Library Internet Policy
INTERNET POLICY FOR LIBRARY WORKSTATIONS AND WIRELESS ACCESS (2014)
Cheltenham Township Library System (CTLS) provides public access to the resources available on the Internet and on subscription databases through computer workstations in all of its branches and via wireless Internet (wi-fi) for use with customer-owned devices. This service is intended to enhance the traditional print and audiovisual collections that have been established to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of our community. Library users are strongly cautioned, however, that CTLS does not control and therefore cannot be held responsible for the accuracy, currency or content of information accessed through the Internet. Users are urged to consult with library staff members who can recommend reliable sources of information and Internet search strategies.
STATEMENT ON FILTERING
In order to maximize federal and state funding that is vital to operating our libraries, CTLS complies with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Filtering software is used to block access to sites with adult, sexually explicit content. Users 17 years of age and older may request the library staff to disable the filter provided that their subsequent Internet use complies with the conditions of CIPA and this Internet Use Policy. The library staff may also unblock a particular site (but not disable the filter), for users under the age of 17 if the site has been blocked in error. Wireless access is also filtered for adult, sexually explicit content. Library devices and non-library owned equipment cannot be unblocked. If users require unfiltered access to the Internet, they should use library-owned equipment that does not access the Internet through the wireless network.
All users should note that filtering software is imperfect and inappropriate and/or offensive sites may not be blocked. Similarly, the software may block appropriate and/or legitimate sites. In addition, all computer software and equipment is subject to malfunction. While every effort will be made to accommodate legitimate requests to disable the filter or unblock a site, our ability to do so is determined by conditions outside our control.
CHILDREN AND THE INTERNET
CTLS supports the principles of intellectual freedom and the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material. CTLS also affirms the right and responsibility of parents, not library staff members, to determine and monitor their own children’s use of library facilities and resources, including the Internet. Some sites may contain material that is offensive or inappropriate for minors as defined by law or as determined by their parents or guardians. Library personnel can assist parents and children to find age-appropriate resources. If parents or guardians are concerned about their child’s responsible use of the Internet or the potential for exposure to offensive material, they should monitor or restrict that use.
Educational materials are available in all our libraries to promote Internet safety. All users, regardless of age, should exercise caution in sharing personal or private information online.
While every effort has been made to ensure uninterrupted access to the Internet, no warranty is provided and CTLS is not responsible for any loss, financial or otherwise, associated with the use of this service. Software and information downloaded from any source may contain viruses or other malicious content. CTLS is not responsible for damage to users’ back-up media, disks or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the library’s computers.
RULES FOR USE
Internet access is a privilege. Use of any library computer constitutes an agreement to abide by this policy. Inappropriate use, as determined by the library staff, may result in the loss of all computer access and/or prosecution under applicable state and federal laws.
The following rules apply to all Internet users and may be revised at any time:
- All users must sign-in with a library card or a temporary guest pass to use library computers. Library staff may request identification. Headphones (where available) may be borrowed and are required to listen to audio on computers.
Workstations cannot be reserved in advance. In the event that others are waiting to use a terminal, time restrictions will be enforced.
- Computers are shut down 15 minutes before the library closes.
- Food and drink are not allowed at computer workstations but may be consumed in other designated areas of the library.
- Users must respect the privacy of other computer users. Unacceptable behavior includes representing yourself as another user, modifying passwords, trying to gain access to someone else’s data, “hovering” over other users while waiting for a computer, and viewing and/or commenting on a neighboring computer user’s screen contents (without permission).
- Complaints regarding another’s use of library computers must be made to the library staff.
- Computers in designated children’s areas are for use by children only.
- The library reserves the right to terminate any computer session that disrupts library services or that involves user behavior that violates library policies.
- The number of users at any one workstation may be limited at the discretion of the library staff.
- Information may be saved by printing or by downloading to a flash drive provided by the user or purchased from the library.
- Printing costs are $0.20 per page for black and white and $0.50 for color.
- Users may not save files to the hard drive.
- Users are urged to exercise caution in accessing or submitting private and/or personal information that may be retrieved by others. Library staff can show users how to clear data from their session.
- Users are not permitted to change the configuration of library hardware or software or to attempt to breach computer security systems. This includes, but is not limited to, downloading software, placing icons on the desktop, installing Instant Messenger or similar products, installing plug-ins or changing computer properties.
- Illegal activities are not permitted on library workstations or on the library’s wi-fi service.
- Users are reminded that Internet access occurs in a public setting and are prohibited from the display and/or distribution of any material that is obscene, contains or makes reference to explicit sexual materials as defined in 18 PA C.S.§5903, contains child pornography or is harmful to minors.
- Users are required to abide by copyright laws and licensing agreements.
- Users will be held responsible for willful damage to equipment.
As a member of the Montgomery County Library & Information Network Consortium (MCLINC), CTLS complies with the Acceptable Use Policy of MCLINC’s Internet Service Provider which may be viewed at http://www.mclinc.org/PolicyList.htm and http://www.mclinc.org/Internet%20Access.htm. All users of CTLS’ computers and network are required to comply with the requirements of that policy.