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Internet Policy

Internet and Computer Use Policy

GENERAL MISSION

The Abilene Public Library provides access to the Internet for library users from computer terminals in the Adult Department and the Children’s Department.  The library also offers free wireless Internet access to people who have their own portable wireless devices.  This policy also applies to wireless use of the library Internet connection (time limits do not apply). The Internet offers information of every kind through a vast global network. This resource fits into the mission of libraries as forums for information and ideas, and into the library’s mission.

USER RESPONSIBILITIES

To use computers in the library, all patrons must agree to:

  • Present a current Abilene Public Library card to sign in to use a patron computer
  • Out of county visitors may access Library workstations by using a temporary library card.
  • Not access, create or display information that is obscene as defined by Kansas law (KSA 21 4301)(KSA 21 4301 C)
  • Not disclose or disseminate personal information that could threaten or create vulnerability for any person or the library
  • Not use library computers for any illegal or criminal use
  • Respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data (US Code Title 17)
  • Not tamper with computer hardware and/or software or attempt to gain unauthorized access to any data or computer network
  • Respect other users privacy and rights

The library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session at any time.  Staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of computers and the network and ensure the fair and reasonable use of Internet resources. This includes confiscating disks, requiring a user to leave the computer or the premises and contacting law enforcement authorities.  Use of personal laptop computers in the library is also subject to the same user responsibilities.

The library’s wireless network is NOT secure.  The library is not responsible for the safety of personal equipment, device configurations, security or data files resulting from connection to the library’s wireless access.

FILTERING

The Library Board of Trustees voted to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) effective January 26, 2004.  All library computers are filtered with KANGUARD, a filtering service offered free of charge to individual libraries through the Kansas State Library.  KANGUARD filters identified objectionable sites using a blocklist.

The Supreme Court ruled that under CIPA, an adult may choose to disable filtering for his or her individual use with verification of age from his or her library card.  Computers in the Children’s Department will always be filtered and may not be disabled since they are intended for the use of children only.

Whether a computer is filtered or unfiltered, the library’s Internet and Computer Policy still prohibits access to objectionable material.  Users must follow the guidelines of this policy.

PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY

The library does not monitor an individual’s use of any sites except when material displayed on the screen is not appropriate in a public environment and User Responsibilities are violated.  Patrons use the Internet at their own discretion.

In general the library will treat information on computers as confidential.  Requests for disclosure of information regarding an individual’s use will be honored only if approval by the appropriate library administrator, when authorized by the owners of the information or when required by local, state or federal law.

PRINTING

Patrons using a public PC must inform staff before printing.  Fees are 25 cents per page. Patrons may print up to 10 free pages a day for homework purposes.

DOWNLOADING FILES

Downloading of files to a floppy, cd-rom, zip disk, or flash drive is permissible.  Data cannot be stored on the computer’s hard drive or the library’s network.

TIME LIMITS

Users may sign up for 30 minute sessions.  Sessions may be extended if no other users are waiting for access.

AVAILABILITY OF STAFF ASSISTANCE

Library staff will offer searching suggestions and answer questions, but cannot provide individual training concerning Internet use or computer skills.  Interested patrons are encouraged to use manuals and guides available in the library or to attend programs about Internet use.

The library does not reserve computers.  They are available on a first-come first-serve basis.

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