Computer and Internet Access Policy

USE AND COMPLIANCE

The Community Library of Allegheny Valley ensures that the people of the member communities and County of Allegheny have the right and means to free and open access to ideas and information that are fundamental to a democracy. The Library, by providing library materials and information services, including those accessed through the Internet, seeks to promote literacy, encourage lifelong learning and protect intellectual freedom.

  • POLICY REGARDING ACCESS TO INTERNET RESOURCES

1.1 Internet access as an information source at the Community Library of Allegheny Valley enhances the Library’s existing collection in size and depth, and extends the Library’s commitment to meeting the community’s information needs.

1.2 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, the Internet 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 may also contain material that is incorrect, inauthentic, unreliable, illegal, or sexually explicit. The Library has selected sites to link to its home pages in accordance with its materials selection policies. Beyond this, the Library does not monitor and cannot control information accessible through the Internet and is not responsible for its content, for changes in content of the sources to which the Library home pages link, or for the content of sources accessed by the user through secondary links.

1.3 Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all library users. The Library upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material; however, parents or legal guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of the Internet and for the information selected and/or accessed by their children. Parents or legal guardians are encouraged to give their children Internet guidelines, such as My Rules for Online Safety or those from the American Library Association on their web site, 700 + Great Sites, and inform them about materials they should not use. However, in no event is any person under the age of 18 permitted to view any obscene and other sexual materials and performances as defined and described in 18 Pa. C.S. 5903 and any amendments thereto. Copies of the statute are available at circulation.

1.4 The Library provides “Recommended Sites for Kids”: links on its Internet Search Page that link to other Web sites that, in the professional opinion of the library staff, parents or legal guardians will find appropriate for their children. Library staff is available to provide assistance, to help identify appropriate sites, and to discuss any questions or concerns.

1.5 Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users’ activities on the Internet. Community Library of Allegheny Valley, however, will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or necessary for the proper operation of the library.

1.6 In the application and interpretation of this policy, the Community Library of Allegheny Valley will use as reference The American Library Association’s Code of Ethics, Freedom to Read Statement, Library Bill of Rights, and interpretations as they apply to electronic resources.

    1. CONDITIONS AND TERMS OF USE IN THE LIBRARY

2.1 In an effort to ensure that the use of the Internet is consistent with the mission of the Community Library of Allegheny Valley, the following shall apply:

2.2 Users must present a valid library card prior to the use of any computer.

2.3 Designated Internet stations will be located where staff can see them.

2.3a There is a limit of two (2) persons at each terminal.

2.4 The Library reserves the right to establish procedures and modify said procedures to make the Internet stations available on a reserved basis and the remaining open computers on a first come, first served sign-in basis.

2.4a There is a two (2) hour time limit on Internet use per day.

2.4b A half-hour time limit may be enforced during busy periods of Internet use.

2.4c The Library reserves the right to place time limits on use of large files of still or moving images or sound, or on downloading files in any medium.

2.5 The Library does not allow the use of personal software on its computers.

2.6 Internet use will be managed in a manner consistent with the Library’s policy on acceptable use: The Internet workstation must be used in a responsible manner, respecting the rights of other users. Users may not make any attempt to damage computer equipment or software. Computer and Internet settings may not be changed. Users may not use the network to make unauthorized entry into other computational, informational or communication services or resources. Users may not invade the privacy of others or engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory.

2.6a The Library is not responsible for the accuracy, quality or currentness of information available on the Internet.

2.6b If a serious computer malfunction occurs and said malfunction is traced to a patron’s computer misuse, that patron’s computer privileges will be suspended indefinitely.

2.7 The Internet workstations cannot be used for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose, including any activities prohibited under any applicable federal, Pennsylvania, or local laws. In addition, Internet access may not be used for any marketing, advertising, fund raising, or other “for profit” activities.

2.8 It is the user’s responsibility to be aware of the display of any notices concerning the copyright of information on the Internet and to respect the copyright laws of the United States.

2.9 The Library does not issue e-mail accounts and is not responsible for any problems arising with web-based e-mail accounts accessed in the Library.

2.10 The Library does not act in loco parentis and acknowledges the exclusive right of parents and guardians to monitor their children’s Internet use. Parents may restrict their children’s Internet use on their own accord.

2.11 The current cost to computer users to print a page off any computer is $ .20. Costs are subject to change.

2.12 Residents outside Allegheny County whose local library does not participate in the Access Pennsylvania program must purchase a Nonresident card in order to use the computers. A Guest card is available for all other visitors.

2.13 The Community Library of Allegheny Valley is committed to providing an employment environment free from sexual harassment. Users may not display on screens and/or printer materials that may be unlawful or prohibited under any applicable federal, Pennsylvania, or local laws.

  • COMPLIANCE WITH LIBRARY POLICY AND GUIDELINES

3.1 Violation of the policies and regulations that govern the use of the Library’s Internet resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources.

3.2 Any illegal activity involving the Library’s Internet resources or equipment will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.

3.3 The Library reserves the right to take appropriate action to ensure compliance with this policy.

3.4 This policy may be revised and updated from time to time.

CHILDREN’S INTERNET PROTECTION ACT COMPLIANCE

  • The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law that requires all computers in a public library to be filtered if that library accepts any federal funds for Internet access. [Supreme Court decision: United States v. American Library Ass’n, Inc., No. 02-361 (June 23, 2003)] The Community Library of Allegheny Valley complies with the requirements of CIPA.
  • All computers in the Community Library of Allegheny Valley are filtered. Please be aware that filters are unreliable, at times blocking sites of legitimate informational or educational value, or allowing access to sites that are illegal, obscene or sexually explicit within the meaning of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec 5903.
  • The Community Library of Allegheny Valley uses filtering software that blocks or filters Internet access to some Internet sites that may not be consistent with the policy of the Community Library of Allegheny Valley.
  • Parents or legal guardians, and not the Library or its staff, are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of the Internet for the information selected and/or accessed by their children. The Library strongly encourages parents or legal guardians to supervise their children’s Internet use and to provide them with guidelines about acceptable use.
  • The Community Library of Allegheny computers cannot be used for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose, including any activities prohibited under any applicable federal, Pennsylvania, or local laws, including activities in violation of 18 Pa Cons. Stat. Sec. 5903, which prohibits certain acts of public indecency.
  • Any adult (17 years of age or older, as defined by CIPA) may request that the filter or technology protection measure be disabled without significant delay by a Community Library of Allegheny Valley staff member authorized by the Library Director, consistent with the privacy policy of the Community Library of Allegheny Valley.
  • An authorized Community Library of Allegheny Valley staff member may override the filter or technology protection measure for a minor (age 16 years or younger, as defined by CIPA) in the event that the filter wrongly blocks or filters Internet access to a site with legitimate informational value.
  • The Community Library of Allegheny Valley cannot be responsible for any patron’s unauthorized use of a computer with a disabled filter.
  • Complaint Procedure:

    Any patron who wishes to file a complaint about the filtering software on the library computers may do so within thirty (30) days to:

    • The Library Director and/or Library Board President;
    • The Director of the Electronic Information Network;
    • The Federal Communications Commission.

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