Frank Carlson Library Computer, Internet Access and Internet Safety Policy 2009

1. Mission Statement for Computer Use

The Frank Carlson Library provides public access to computers to access the library catalog, provide access to educational resources for children, and to supplement the reference collection. In addition to using the Internet as an information resource, the library also seeks to provide the opportunity for Internet use, with limitations, to the public. These policies apply to employees and patrons alike. Persons who violate this policy will be denied the use of public access computers at the Frank Carlson Library. First offence will result in loss of privileges for six-months. Subsequent offence will result in permanent loss of privileges.

2. Acceptable Use, Internet Access and Internet Safety

The Frank Carlson Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content.

The Frank Carlson Library complies with state and federal laws, specifically Kansas laws relating to obscenity, federal copyright laws, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act (NCIPA). CIPA and NCIPA are laws adopted by Congress to protect children and others as they use the Internet from a computer located in a public library or public school. The Frank Carlson Library and its users must comply with these laws.

Computer resources available at the Library are provided equally to all library users. In compliance with CIPA and NCIPA, all Internet computers in the library are filtered using Kanguard, the filtering system provided by the Kansas State Library. Filtering technology is not reliable. The library staff have no control over the content of the Internet. The Frank Carlson Library cannot be held responsible for what the user sees when connected to the Internet. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for Internet information selected and/or accessed by their minor children. For this reason, parents are to directly supervise Internet use by their non-adult children. A responsible adult must be physically present to supervise children under fourth grade. In compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling on CIPA (UNITED STATES V. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION., INC., June 23, 2003), patrons 17 or older may request the library staff to disable the filter on a public access computer. Patrons under 17 may not request disabling filters. Staff may require patrons to show proof of age when requesting that filters be turned off. Staff will follow approved protocols when disabling filters.

3. Prohibited Activities

Computers must be used in a responsible manner without degrading or interfering with others’ use. Library computers will not be used to

  • Access, display, download or print information that is obscene as defined by Kansas law
  • Participate in email that use information that is obscene as defined by Kansas law
  • Access material that is considered offensively inappropriate by community standards
  • Disclose, use, and or disseminate personal information that could threaten or create a vulnerability for a minor, for any other person, or for the Library
  • Attempt to gain unauthorized access to any data, computer or network
  • Gain unauthorized access to secure data, including “hacking”
  • Tamper with settings (windows, desktop, web browser, etc.)
  • Transmit computer viruses
  • Transmit junkmail
  • Access “chat” or instant messaging
  • Cause damage to library computer equipment, software programs, and data.

Patrons may not use their own software programs at the library, nor may they insert any object or material into any part of a computer, including floppy disks and/or CD’s with the exception of portable memory devices (“flashdrives”).

Any use of computer resources that violates intellectual property rights of the owner or creator of the information, or violates other local, state, or federal laws is prohibited. It is your responsibility to be aware of the display of any notices concerning copyrighted information and to respect copyright laws of the United States.

Using Internet computers with filters turned off does not give patrons the right to access any sites that are deemed objectionable or obscene according to any state, federal or local laws.

4. Guidelines for Public Use

The public may use designated computers to access the library catalog during normal business hours. The public may also use designated computers to access the Internet or other library resources according to the rules outlined within this policy.

Internet use by the public at the Frank Carlson Library does not include access to listservs, newsgroups, online chats, or File Transfer Protocol.

Patrons must sign up to use computers on a first-come, first-served basis, in 30 minute time increments, with a maximum of one hour per family per day. Use is limited to 30 minutes if someone is waiting. After the initial 30 minutes, the user may continue but must make the workstation available within 5 minutes of being told another person is waiting.

People using the library computer workstations have the right to expect a certain amount of privacy. For this reason, no more than two people can use a single computer. Persons waiting for their turn to use the computers will be called in the order in which they have signed in. Persons waiting for a computer to be free should let staff know which part of the library they will be in and not cluster around the computers that are in use.

Users may download information which complies with the library’s acceptable use policy either by printing at a cost of 15 cents per page or by using a flashdrive. There will be a charge for each copy made from the computer. All sheets printed are to be paid for regardless of their value to the patron. Users are encouraged to request staff assistance before printing. Patrons may save information to their own portable memory devices (“flashdrives”).

Members of the Library staff are under no obligation to monitor library computer workstation usage and accept no responsibility for investigating the manner in which those workstations are used. When, however, a member of the library staff observes a person using a workstation in violation of this policy, the patron will be deemed to be using the workstation in an unacceptable manner resulting in any or all of the following consequences:

  1. Immediate termination of the computer session.
  2. Additional suspension of computer use or other library privileges
  3. Notification of appropriate law enforcement officials.

Illegal acts involving library resources may be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal officials.

Computers may not be available due to technical problems. Computers will be turned off five minutes before closing.

5. Additional Guidelines for Public E-mail Use

Only Web-based e-mail accounts may be accessed (such as Hot Mail, Yahoo Mail, etc.) Accessing other types of e-mail accounts (such as ICQ) is prohibited.

Because of limited staff and technical resources, chat, e-mail, and commercial transactions are not a service priority. Library staff will not provide assistance with those activities.

Public access e-mail cannot be used to send or receive matter inappropriate for minors (as defined under K.S.A. 21-4301, K.S.A. 21-4301a, and K.S.A. 21-4301c), explicit or obscene messages or images. Libeling, slandering or harassment of others is prohibited.

6. Wireless Internet Access

Free wireless internet access is provided to any person with a wireless laptop, PDA, or other portable device. Library staff cannot offer technical support for establishing or maintaining a connection and the library is not responsible for any hardware or software damage, or for loss or theft of unattended equipment. The wireless connection is not secure. Since the radio signals can be intercepted, activity requiring transmission of credit card numbers, personal information, etc. is not advised. Users of the wireless network are responsible for maintaining up-to-date antivirus software and firewalls. Patrons may only access web-based e-mail. Printing for the wireless network will not be supported. The wireless Internet access is unfiltered, but all library policies concerning legal and acceptable use of computers and the Internet apply.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees April 7, 2009

The library complies with state and federal laws. We have a particular awareness of Kansas laws relating to obscenity (KSA 211-3516, K.S.A. 21-4301, 21-4301a, and 21-4301c). Applicable state statutes are attached. Attached are the approved protocols for unfiltered computer use.