that the Library may need to monitor computer use from time to time as an operational necessity. Furthermore, the Library may be required to disclose any information if directed to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Library extends the protections of applicable confidentiality laws to all records of Internet activity maintained on Public Library Computers. The Library reserves the authority to reasonably regulate these resources to ensure the proper and efficient operation of the Library.
Library patrons have certain rights with respect to the use of Electronic Resources. Library patrons have the right to equitable access and the right to confidentiality and privacy in the use of Electronic Resources to the extent possible given certain constraints, such as proximity of other patrons and staff in public access settings. Patrons also have the right to access and read all patron related Library service policies, and discuss questions with the appropriate Library staff. This policy is part of the Library’s overall policy structure and should be interpreted in conjunction with other existing policies. Copies of all patron related Library policies are available upon request and on the Library’s website.
The Library recognizes that the Internet contains material that is inappropriate for children and that may be objectionable to some adults. As such, the Library provides the ability to filter sessions on all Public Library Computers. Filtering software has been installed that has the ability to categorically block mature subject matter, such as pornography and hate content. The Library also recognizes that it is a parent’s responsibility and right to guide his/her minor child’s Library use. A parent or legal guardian who wishes to have unfiltered access for his/her minor child should notify a staff member as set forth in Section III.C. below. The use of filtering software, however, cannot guarantee that all sites a person might consider objectionable are blocked. Parents or legal guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for information selected, transmitted, and/or accessed by their children. The Library encourages parents to monitor and supervise their children’s Internet use.
III. Rules and Guidelines for Use
The following rules and procedures apply to all users of the Library’s Electronic Resources.
- In order to give assurance of privacy, access to the browser’s history files is disabled.
- Patrons will need to acknowledge the “Statement of Acceptable Use” (Section IV below) at the start of each desktop computer session.
- Except as noted in III.F below, adult library cards (ages 18 and up) default to unfiltered Internet access. All children’s/students’ library cards default to filtered Internet access. Patrons may request default changes at the Checkout Desk. Parents who wish to instruct the Library to provide unfiltered Internet access to their children under eighteen must do so in writing. For details, see a Library staff member at the Checkout Desk.
- The Library cannot guarantee that filtering will protect every Internet user from being offended by what is displayed at Internet stations. Conversely, patrons are advised that filtering software may block information that a patron might expect to be accessible on the Internet.
- Patrons using the unfiltered stations may be asked to show identification affirming that they are 18 years of age or older.
- Internet access via the Library’s portable laptop computers and Digital Studio computers is filtered for all users.
IV. Statement of Acceptable Use
The Cook Memorial Public Library District (the “Library”) provides access to electronic information, databases, media, and the Internet (“Electronic Information Networks”) on public desktop and portable laptop computer equipment on the Library’s premises (“Public Library Computers”) as an information resource tool. Electronic Information Networks and Public Library Computers will be collectively referred to as “Electronic Resources”. All electronic traffic originating from library connections shall be in accordance with the following guidelines. Failure to use Electronic Resources within the guidelines of acceptable use may result in suspension of access privileges, and/or loss of Library privileges.
- Destruction of, damage to, or alteration of the Electronic Resources, software, or network security is prohibited. The Library will take necessary action against anyone violating this policy, including, but not limited to:
- Asking individuals to discontinue their display of information and images that may cause a disruption;
- Terminating a Public Library Computer session; and
- Revoking a patron’s Library privileges.
- Users are expected to follow all federal, state, and municipal laws in their use of Electronic Resources. Illegal acts may be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.
- The Library cannot ensure the security of account or credit card numbers entered using the Electronic Resources. Users are responsible to assume payment of fees for any fee-based services they incur.
- Prohibited uses include:
- Illegal Activity: Using the Electronic Resources for any activity in violation of applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, fraudulently charging credit cards, pirating software, or making fraudulent offers to sell or buy products, items, or services. Users may not place any material on the Internet related to any illegal activity or constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense or give rise to civil liability.
- Licensing Violations: Use of the Electronic Resources in any way, which violates licensing agreements between the Library and network/database providers. Users may not violate software license agreements or engage in unauthorized duplication of copy protected software.
- Spamming: Sending of unsolicited bulk and/or commercial messages over the Internet using the Electronic Resources.
- Intellectual Property Right Violations: Engaging in any activity that infringes or misappropriates the intellectual property rights of others, including, but not limited to, patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, or any other proprietary right of any third party.
- Obscene or Indecent Speech or Materials: Using the Electronic Resources to advertise, solicit, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available obscene images. The Library will notify and fully cooperate with law enforcement if it becomes aware of any use of the Electronic Resources in any connection with child pornography or the solicitation of sex with minors.
- Forging of Headers: Forging or misrepresenting message headers, whether in whole or in part, to mask the originator of the message.
- Hacking: Accessing illegally or without authorization computers, accounts, equipment or networks belonging to another party, or attempting to penetrate security measures of another system. This includes any activity that may be used as a precursor to an attempted system penetration, including, but not limited to, port scans, stealth scans, or other information gathering activity.
- Distribution of Internet Viruses, Trojan Horses, or Other Destructive Activities: Distributing information regarding the creation of and sending Internet viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, pinging, flooding, mail-bombing, or denial of service attacks or like matters. Also, activities that disrupt the use of or interfere with the ability of others to effectively use the service or any connected network, system, service, or equipment.
- Facilitating a Violation of this Policy of Use: Advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available any software product, product, or service that is designed to violate this Policy, which includes the facilitation of the means to spam, initiation of pinging, flooding, mail-bombing, denial of service attacks, and piracy of software.
- Export Control Violations: The transfer of technology, software, or other materials in violation of applicable export laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the U.S. Export Administration Regulations and Executive Orders.
- Resale: The sale, transfer, or rental of the Electronic Resources to customers, clients or other third parties, either directly or as part of a service or product created for resale.
- Overuse: Users may not use computer equipment for longer than the allowed time periods which would deny access to other users.
- Installation of Software: Users may not install software on any Public Library Computer. Users will be held responsible for any damage to library software or hardware.