Iron River Public Library

Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library

Internet Access

Policy on Public Use of the Internet
and Acceptable Internet Standards

 

To fulfill its mission of providing quality materials and services that fulfill the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the entire community, the Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library provides access to Internet resources. The Internet offers access to many valuable local, national and international sources of information. However, some information found on the Internet may be inaccurate, incomplete, dated, or offensive to some individuals. A good information consumer must evaluate the validity and appropriateness of information found.

Choosing and Evaluating Sources

The Internet is a series of communication linkages leading to a highly diverse array of information content. Library patrons use it at their own risk. In choosing sources to link to from its home pages, the Library follows its materials selection guidelines. Beyond this, the Library is not responsible for the content of the Internet, changes in content of the sources to which the Library home pages link, or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links. In an effort to assist its users, the Library will be creating Web sites for the general population, for teens and for children to help guide them to sources that are accurate, complete and current and that provide them with a wealth of information on the local, national and global level. In addition, the Library will eventually provide training for members of the public to assist them in using the Internet in a safe, effective and efficient manner.

Access by Minors

Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which library resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents or legal guardians should guide their children in use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use. Parents or legal guardians of minor children and children are encouraged to read Child Safety on the Information Highway and My Rules for Online Safety.

While the Library affirms and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians to monitor and determine their children's access to Library materials and resources, including those available through the Internet, the Library has taken certain measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors.

a. To address the issue of access by minors to inappropriate material on the Internet, including material that is harmful to minors, the Library is planning to:

i. Develop and maintain special web sites for children and teens;
ii. Develop and provide training programs on safe and effective Internet use;
iii. Encourage staff to guide minors away from materials that may be inappropriate; and,
iv. Distribute a handout entitled "The Internet: A Parent's Guide."

b. To address the issue of the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications, as well as the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors, the Library will be providing handouts and training programs. The Library also urges minors to keep in mind the following safety guidelines:

i. Use chat rooms only with parental permission and guidance.
ii. Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number.
iii. Let parents or guardians decide whether personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information should be revealed.
iv. Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without parents' or guardians' approval.
v. Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make one uncomfortable.
vi. Have parents or guardians report an incident to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 if one becomes aware of the transmission of child pornography.
vii. Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
viii. Remember that everything one reads may not be true.

c. To address the issue of unauthorized access, including so-called "hacking," and other unlawful activities by minors online, minors and all other Library users are hereby advised that use of the Library's computers for hacking or any other unlawful activity is strictly prohibited.

Public Users' Security

Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. However, The Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or necessary for the proper operation of the Library.

Software exists on library workstations that erases users’ activities when the workstation is restarted or when users log off. Therefore, for minors’ safety and users’ security, users must log off from workstations when they complete their work.

Compliance

The Library reserves the right to take appropriate action to insure compliance with this policy.

Guidelines on Access to Information
The Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library is guided by the following American Library Association statements on access to information:
• The Library Bill of Rights
• Freedom to Read Statement
• Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: Free Access to Libraries for Minors and Access to Electronic Information Services and Resources

In general, the Library is guided by a commitment to access to information policies that provide appropriate protections to its patrons while being consistent with the Library's longstanding commitment to the principles of free expression as set forth in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Acceptable Use Standards for Internet and IMCPL Computers
All electronic traffic originating from the Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library Internet Connection shall be in accordance with these Acceptable Use Standards. Failure to abide by these standards may result in the loss of Internet, computer, and Library privileges.

Acceptable Use

Use of the Library's computers shall be guided by the following principles:
1. Respect for the privacy of others.
2. Attention to the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.
3. Consideration for the security and functioning of computers, computer networks, and systems.
4. Library staff may limit PC access time if other library patrons are waiting for access to PCs.
5. Library staff may extend PC access time to accommodate specific needs.

Unacceptable Use

1. It is not acceptable to use the Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library Computers for any purposes that violate U.S. or state laws, to transmit threatening, obscene or harassing materials, or to interfere with or disrupt network users, services or equipment. Disruptions include, but are not limited to: distribution of unsolicited advertising, propagation of computer worms and viruses, tampering with computer or network security, and using the network to make unauthorized entry into any systems accessible via Library computers. Illegal acts involving the Library's computers may be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.
2. Users may not represent themselves as another person.
3. Users shall not develop programs that harass other users or cause harm to other computer systems. Examples of such programs are computer "viruses" and "worms."
4. It is assumed that information and resources accessible via the Library's computers are private to the individuals and organizations that own or hold rights to those resources and information, unless specifically stated otherwise by the owners or holders of those rights. It is therefore not acceptable for an individual to use the Library's computers to access information or resources unless permission to do so has been granted by the owner or holder of rights to those resources or information.
5. Malicious use is not acceptable. Use of the Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library Internet Connection and any attached network in a manner that precludes or significantly hampers its use by others is not allowed.
6. Unsolicited advertising is not acceptable.
7. Computing resources shall not be used to access pornographic materials.
8. No purchase may be made via the Internet Connection. There is no security for credit card numbers or account numbers in the Library's software.

Violations may result in loss of access. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate manner. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems, or any consequences thereof.

Policy Subject to Revision

The Library's "Policy on Public Use of the Internet" may be revised from time to time.

Credits

This Internet Policy was developed from several existing policies in place at public libraries in the United States. The Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library thanks the Northern Waters Library Service, the New York Public Library and the Marion County Library for their pioneering efforts in preparing Internet Policies.

Revised 5/1/2003

Approved and adopted August 14, 2001, Board of Trustees