Internet Public Use Policy
Essex Public Library
Public Access Internet Policy
Essex Public Library offers limited public access to the Internet. The Public Access computers are located in the Reference area of the library.
The Internet is a global electronic network with no county, state or federal regulation of its users or content and the resources available are not under the control of Essex Public Library or its access provider. The Internet may contain controversial or explicit material. It may contain false information. The Library cannot protect users from materials which some may find offensive, inappropriate, or inaccurate. For this reason, all children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times when using the Internet. For children older than 12, it is recommended that parents supervise their children’s Internet sessions.
Library staff cannot control the availability of the information links, which change rapidly and unpredictably. Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information retrieved.
USER RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING THE USE OF INTERNET ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
All users of electronic information resources such as the Internet are expected to use these resources in a responsible manner, consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which they are provided and to follow the rules and regulations of the organization providing these resources. Responsible, appropriate use of such resources also includes using resources for educational, informational and recreational purposes only, not for unauthorized or illegal purposes. Cooperative use will facilitate access for all users. Sanctions such as loss of Internet or Library privileges may be applied to violators or acceptable use.
Computing resources should be used in accordance with the ethical standards of the Library. Examples of unacceptable use (some of which may also have legal consequences) include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Violation of computer systems security
• Damaging or altering software components of any network or database
• Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes or network identification numbers
• Violation of software licensing agreements
• Violation of network usage policies and regulations
• Violation of another user’s privacy
• Attempting to modify or gain unauthorized access to files, passwords, or data deemed unavailable for public use
• In addition, the microcomputer user should be aware of computer viruses and other destructive computer programs and take steps to avoid being a victim or unwitting distributor of these processes
Ultimate responsibility for resolution of problems relating to the invasion of the user’s privacy or loss of data rests with the user. The Library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the user’s data or for any damage or injury arising from invasion of the user’s privacy.
Computing resources may not be used for illegal purposes by the public. Examples of unacceptable purposes include, but are not limited to the following:
• Harassment of other users
• Libeling or slandering other users
• Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or other users
• Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications
• Unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material
Pursuant to § 42.1-36.1 of the Code of Virginia, on those computers that are accessible to the public and have Internet access, filtering technology has been implemented to block Internet access through such computers to child pornography as defined in § 18.2-374.1:1, obscenity as defined in § 18.2-372, and, with respect to minors, materials deemed harmful to juveniles as defined in § 18.2-390. In order to block access to materials that may be inappropriate for juveniles, public computers are always filtered. In addition, PCs will not provide Internet Chat. Adults have the option of unfiltered access at public computers for bona fide research or other lawful purpose. Circulation and administration staff can turn off the filters for up to 30 minutes at the request of adult patrons. Because no filtering solution is 100% effective, parents or legal guardians are responsible for deciding which library resources are appropriate for their own children.
Internet access users can facilitate use of the Library’s resources in many ways. The Library endorses the practice of cooperative computing. This includes:
• Refraining from overuse of connect time, printing facilities or processing capacity
• Refraining from use of visuals which might be disruptive to others
• Refraining from use of any computing resource in an irresponsible manner
Violators of the policies in this document may lose Library privileges. Violations of the legal and ethical use policies described above will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner. Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.
Also, Essex Public Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the use of its Internet access computer or from its connections to other Internet services through its provider, Digex, Inc.