Mid-Columbia Libraries provides public access to the Internet as a way of enhancing its existing collections with electronic resources from information networks around the world. Internet access is important to library users for conducting research, retrieving information, exploring ideas and facilitating communication.
The library strives to balance the rights of individuals to access information and the need to provide a welcoming setting for people of all ages. The library is committed to providing both users and employees an environment that is free from all forms of harassment.
The library is committed to offering open access to the Internet, to supporting the right to privacy and confidentiality of library users, and to following the provisions of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
The library provides access to the Internet at every outlet, but the demand for use of the Internet may sometimes exceed the library's resources. Decisions on the number, placement and type of computer workstations and wireless access points at each site are based on demand, staffing, available floor space, electrical/cable access and budget constraints. To assure fair access for all persons, the library establishes rules and procedures that regulate the time, manner, and place of Internet access.
1. Technology Protection Measures
All library-provided Internet access includes technology protection measures that are intended to block obscene materials, child pornography, and materials harmful to minors. The use of technology protection measures by the library does not relieve parents of the responsibility for monitoring Internet access by their children.
The library uses technology protection measures that are site specific, are designed not to block research, and can be adjusted by employees after library review to include any sites for research. Upon request, library users age 17 and over may be provided unfiltered use of the Internet for lawful purposes.
2. User Responsibility
Use of any library workstation must be for legal purposes only.
Because Internet workstations are located in public areas shared by persons of all ages and backgrounds, users are expected to show consideration for others when viewing web pages. All users are expected to respect the privacy of those accessing the Internet.
No person shall use a library workstation or wireless Internet access in a way that disturbs or interferes with users, employees or operations of the library.
3. Users may not:
- View, print, distribute display, send, or receive images or graphics of obscene materials or material that violates laws relating to child pornography;
- Disseminate, exhibit, or display to minors materials that are harmful to minors;
- Use an library-provided Internet access to transmit threatening or harassing material;
- Engage in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or a hostile environment;
- Violate copyright or software licensing agreements;
- Gain unauthorized access to any computing, information, or communications devices or resources; or
- Damage, alter or degrade computer equipment, peripherals, software and configurations.
4. Failure to Comply
All library users must comply with this policy. Violations may lead to revocation of library privileges, including the right to visit the buildings and grounds. Offenders ordered from the premises who do not comply may be subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing.
5. Responsibility and Authority of Library Employees
Library employees shall provide assistance to identify appropriate sites for Internet searches and answer questions on the use of computers and other electronic resources in the library. Time constraints may prevent employees from providing in-depth computer or other technology training to individual users.
Library employees shall take prompt and appropriate action to enforce the Internet Access and Internet Safety Policies. They are authorized to terminate Internet access by anyone who fails to comply with these policies.
Library employees may refuse to assist a user if they believe that it will require them to view pornographic images, and they are required to immediately request assistance from a supervisor or manager.
The library assumes no responsibility for any damage, direct or indirect, that users or anyone else may suffer through access to the Internet at one of its outlets. All public Internet users at the library agree to hold the library harmless from any claims, losses, damages, or obligations related the use of the library's Internet services.
The Board of Trustees, which endorses the principles expressed in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association, shall review the effectiveness and merit of its Internet policies.
(05/15/2018; 06/21/2011; 06/21/2004; 10/15/2001; Adopted 11/16/1998)