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Policy on Public Use of Internet – Youth Services

Policy on Public Use of Internet – Youth Services

 

To fulfill its mission of providing public access to information of all types in a wide range of formats, the Middle Country Public Library offers access to Internet resources. Internet users must comply with all Library policies. Any user’s traffic that crosses another network may be subject to another institution’s acceptable use policy.

The Internet is a unique resource allowing 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 the information found.

Choosing and Evaluating Sources

The Internet is a series of communication linkages leading to a highly diverse array of information content. Patrons use it at their own risk. In choosing sources to link to/from its web site, 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 web site points, or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links. In an effort to assist its users, the Library has created web sites for the general population, teens and 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.

Access by Minors

The Library has determined that compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act is not in the best interests of the community.  We firmly believe that the valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweighs the possibility that users may procure information that is not consistent with the educational and research goals of the Library.  Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which library resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents or legal guardians must guide their children in use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use. The Library affirms and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians to monitor and determine their children’s access to materials and resources including those available through the Internet.

a. To address the issue of access by minors to inappropriate material on the      Internet, including material that is harmful to minors, the Library:
 i. Develops and maintains special web sites for children and teens.
ii. Links to Internet Safety materials on the Internet.
b. To address the issue of the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, and other forms of direct electronic communications, as well as the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors, the Library urges minors and their parents or guardians to keep in mind the following safety guidelines:
   i. Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number.
  ii.  Let parents or guardians decide whether personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information should be revealed.
 iii. Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without parents’ or guardians’ approval.
 iv. Never respond to messages that make you uncomfortable or are suggestive, obscene or threatening. Tell a parent or guardian if you receive such a message.
  v. Parents or guardians should report an incident to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 if  they are aware of the transmission
       of child pornography.
 vi. People online may not be who they say they are.
vii. Everything one reads may not be true.

Rules Governing Use

The purpose of this system is to provide free open access to the Internet and to attendant electronic services such as e-mail and selected information sources. The following guidelines are presented in order to facilitate open access with as few limitations as possible.

  1. Any use of this service for unlawful purposes is prohibited.
  2. Using this service to harass or invade the privacy of other users or to interfere with their work is prohibited.
  3. Deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt system performance are prohibited.
  4. Users may not copy commercial software and all users agree to abide by copyright laws.
  5. Use of Libraries computers for hacking or any other unlawful activity is strictly prohibited.

Use of any information obtained is at the user’s own risk. It is up to each user to determine what is appropriate.  The Library will not be responsible for any possible damages, resulting from but not limited to loss of data, nondeliveries, misdeliveries, service interruptions, or the viewing of offensive and/or inappropriate material.

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 Library does not capture and store any personal information about individuals who access the Library’s Web site, except where users voluntarily choose to submit such data via e-mail, or by using an electronic form, or inquiring about and registering our services. Personal data voluntarily provided by users and visitors will be used exclusively for providing the user with requested information and/or assistance. The Library maintains administrative information such as dial-in records, firewall transaction records, web page usage records, and mail records for statistical purposes only. The Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by court subpoena or necessary for the proper operation of the Library.

Adopted March 19, 1997 by the Board of Trustees of the Middle Country Public Library

Revised September 18, 2002, February 11, 2004, July 18, 2012

Child Permission Slip

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