Internet Use in the Library

Cole Library makes computer terminals available to its users in order to better fulfill the Library’s mission to foster and support citizens’ exploration of ideas and use of information.

The Library permits free and full access to the Internet including the World Wide Web. Due to the nature of the Internet, the Library cannot control what content is displayed, nor can Library staff monitor what patrons access. The library assumes that library users under the age of 18 who are unattended in the Library have parental permission to use the Library and its resources, including the Internet. The Library does not act in place of a parent or guardian to place restrictions on a minor’s use of the Internet.

The Library expects that all use of electronic information resources will be responsible and ethical, consistent with the purposes for which these resources are provided:

using resources for educational, informational and recreational purposes, not for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes;

respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others; by not damaging or altering software components on any network or database;

respecting and adhering to copyright limitations;

not sending, receiving or displaying text or graphics that are obscene, child pornography or harmful to minors; (1)

not making unauthorized changes to the set-up or configuration of software or hardware.

In order to support the Library’s goal to maintain a welcoming and orderly environment, patrons should use computers in a manner befitting computer use in public. Staff may limit images displayed on screens open to public viewing in order to ensure the secure and comfortable environment of the Library.

Not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current, legal or authoritative. The library provides links to selected web sites that librarians have identified as authoritative, informative and current.

Time limits may be placed on equipment in order to provide access to as many users as possible. Misuse or abuse of Library computers or Internet access may result in suspension of Library privileges.

1. “Obscenity and Pornography,” The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, pp. 602-604. [See description of Miller v California on page 603].

Approved May 20, 2003

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