Acceptable Use of the Internet
Guide to the RCTPL (Remington Carpenter Township Public Library’s)
Policies Regarding Internet Use
The Internet, as a worldwide computer network, enables the Library to provide access to information beyond the confines of the Library’s collections. It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from multiple and global sources. Because the Internet is an unregulated medium, the Library has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and is not responsible for its content. Some information is inaccurate, out of date, and is potentially offensive to some users. Therefore, users shall be responsible for determining that the information they access is acceptable, reliable, and suitable for their needs.
Access to Internet Resources
- The RCTPL is committed to providing free and open access to informational, educational, recreational and cultural resources for library users of all ages and backgrounds. Throughout its history, the RCTPL has made information available in a variety of formats, from print materials to audio visual materials. The library’s computer system provides the opportunity to integrate electronic resources from information networks around the world with the library’s other resources.
- The Internet, as an information resource, enables the library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access to ideas, information and commentary from around the globe. Currently, however, it is an unregulated medium. As such, while it offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, it also enables access to some material that may be offensive, disturbing and/or illegal, inaccurate or incomplete. Users are encouraged to be good information consumers by evaluating the validity of information accessed via the internet.
- In introducing the Internet as an information resource, the library’s goals is to enhance its existing collection in size and depth and as a public access agency, give opportunity to anyone who wishes to participate in navigating the Internet.
- The library cannot control or monitor other material that may be accessible from Internet sources because the Internet is a vast and unregulated medium with access points that can and do change often, rapidly and unpredictably.
- The library upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material. The library also affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their own children’s use of library materials and resources.
- Library staff is available to provide assistance and to help identify appropriate sites. The user, however, is the selector in using the Internet and makes individual choices and decisions.
Internet Use by Minors
- The Library has a long standing history in being a partner with parents and their children in using the public library. Equally so, the Library fully acknowledges the right of parents and legal guardians to set family standards and values, therefore the Library cannot usurp that right nor assume the responsibility. In keeping with this family partnership, the Library will use the following less restrictive means to assist parents with an Internet-safe environment for their children (minors) against partially harmful materials.
- The library has a filtering program that prevents access to materials that would not be generally acceptable, it may not block all materials that are considered objectionable.
- Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- If minors (anyone under the age of 17) are to have Internet access, the following conditions must be adhered to:
- A Minor Consent Form must be signed in the presence of a staff member by the parent or legal guardian
- Identification of parent or legal guardian and minor will be required by staff
- A Minor Consent Form is required for each minor accessing the Internet.
- When parental consent is given, the Library encourages parents to share Internet time with their children; however, this is a parental choice and is not a Library requirement.
- In order to make Internet resources available to as many users as possible and to ensure that this resource is used in a manner consistent with library policies, the following rules shall apply:
- Internet Access is provided primarily for educational, informational, and research purposes. Because of the limited number of Internet access computers available, the Library can override other Internet users.
- E-mail users will not send or display obscene or disruptive messages, files, or images.
- The use of obscene language is not allowed.
- Accessing abusive, profane, sexually oriented or illegal material is not permitted.
- E-mail cannot be used as a means to harass, libel, or slander others.
- All in house computer users must sign an Internet Agreement log-on sheet for each Internet session with the understanding that one’s signature is an agreement to follow the Library’s Internet User Policy.
- Because few Chat Rooms serve educational purposes, and because of limited resources, the Library does not permit Internet access of these sites.
- Internet user will abide by computer time limits for Internet sessions and will pay for all Internet printed copies.
- Copyright laws and software licensing agreements must be respected.
- Internet users will hold the Remington Carpenter Township Public Library harmless to any and all claims, losses, damages, obligations, and liabilities directly or indirectly related to the use of the Internet.
- Any attempts to modify a computer’s software or hardware or attempting illegally to access any site will result in a permanent loss of Internet privileges.
- The library’s computers are set up for optional usage by a single individual. In some cases, such as a parent/guardian with children, it may be important for two or more people to work together at a computer. Otherwise, because of limited space, a maximum of two persons may sit/work together at any one computer.
- All patrons are asked to respect the privacy of other patrons and not attempt to censor or comment upon what others are viewing.
- The library is a public area. The legality of given materials are not, necessarily, an indication of neighborliness or good taste. Patrons are requested to use discretion and common since while exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to any information while in the public areas of the library.
Policy updated 2/05. Policy accepted on 4/3/06. Reviewed on 4/4/2016, 4/3/2017