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Internet Use and Safety Policy

The Library offers free public access to the Internet as a service to allow its patrons to retrieve information in electronic format from sources around the world. The Library has a responsibility to provide a wide range of informational resources and points of view in a variety of formats for all of its users. However, the Internet is only one tool to be considered in searching for information. It is not always accurate, up-to-date, unbiased or all-inclusive. Other Library material such as books, periodicals and reference databases may be more appropriate and accurate.

Library users access the Internet at their own discretion and are responsible for any material they may retrieve. The Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet, and cannot be held responsible for its content or quality. The Libraryís selection policies, which serve to guide the Libraryís purchase of materials, are not applicable to material accessed electronically. The Internet may contain material of a controversial or mature nature. Following the principles and guidelines of the American Library Association, the Library neither censors access to materials nor protects users from information they find offensive.

ACCEPTABLE USE

Access to and use of the Internet is a service offered by the Library which should be used in a responsible and ethical manner consistent with the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational purposes for which it is provided.

The following purposeful, illegal and/or criminal activities constitute unacceptable use:

  • Using Library workstations for any illegal or criminal purpose that violates local, state, or federal laws (including, but not limited to, committing fraud; hacking; or engaging in communications which are libelous or slanderous)
  • Viewing child pornography
  • Deliberately sending, receiving or displaying obscene images
  • Violating copyright law or software licenses
  • Compromising the privacy of users
  • Attempting to interfere with or disrupt users, services or equipment
  • Attempting to install, delete, or modify Library software; attempting to install or run any programs that have not been installed by the Library

CHILDRENíS USE OF THE INTERNET

The Library is aware of parental concerns over children’s use of the Internet and wishes to have the child’s experience be a safe and rewarding one. Library staff can provide assistance and help to identify appropriate sites. However, librarians cannot monitor an individual’s use. Searching the Internet can result in accessing offensive material either accidentally or intentionally. Therefore, parents are strongly encouraged to take an active role in their children’s use of the Internet and communicate to the child what is appropriate and safe behavior while using this resource.

Following the guidelines of the American Library Association, the Library does not restrict patrons’ access to any of its material or information. Any restrictions on use or access by young people are solely the right and responsibility of the parent, guardian or caregiver. They are responsible for ensuring their own minor children’s safety when using e- mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications.

VIOLATIONS

Violations of any part of this policy may result in the loss of Library privileges. Persons violating the Library’s Internet Use policy will be notified in writing that their behavior has violated the Library’s policy. If such behavior occurs a second time, penalties will be imposed.

Penalties may include suspending or terminating the patron’s access to Library computers or rescinding their Library card, [which could prevent use of any C/W MARS Library].

Users will be held responsible for any damage to hardware, software, data, furniture or equipment.

Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.