The Winfield Public Library makes the Internet available as part of its continuing effort to provide collections, resources, and services that meet the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of the community.
Basic to our Policies are the Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Act. This Internet Use Policy affirms the following rights as outlined in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights in Cyberspace:
- Electronic information, services, and networks provided by libraries should be readily, equally, and equitably accessible to all library users.
- Libraries and librarians should not deny or limit access to information available via electronic resources because of its controversial content or because of personal beliefs or fears of confrontation.
- Information retrieved or utilized electronically should be considered constitutionally protected unless determined otherwise by a court with appropriate jurisdiction.
- Parent and legal guardians who are concerned about their children’s use of electronic resources should provide guidance to their own children.
Because the Internet is a vast and unregulated information network, the Library’s selection criteria and collection development policies cannot be applied to this resource. Information located on the Internet can be personally, professionally and culturally enriching but users are cautioned that some ideas are controversial, divergent and inflammatory. The Library makes no guarantees, implied or stated, about the accuracy or appropriateness of the information found on the Internet nor can it protect users from information and images which they might find offensive or disturbing. Users are urged to be informed consumers by evaluating all information retrieved from the Internet. Library staff have attempted to locate Internet sources of information linked to the Library’s home page that are informative, regularly accessible and likely to appeal to a wide range of people.
The Library’s access to the Internet is shared by all library users, regardless of age, background, or sensibilities. Users are asked to be sensitive of other’s beliefs and values when accessing potentially controversial information. Users are also cautioned that security on the Internet cannot be guaranteed and that all transfers and files should be considered public. The Winfield Public Library has installed filters on all its public computers to filter child pornography, adult/sexually-oriented materials and obscenity. The filter can be removed, upon request, to allow access to non-pornographic sites that may unintentionally be blocked.
Child Safety on the Internet
Parents or legal guardians are responsible for the information accessed by their children on the Internet. Parents are encouraged to discuss the use of the Internet in relation to their family values and to provide guidance and boundaries for their children.
To assist parents, the Library provides, both on-line and in print, the publication Child Safety on the Information Highway published by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Parents and guardians are encouraged to review this information with their children. In addition, children age seven and under will need a responsible adult, i.e. a parent, guardian or teacher, with them to use the Internet.
All users of the Internet are expected to use this resource in a responsible and courteous manner, consistent with the purposes for which it is provided and to follow all Internet rules and procedures, including, but not limited to, those of the Library. Responsible and courteous use includes:
- Respecting the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.
- Respecting the computers and computer systems and not interfere with or disrupt network users, services, programs, software or equipment.
- Refraining from using the Internet for illegal or unethical use.
- Respecting the privacy of others.
- Refraining from using the Library’s Internet connections to conduct business or any other commercial enterprises.
- Refraining from transmitting threatening, harassing or abusive language or images.
- Respecting the Library’s Internet capabilities as public access and understanding that not all Internet sources are appropriate for public viewing by all ages.
Noncompliance with the Library’s policies and regulations that govern the use of the Internet may result in suspension or loss of privilege to use the Library’s access to the Internet.
Staff assistance is available to provide some instruction or, as time permits, to locate information for patrons. At this time, the Library cannot guarantee that a trained staff member will be available at all times for assistance. Staff can provide information about training sessions along with suggestions of books, magazines and other materials concerning the Internet.
Adopted by the Library Board 11-19-96 (Amended by the Library Board 10/2011)