Internet Use Policy and Procedures

Public Internet access is consistent with the Hatfield Public Library mission statement “to provide popular and educational resources to the people of Hatfield.”  Internet access is provided equally to all users, and the Library and its Trustees subscribe to the principles stated in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. The Hatfield Public Library is not responsible for information found on the Internet and cannot control the content of resources available on the Internet.   Some content on the Internet may be inaccurate, outdated or incomplete, and users are encouraged to carefully evaluate the validity of information accessed through the Internet.   Some content may be considered offensive or inappropriate.  The Hatfield Public Library does not use filtering software to “block” such content and supports the American Library Association resolution that deems the use of such filtering as a violation of the Library Bill of Rights.

 Internet Use Guidelines

  •  Unlawful activities are forbidden, including but not limited to: violations of software licenses or copyright laws, fraud, privacy invasions, harassment, discrimination, libel or slander, or any unauthorized access, including “hacking”.
  • The Internet will not be used in violation of any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, Massachusetts General Law 272, Section 31, the Harmful to Minors Statute, which prohibits the dissemination of material which is harmful to minors or which is obscene; or dissemination or possession of child pornography.
  • Disclosing, using, or disseminating personal identity information about minors is prohibited.
  • Users will not tamper with any library systems, settings, or equipment.  This includes any attempt to access library files, or to download any software onto the library hard drive.
  • Staff is not available to set up or instruct patrons on the use of email nor is staff able to provide personal instruction on the use of electronic resources.

 Violations

 Violation of the Internet Use Guidelines, as outlined above, may result in the loss of library privileges.

 Internet Use by Minors

 Since Library staff cannot monitor individual use of the Internet, parents and guardians are encouraged to take an active role in their children’s use of the Internet.  Any restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the child’s parent or legal guardian and that parent or guardian should personally oversee their child’s use of the Internet.  Children under 18 must provide a signature of their parent or guardian before use.

 Procedures for Internet Use

  •  Internet users will agree to abide by this policy.
  •  Availability of the workstations will be on a first come, first serve basis.  Users must sign up at the circulation desk.  Each session will be limited to one half-hour.  If no one else is waiting at the end of the half-hour, the user may continue using the computer for an additional half-hour.  After one hour, the patron may continue using the computer until it is needed by another patron at which point the patron must give up their computer.  Exceptions may be made for special circumstances approved in advance by the Library Director.
  • To facilitate closing procedures, the Internet station will be shut down ten minutes before closing.

 Confidentiality

 The Hatfield Public Library upholds the right of confidentiality and privacy for all library users.  However, absolute privacy for patrons using electronic resources in a public library cannot be guaranteed.  Internet users are expected to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing potentially offensive information or images.

 Waiver

The Hatfield Public Library does not monitor, has no control over, and cannot be held responsible for, content accessed via the Internet.  Each user accepts responsibility for information transmitted or received.  Furthermore, the Hatfield Public Library and its Board of Trustees are not liable for any negative consequences that may occur as a result of using the Library’s Internet connection.

 

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees

1 November 2011

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