Internet Use at Dickinson Public Library

INTERNET USE POLICY


This policy applies to all users of Dickinson Public Library (“Library” or “DPL”) computers or networks. In agreement with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, Public Law 106-554 (“CIPA”) Regulations, all Library public access workstations use filtering software to access the Internet.

To fulfill our mission, Dickinson Public Library provides access to a broad range of information resources, including those available through the Internet. This service is available as part of the Library’s mission to provide materials and services to help patrons obtain information for personal, recreational and educational needs.

public library computer area

PURPOSE


The Internet is a resource that enables the Library to provide the public with access to information beyond the confines of its own collection. Currently, it is an unregulated medium and, while it makes available material that is personally, professionally, culturally and educationally enriching, it also enables the user to access material that may be inaccurate, misleading, offensive, disturbing, and/or illegal.

The Library is not a full service Internet provider. Services that will not be available include, but are not limited to, newsgroups and chat lines. Patrons will not be permitted to load their own software on City provided computers.

The City of Dickinson disclaims any responsibility to monitor for, or prevent viruses that may be transmitted electronically. Patrons are advised to take precautions for eliminating viruses or other software corruption.

Data that is transmitted on the City of Dickinson or Dickinson Public Library networks may be viewed or intercepted by others. The City of Dickinson cannot be held responsible for any confidential or financial information transmitted over the Internet. Further, the City of Dickinson disclaims any liability for unauthorized security breaches and by connecting to the Internet users acknowledge the risks associated with Internet use.

The City of Dickinson does not promote or condone the use of its computer system for illegal purposes and expressly prohibits the same as well as accessing illegal sites. Further, the City finds there is material on the Internet, while not obscene, is not appropriate for minors due to explicit sexual descriptions or graphics. The City recognizes that minors utilize all Library resources, including Internet, outside of their parents’ presence. The City of Dickinson, through the Library, has a compelling interest to assist parents in protecting the welfare of minors who are vulnerable and unable to make critical decisions in an informed and mature manner, particularly when viewing illegal material on the Internet. To address these concerns and in accordance with CIPA regulations, all Library public-access workstations use filtering software to access the Internet. No filtering software can control access to all materials that an individual may deem inappropriate. The City of Dickinson does not guarantee the total effectiveness of technological protection measures such as filtering software.

It is the City of Dickinson’s policy that parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what resources (e.g., online catalog, web site search engine, subscription databases and electronic books, journals or articles) are appropriate for their children. There will be some resources that parents may feel are inappropriate for their children. Parents should let their children know if there are materials that they do not want them to use. Parents should supervise their child's Internet sessions.

Anyone wishing to utilize the Internet must possess either a Dickinson Public Library Card or a temporary Dickinson Public Library Card generated by the Library’s automated computer access system.

Even filters cannot insure that obscene and other illegal materials are not available. Due to the Internet capability to constantly change and establish new sites, user expertise, and other technology, it is still possible to access illegal, obscene, or offensive sites. The City of Dickinson makes no guarantee that such access will not occur even with the use of filters. The selection of a filtering program is solely within the discretion and judgment of the City. Users must accept responsibility for information displayed or printed during their Internet session.

The City of Dickinson cannot guarantee that access to sites containing adult entertainment, pornography or illegal activities will be blocked. The City of Dickinson expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from the use of its computer system or selection of a filtering program.

The City of Dickinson only assumes responsibility for the information provided on the home page and the supporting web pages resident on this server. The City of Dickinson has no control over the information accessed through the Internet, other than the content provided on the City’s or the Library’s web site. Internet resources offer links to many valuable local, national, and international sources of information. However, not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. A good information consumer evaluates the validity of all information found.

Supervision of a child's access to the Internet is ultimately the responsibility of the parent or guardian; the City of Dickinson does not have the right or responsibility to act in loco parentis (on behalf of the parent/guardian). However, in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA ~ Public Law 106-554), the City of Dickinson does filter Internet access for both minors (persons under the age of 18) and adults to certain visual depictions that are (1) obscene (as defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code), or (2) child pornography (as defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code), and (3) harmful to minors. Furthermore, all customers must abide by §43.22 and §43.24 of the Texas Penal Code, which prohibits the intentional or knowing display of such materials, while being reckless about whether a person, and especially a minor, is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF USERS


Access sessions will be one hour, unless no one is waiting or otherwise allowed by Dickinson Public Library staff. The total length of a session or the number of sessions per day will depend on demand in order to provide access for the majority of users and may be lesser or greater than one hour. Computer users must respect the established time limit and honor any staff request to end their session.

Users may not:
  • Circumvent filtering or blocking software, or other security measures to access visual depictions deemed (a) obscene, or (b) child pornography, or (c) harmful to minors, as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA ~ Public Law 106-554).
  • Circumvent public access computer time management software, or procedures.
  • Use the workstations or laptop devices to gain access to the Library's networks or computer systems or to any other network or computer system.
  • Obstruct other people's work by consuming large amounts of system resources or by deliberately crashing any Library computer system.
  • Attempt to damage computer equipment or software.
  • Attempt to alter software configurations.
  • Attempt to cause degradation of system performance.
  • Use any Library workstation for any illegal or criminal purpose.
  • Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements in their use of Library workstations.
  • Engage in any activity that is deliberately and maliciously offensive, libelous, or slanderous.
  • Install or download any software.
Violations may result in loss of access. Staff is authorized to terminate or extend a user session if appropriate. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate manner, including notification of law enforcement authorities.

CHOOSING AND EVALUATING SOURCES


The Internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population and information content. Library customers use it at their own risk. The Library cannot protect users from materials they may find offensive. In choosing sources to link to the Library’s home page, we follow generally accepted library practices. Beyond this, we do not accept responsibility for content found in an Internet source. We are not responsible for changes in content of the sources to which we link, nor for the content of sources accessed through secondary links. As with printed information, not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. Users should evaluate Internet sources just as they do printed publications, questioning the validity of the information provided.

COPYRIGHT


U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of "fair use". Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems, or any consequences thereof.

WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS


The policy for public use of Dickinson Public Library’s computers extends to Dickinson Public Library wireless access. The City of Dickinson does not guarantee the availability of wireless service. It is provided on an “as available” basis, without warranties of any kind.

The ability to access and use this service is affected by the patron’s software and hardware. As the configuration of each manufacturer’s device is unique, the patron will need to troubleshoot any issues associated with their device. City of Dickinson staff is not permitted to assist with user connectivity issues or user computer issues of any type. If City staff is contacted for assistance they will only verify the current operational state of the wireless network.

Policy on Internet Use at Dickinson Public Library
Approved on 12/13/2011 by Resolution 1231-2011