Purpose or Intent
The Ivanhoe Public Library provides free use of computers and access to the Internet to all users, with the understanding that it is the individual user’s responsibility to demonstrate judgment, respect for others and the appropriate conduct while using Public Library resources. The purpose of the Computer and Internet Use Policy is to insure the best use of computers and access to the Internet by the greatest number of people.
Internet Use Guidelines
Library workstations may not be used to view sexually explicit material, illegal drug-related, gang related, hate group related or violent materials. Library computers may be used to visit chat sites or other forms of electronic communications. Uses will not disclose, use or disseminate personal information regarding minors without authorization of the parent or legal guardian of the minors involved. Users will obey copyright laws and licensing agreements. Users may not change the settings and configuration. Users may not use non-library software or save anything to the hardware of the library workstation without permission from the head librarian. Users may not circumvent the established procedure for access to the Internet. It is not acceptable to use the Library’s computers for any purpose, which violates U.S. or state laws, to transmit obscene or harassing materials, or to interfere with or disrupt network users. Users are financially responsible for any damage to the Library’s equipment, hardware or software. The Library’s Rules of Behavior on Library Premises policy applies to the behavior of patrons using library equipment and resources. Parents and guardians must also maintain supervision of their children in the library using the Internet. Failure to follow this policy could result in revocation of library privileges. Library employees are authorized to take prompt and appropriate actions to enforce the Rules of Conduct, and/or prohibit use by persons who fail to comply with the Internet Acceptable Use Policy as stated or implied herein.
Computer workstations are available on a first come basis whenever the library is open.
Use of the workstation is limited to a single one-hour session and may be limited to only once per day. Use of the computer workstation for word processing, on line classes or school or adult research will be limited to an hour and one half per day. Anyone playing games, checking emails or in a chat room is limited to one hour only. If no one is waiting to use a computer/ Internet workstation, use may continue until it is needed for another person. During the summer you may sign up to use the computer. If a person does not arrive within fifteen minutes of the scheduled time, the workstation will become available for someone else to use. Two persons may share one access session as long as their behavior or conservation does not disturb other users or library staff. Extended use of a computer workstation is up to the discretion of the library staff on duty.
To comply with Federal and State laws, the Board of Library Trustees has approved installation of software designed to filter sexually explicit content on all computers. The blocking software filter is inherently imprecise and flawed. It inevitably will block access to a vast array of constitutionally protected material on the Internet. Because of its technological limitations, the filter is also incapable of protecting against all access to Internet material that is obscene, contains child pornography, or is otherwise harmful to minors. The library can unblock individual web sites that have been blocked by the filter. The library will disable the entire filter for adult users 18 and over upon request. The requesting user will not have to explain why he or she is asking that the site be unlocked or the entire filter be turned-off. The library encourages users to request that the filter be disabled as needed.
The library avoids collecting or maintaining records that could compromise the privacy of patrons. Sign-up sheets are maintained on paper locally to manage access to computer workstations. Those lists are shredded daily. There is no electronic tracking of workstation use that would enable the library to determine who users are or what they did on library computers after logging off. Users must also exercise caution when using the Internet to avoid unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal, identifiable information. Users are encouraged to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing information that may reasonably be offensive to someone else. Absolute privacy for people using electronic resources in the library cannot be guaranteed.
Wireless Internet Access
The Computer and Internet Use Policy applies to any laptop used to access the Internet through the library’s Wi-Fi connection. As a result, your Internet connection will be filtered and prohibited web sites will be blocked. Users are responsible for making sure their computers have the correct settings and necessary hardware. Library staff cannot assist users in configuring their equipment or troubleshooting problems. Library staff will provide limited instruction for access. The library cannot guarantee that users’ hardware will work with the library’s wireless connection.
Responsibility of the Library
The library is obligated to comply with federal and state law regarding the use of computer resources in the prevention of exposure to certain explicit images and material. Library staff is available to introduce Internet access and provide limited instruction only.
The Internet and its available resources contain a wide variety of material and opinions from varied points of view. Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete or current information. It is the responsibility of the user to make individual choices and decisions when using the Internet. Users may encounter material that could be considered inappropriate. Parents of minor children assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet through the Library’s connection. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibilities arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems or any consequences thereof. Laptops and other devices should never be left unattended in the library. The library assumes no responsibility for damage, theft or loss of any kind to a user’s equipment, software, or data files.