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Library Internet Policy

Introduction

The McMinn County Library Board establishes this Library Internet Policy to ensure appropriate use of Internet resources within the library.

The Library provides workstations for free public access to the Internet as an informational, education and recreational resource. The Library expects that all use of electronic information resources such as the Internet will be responsible and ethical,consistent with the purpose for which these resources are provided. Potential users must agree to follow the policy guidelines outlined below:

Disclaimer

The Library offers links to a wide range of useful and interesting sites through its web site. Some Internet sites found through search engines may contain inaccurate, incomplete, outdated, indecent, controversial or offensive material.

The Library does not and may not monitor, control, or provide barriers to such material and cannot be held responsible for its content. We firmly believe that the valuable information available on this world-wide network far outweighs the possibility that users may come across material that is not consistent with the goals of the Library. Selection policies that serve to govern a library’s purchase of written material may not apply to material accessed electronically.

Responsibilities

The Library provides Internet access equally to all library users. Only parents or guardians — Not the library or its staff may restrict their children  and only their own children  from access to the Internet or other library materials. We strongly encourage parents to monitor and supervise their children’s Internet use. For more information on children and the Internet, please read Child Safety on the Information Highway (http://www.safekids.com/) produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Interactive Services Association.

Ultimately, all library users, whether children or adults, are the final selectors in using the Internet and other library materials and are responsible for their individual choices and decisions, and use these resources at their own risk.

However, the library does prohibit sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics which are sexually explicit, pornographic, obscene or offensive in such a public setting where minor children or other library users might be unwilling exposed. The Library reserves the right to terminate any session where such material is present. 

Privacy and Confidentiality

In general, the Library will treat information on computers as confidential. Requests for disclosure of information regarding an individual’s use will be honored only if approved by the Library Director, when authorized by the owners of the information, or when required by local, state, or federal law.

The Library staff may impose restrictions, such as time limits, on the use of library equipment. While respecting an individual user’s right to privacy, library staff reserves the right to monitor use of Internet workstations to ensure compliance with the Library Internet Policy.

Guidelines for Acceptable Use

It is essential that at all times Internet users shall:

  1. Obey all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding minor’s access to materials harmful to a minor.
  2. Refrain from any activities which might be disruptive to other library users.
  3. Refrain from the transmission or display of threatening, harassing, libelous, pornographic, or slanderous materials; in accordance with the Tennessee Code Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 9. Refrain from sending, receiving or displaying text or graphics that may be reasonably construed as obscene by community standards.
  4. Make no attempt to damage computer equipment, alter computer settings or install any software, introduce a worm or virus, or other harmful form of programming or vandalism, or participate in hacking activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.
  5. Avoid disclosing personal information over the Internet to preserve his or her own personal safety. Library Internet users are prohibited by law from disclosing, using, or disseminating personal information regarding minors without written authorization of the parent or legal guardian of the minor(s) involved. Internet users are prohibited from using the library computers to compromise the safety and security of minors when using email, chat rooms, social networking sites, and other forms of direct electronic communications. Such use includes, but is not limited to: giving others private information about one’s self or others or arranging a face-to-face meeting with someone one has met on the Internet without a parent or legal guardian’s permission.
  6. Respect international copyright laws and honor software licensing agreements.

Conditions and Terms of Use

The patron’s E.G. Fisher Public Library card must be presented at the time of signup. If a patron’s library card is barred for overdue materials, the patron must clear or resolve the account before being granted access to the Internet. Patrons with a blocked card because of fines must reduce the balance of their account $2.00 each time they request an Internet session. Patrons who have lost their library card may purchase a replacement for $4.00.

Non-County residents who only wish to gain access to the Internet must provide documentation of their out-of-county status.

Patrons are allowed access to the Internet computers on a first come, first serve basis. They Library does not take reservations for Internet access. The user agrees to restrict his/her Internet time to one hour when others are waiting.

It is understood that minors having a library card may access the Internet with or without a parent/guardian’s presence; however, the Library does encourage parents/guardians to oversee their child’s Internet activity.

The Library staff is happy to assist users in accessing the Internet, each user is nevertheless responsible for his/her own search. Staff cannot provide in-depth personal training in the use of the Internet or of personal computers.

Downloading/saving to a CD or flash drive is permitted on Internet accessible computers. The Library sells CDs for $1.50 each. Hard copies of information may be printed out at the cost of 20 cents per page. Downloading/saving to the computer hard drive is not permitted.

Filtering

Library computers accessing the Internet are filtered in compliance with the Federal Government’s Child Internet Protect Act (CIPA). If a patron encounters a blocked site that he/she feels is necessary for their research, they may ask a member of the Library staff to unblock the site.

Violations

While respecting an individual user’s right to privacy, Library staff reserves the right to monitor use of Internet workstations to ensure compliance with this safety policy. A user’s access to the library’s computer resources is a privilege, not a right. Staff may ask users to remove themselves from Library equipment if they observe any behavior which they judge to be in conflict with this policy. Misuse or abuse of Library computers or Internet access may result in loss of Internet access privileges. Repeated abuse of the Internet Safety Policy could result in loss of library privileges, being barred from the Library itself or possible criminal prosecution.

Virus Warming

Although the Library uses a program that checks for viruses, there is no guarantee that files downloaded from the Internet will not contain a virus. The Library is not responsible for any damages that may arise from saving or downloading files to any personal device.



Adopted October 12, 2007
Revised May 17, 2012

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