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Internet and Computer Use Policy

Internet and Computer Use

Section 9.1: Internet and Computer Use Policy

Library’s Mission Statement

The mission of the Matteson Public Library is to make a positive contribution in the community by providing popular materials and services to help meet informational, recreational, educational, and intellectual needs with timely, accurate information in a variety of formats.

Principles Regarding Internet Access

In fulfillment of its mission, and in response to the diverse needs of the community, the Library provides access to a broad array of resources in a variety of formats, including, print, microforms, videos, compact discs, DVDs, and commercially licensed databases.  The Internet, a worldwide network of computer networks, is an essential medium for obtaining and transmitting information of all types.  By providing the public with free access to the Internet, the Library makes available a world of information beyond the confines of its collection, facilities and resources.  By providing access to computers, the Library enables the public to participate in the benefits of the information age. The Internet is an unregulated medium, which in addition to providing information that is personally, professionally and culturally enriching also enables access to material that is illegal and to materials that some find offensive.

Responsibilities of the Library

To assist and guide library patrons in the use of the Internet, the Library offers on its web site, www.mattesonpubliclibrary.org, an extensive collection of web resources that have been selected, evaluated and recommended by library staff for the quality of their content and their appropriateness for use by children, young adults and teens.

To ensure patrons’ privacy and the confidentiality of library records, the Library shall not disclose personally identifiable information about library users except to law enforcement authorities as required by law.

Library staff shall not monitor an individual’s Internet use except as may be required to ensure compliance with library policy and/or procedures.

Access by Minors

Parents, or legal guardians, are responsible for their child’s Internet use.

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.

To address the issue of access by minors (defined in this policy as persons under the age of 18) to inappropriate material on the Internet, including material that is harmful to minors, the Library:

  • Develops and maintains special web sites for children and teens
  • Encourages staff to guide minors away from materials that may be inappropriate.
  • Provides a link from the library’s web site, to NetSmartz Workshop by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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 provides signs and bookmarks urging minors to keep in mind the following safety guidelines:

  • Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number
  • Let parents or guardians decide whether personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information should be revealed
  • Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without parents’ or guardians’ approval
  • Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make one uncomfortable.
  • 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
  • Remember that people online may not be who they say they are
  • Remember that everything one reads may not be true

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 other unlawful activity is strictly prohibited.

Patrons accessing the Internet via their own equipment (e.g., patron laptop computers) or via library equipment or resources are subject to applicable State and Federal laws, including copyright laws.  Patrons may be liable for violating copyright laws.

Patrons who misuse computers, Internet access, library materials or library resources may be denied access to library equipment or resources.

Responsibilities of Users

Use of any computer at the Matteson Public Library constitutes acceptance of this policy and related procedures.

The Library reserves the right to terminate the session, evict the patron, or suspend or terminate the library privileges of any one who engages in unacceptable use or whose computer use disrupts library service, or violates library policies or procedures.

Among the uses that are considered unacceptable and which constitute a violation of this policy are:

  1. Uses that include but are not limited to actions that violate the law or encourage others to violate the law.  Transmitting of offensive or harassing messages; offering for sale or use any substance the possession or use of which is prohibited by law; viewing, transmitting or downloading pornographic material or materials that encourage others to violate the law; downloading or transmitting confidential, trade secret information, or copyrighted materials.  Even if materials on the networks are not marked with the copyright symbol, users should assume that all materials are protected unless there is explicit permission on the materials to use them.
  2. Uses that cause harm to others or damage to their property.  Engaging in defamation (harming another’s reputation by lies); uploading a worm, virus, “Trojan horse,” “time bomb” or other harmful form of programming or vandalism; participating in “hacking” activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.
  3. Uses that jeopardize the security of access of the computer network or other networks on the Internet.  Disclosing or sharing the user’s password with others; impersonating another user; using one’s own software programs on the library’s computers; altering the library’s computer settings; damaging or modifying computer equipment or software.
  4. Uses that compromise the safety and security of minors when using e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications.  Minors under the age 18: Giving others private information about one’s self or others, including credit card numbers and social security numbers; arranging a face-to-face meeting with someone one has “met” on the computer network or Internet without a parent’s permission.
  5. Uses that intrude upon the rights of others.  Invading the privacy of others.  Harassing others users or library staff.

Wireless Access

  • The Library’s wireless network is an open network, and therefore because it is not secure, the Library cannot guarantee the safety of your computer or any wireless communication
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for the configurations or security on any wireless device that results from connecting to the Library’s network.
  • The Library makes no guarantee that users will be able to connect to the Library’s network; and takes no responsibility for any changes the user makes to their settings.
  • The Library does not provide technical assistance to those attempting to use the wireless network.
  • Printers are not accessible except through the library’s computers; therefore users must save data then log into a public PC in order to utilize the printers.

Disclaimers

While the Library endeavors to provide access to information of the highest quality, the library specifically disclaims any warranty as to the information’s accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose.

The library shall have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the library’s Internet service.

The availability of information via the library’s Internet service does not constitute endorsement of the content of that information by the library.

Since software and information downloaded from any sources, including the Internet, may contain computer viruses, users are advised to utilize virus checking software on their computers.

The library is not responsible for damage to users’ disks or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the library’s computers.

Procedures

Library staff shall develop such rules and procedures as are necessary to ensure the fair and reasonable use of Internet access.

Revised and approved: ____September 10, 2007____________________

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