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Internet Access Policy

Approved by Library Board of Trustees, 2/2013

SIOUX CENTER PUBLIC LIBRARY

INTERNET ACCESS POLICY

In accordance with the library’s Mission Statement, the Sioux Center Public Library provides access to the Internet.  The Internet’s purpose is to provide access to information and acceptable recreation activities.  Though the library has a filter to prevent patrons from seeing pornographic websites, it cannot be held responsible for Internet content.  The Internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population and library patrons use it at their own risk.

Iowa law (Code of Iowa, Section 716A) prohibits damaging or destroying a computer or computer program, software, or system. Unauthorized access is also prohibited.  Persons attempting such action can be prosecuted.

Patrons must have a signed Internet card on file at the circulation desk to use the Internet.

The Internet is not a secure, private environment. Customers handling financial transactions or other activities that require confidentiality do so at their own risk – the library is not responsible for incidents surrounding identity theft and other issues with personal information. In general, electronic communication is not absolutely secure and is subject to outside intervention. It is also subject to monitoring by network administrators in the usual performance of their duties.  It is the library’s practice not to maintain a history of our customers’ computer use. The library will not retrieve any information, including web sites visited, passwords or credit card numbers, or any other information a customer has entered. 

 

Staff Assistance:

Library staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning Internet access, computer jargon, or computer use.  Staff may offer minimum searching suggestions and can answer some questions as time permits.

 

Patrons Using the Internet Must Conform to the Following Guidelines:

  1. Patrons are required to have an Internet/Library Card on file at the Circulation desk.
     
    If under 18, the parent/guardian signature must be on the card.
    The parent/guardian must be present in the library to sign the card.  

    Cards can not be sent home with a child to be returned after being signed by the parent/guardian.  The parent/guardian must come to the circulation desk with the child to sign the card.
  2. Patrons must have a valid Sioux Center Public Library Card to obtain access to the Internet.  (A projected fine or a fine balance over $5.00 is evidence of an invalid card.)
  3. Patrons who check out the computer must have their own library card to use the Internet.  Cards are valid only for the patron to whom they have been issued.  Library cards with Internet access are not transferable for Internet use.  Guest passes are available for people 18 years and older who are temporarily in the area and need a computer.  They must sign their phone number and name on our sheet to use a guest pass.
  4. Patrons may use a computer and stay unless someone else is waiting.  If patrons are waiting, a 1 hour time limit will be imposed.  If it is extremely busy, then a 30 minute time limit may be imposed by the librarian on duty.
  5. Staff will provide minimal computer assistance to patrons if it does not interfere with their other duties.
  6. Children 9 years and under must have a parent, grandparent or guardian in the building.

    Parents/guardians, NOT the library, are responsible for the Internet information selected or accessed by their children. Therefore the parent or guardian of children 9 and under must be present in the library.  Older siblings or friends may not act as a parent substitute.
  7. Only one patron may be on a computer at a time, unless the patron is a parent/guardian assisting a child.  Two students working on a school project may use the computer together. 
  8. Patrons may send and receive e-mail using the library computers as long as they have their own accounts through a personal webmail account.
  9. The library assumes no responsibility for files saved to the hard drive of the computer or to flash drives.   
  10. Information can be printed at a charge of .15 per black/white sheet and .75 per color sheet and .75 per picture.  Copies can be picked up at the circulation desk.
  11. A content filter is installed to meet the guidelines of the federal “Child Internet Protection Act.”  Patrons viewing pornography will be asked to leave and may lose their Internet access privileges for up to 3 months.
  12. 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. A. Uses 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. The distribution of unauthorized copies of copyrighted motion pictures (or songs) constitutes copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, Title 17 United States Code Section 106(3). This conduct may also violate the laws of other countries, international law, and/or treaty obligations. (Amendment April 14, 2011)
    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 age 17: 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.
    6. Violations of any aspect of these procedures and/or inappropriate Internet usage as determined by library staff may result in the loss of use of library computers and Internet privileges, and may result in legal action. 
  13. Failure to comply with these guidelines can result in the loss of an Internet Access Card. The first offense will result in loss of privileges for the day and then for 1 week. The second offense will result in loss for a period of 90 days as determined by the librarian on the circulation desk at the time of the offense.  The third offense will result in loss for a period of 1 year as determined by the librarian on the circulation desk at the time of the offense.  Serious and repeat offenders can be denied access to the library computers permanently.

 

Approved by Library Board of Trustees 2/2013

 

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