Internet Use Policy

Internet Use Policy

(Revised in 2011)

Designated Public Access computers in the library provide access to the Internet during all hours that the library is open.  These computers are available to all library patrons.  Patrons may also use their own laptop computers to access the Internet through our wi-fi network.

Policy

As part of the Newport Public Library’s commitment to meeting the educational, informational, and cultural needs of all the community the library makes available access to the Internet.

As the consortium of which this library is a member receives federal funds for providing it with Internet access all computers will be filtered. Because filtering is imprecise we will notify computer users that

  • Filters are incapable of fully protecting against access to Internet material that is obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors
  • Filters may block constitutionally protected material. Under the law the library will provide for anyone needing access to a blocked site to be given such access and will disable the filter completely for anyone 17 or over who requests it be disabled.
  • As there are information resources available on the Internet which may be inappropriate to a library setting, despite our use of filters, the accessing and displaying of these resources may be perceived, by other library patrons, as unacceptable behavior in the library.  The library staff has the authority to end an Internet session when such material displays on the screen.

Because of security necessary on public access computers they cannot be expected to do everything home computers can do.

Responsibilities of the Library and Its Patrons

 In developing a library’s collection librarians use criteria to select the materials added.  The Internet however poses a different challenge.

  • Users of the Internet must be aware that the content they access has not been verified for accuracy, currency or appropriateness.  The library therefore cannot be held responsible for its content, accuracy, or appropriateness.

Library staff can recommend specific resources that have been found to be reliable and can offer advice on how to evaluate content.  While library staff members are happy to assist users in accessing the Internet, each user is nevertheless responsible for his or her own research.

  • Staff will devote a reasonable amount of time assisting individual library users with the Internet where needed. They cannot devote large amounts of time to each patron because staff scheduled to be on the desk are handling many information requests from individuals.  For those needing more instruction the Reference and Children’s Departments schedule classes on a regular basis.

Librarians are partners with parents in guiding children to safe and appropriate use of the Internet.  Parents and guardians are responsible for supervising their children’s Internet sessions and for letting their children know if there are materials they should not use or view.

The library assists parents and guardians who desire guidance for their children’s use of the Internet through their technical expertise and guidance.

  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit Safe Kids and review all the information found there.
  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to develop in their children an understanding of the dangers of the Internet and how to remain safe.

The library will regularly schedule classes on Internet Safety for parents and will incorporate on-line safety information into the classes offered for children.  The Library provides links to child appropriate sites from many of the [intlink id="14" type="page"]Kids Pages[/intlink] on our website.

Privacy

The library avoids collecting or maintaining information that could compromise the privacy of library users.  However, patrons must be aware that the computers are located in public areas. The computers also retain a search history until they are rebooted each day.   Electronic transactions of information and viewing screens could, therefore, become public.

  • Patrons must also exercise caution when using the Internet to avoid unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information.
  • Parents are advised to caution their minor children about which personal facts are not to be shared on the Internet.

Use

The library has a set of behavior guidelines that apply to users of the Internet as well as to all other library services.  In addition patrons are not permitted to

  • Use the Internet for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes.
  • Send, receive, or display text or graphics that may reasonably be construed as obscene.
  • Destroy or damage equipment, software or data belonging to the Library or other users
  • Install program files to the hard drive.
  • Use non-library software, drives or other peripherals on library computers
  • Use library computers for unauthorized access including so-called ‘hacking’ and other unlawful activities
  • Disrupt or monitor without authorization electronic communications.
  • Use computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers assigned to others.
  • Use computing resources to gain unauthorized access to local or remote computers or to impair operations of Newport Public Library computers or networks, PC workstations or peripherals.  This includes blocking communication lines and running, installing or sharing virus programs.
  • Attempt to circumvent data protection and other security measures.
  • Harasss, slander or libel other users
  • Use the computers to violate copyright protection or licensing agreements in violation of applicable federal state, or local laws or ordinances.
  • Use Skype, Bluetooth, or other devices which all peaking/voice communications on computers in the library.
  • Use webcameras in a way that would invade the privacy of other users or staff.

Violations may result in the loss of access.  Unlawful activities will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner.