Internet Access and Use Policy
Revised July 27, 2010
As part of its mission to provide a broad range of information in a variety of formats, the Wethersfield Library provides computing resources to allow public access to the Internet and other electronic resources. The Library is committed to the principles of intellectual freedom and the freedom to access information. The purpose of this policy is to insure the best use of and access to the Internet for the greatest number of users.
All Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all users, with the understanding that it is the individual user’s responsibility to demonstrate judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using Library resources and facilities.
As the Library’s Internet workstations are in public areas and are shared by people of all ages, all patrons will refrain from accessing potentially offensive information or images. All Library computers are unfiltered. The supervision of minor children’s use of Library computers and access to the Internet is the sole responsibility of the parent(s) or guardian(s).
Internet computers will not be used for illegal activity, to access illegal materials, or to access web pages or sites that contain materials defined in the Connecticut General Statues as “obscene” (Section 53a-193*) or which would likely “impair the health or morals” of a child under sixteen (Sec. 53-21*). Library staff may immediately terminate the Internet session of any individual engaging in these activities. Users must also honor copyright law protection of software, books, articles and other electronic files or information, as well as electronic licensing agreements.
In keeping with its policy on Patron Confidentiality (and Connecticut General Statute Section 11-25*), the Library shall take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of records, electronic or otherwise, that identify individual users and link them to search strategies, sites accessed, or other specific data about the information they retrieved or sought to retrieve. However, all users who release personal information, including personally identifying information, credit card, or bank account numbers, etc. do so at their own risk.
The Library is responsible only for the information provided on its home page. Links to information resources on subsequent pages on the Library web site are selected in accordance with the Library’s mission, and are checked periodically to assure that they remain valid and are consistent with this mission. However, due to the rapid rate of change of the Internet, the Library cannot be responsible for changes to the links themselves, changes to the content of linked sites, or for the content of sources accessed through subsequent links. The Library does not guarantee that the links always will be active or that the information they lead to always will be reliable and accurate. The Library cannot monitor or control information accessed via the Internet, and thus cannot guarantee that any information obtained via the Internet is reliable or accurate. The Library also cannot guarantee successful connections to the Internet at all times.
If requested, staff will assist patrons in conducting searches and offer guidance on evaluating sources and verifying information. In addition, Library staff members will provide customers with limited assistance regarding Internet use, but are unable to provide extended assistance on a one-to-one basis.
The Library will periodically offer classes on Internet use to familiarize customers with the basics of Internet searching and other basic Internet and computer functions. Training materials on computer use are also available for customers.
Use of the Library’s computers is on a first-come, first-served basis. Use of each computer is limited to one person at each station. Exceptions are at the discretion of Library staff. Users may sign up for one (1) one-hour session daily. Additional usage is at the discretion of Library staff and will depend on current demand for computing resources. Computers will be assigned at the discretion of the staff. Computer availability ends at 15 minutes before closing and staff will begin to shut down computers at that time.
Installation, downloading or modification of software by Library customers is prohibited. Downloading of files to the hard drives is prohibited. Users may download files to a removable storage device. The Library has storage devices available for sale. The Library assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to the user’s data or removable storage device nor for any damage to the individual’s home computer related to data downloaded or saved through the Library’s computers. The Library maintains virus protection on all its Internet computers; however, users are responsible for assuring that their data is free from infection or corruption by maintaining virus protection on their own computers.
Users will not make any attempt to gain unauthorized access to (or “hack”) restricted files or networks of the library computer system or any other computer system, or to mishandle, damage or otherwise modify computer equipment or software. Activities that interfere with or disrupt the network users, services or equipment are prohibited, including interfering with system operation, integrity or security. Users may not connect their personal computers directly to the Library’s hardwired computer lines. The Library provides wireless access to the Internet, which is available to all customers (within the range of transmission) having their own personal computers. Misuse of the hardware, software or Internet access will result in loss of computer access. Users will be held criminally and financially liable for any damage to library equipment or systems resulting from that user’s actions.
Users must respect the privacy of others. Users shall not intentionally obtain copies or modify files, passwords, or data that belong to the Library or its customers. Users may not develop or use programs that harass others. Users will refrain from attempting to view or read material being viewed by others.
Printing services will be provided to the public on a cost recovery basis. Printing charges and procedures may be changed at any time at the discretion of the Library Director.
The Library reserves the right to monitor computer use when a violation of this policy is suspected or reported. Staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of all computers and the network or to enforce any part of this policy. This includes confiscating disks, requiring a user to leave a computer or the premises, and contacting law enforcement authorities. In addition, access to Library computers may be denied on a temporary or permanent basis, at the discretion of the Library Director.
Approved by the Library Board August 23, 2005
Revised September 23, 2008
Revised October 28, 2008
Revised July 27, 2010
*Relevant sections from Connecticut General Statutes
Sec. 11-25. Reports by libraries. Confidentiality of records. (a) The libraries established under the provisions of this chapter, and any free public library receiving a state appropriation, shall annually make a report to the State Library Board.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1-210, personally identifiable information contained in the circulation records of all public libraries shall be confidential.
Retrieved from http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/pub/Chap190.htm#Sec11-25.htm on September 4, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.
Sec. 53a-193. Definitions. The following definitions are applicable to this section and sections 53a-194 to 53a-210, inclusive:
(1) Any material or performance is "obscene" if, (A) taken as a whole, it predominantly appeals to the prurient interest, (B) it depicts or describes in a patently offensive way a prohibited sexual act, and (C) taken as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political or scientific value. Predominant appeal shall be judged with reference to ordinary adults unless it appears from the character of the material or performance or the circumstances of its dissemination to be designed for some other specially susceptible audience. Whether a material or performance is obscene shall be judged by ordinary adults applying contemporary community standards. In applying contemporary community standards, the state of Connecticut is deemed to be the community.
(2) Material or a performance is "obscene as to minors" if it depicts a prohibited sexual act and, taken as a whole, it is harmful to minors. For purposes of this subdivision: (A) "Minor" means any person less than seventeen years old as used in section 53a-196 and less than sixteen years old as used in sections 53a-196a and 53a-196b, and (B) "harmful to minors" means that quality of any description or representation, in whatever form, of a prohibited sexual act, when (i) it predominantly appeals to the prurient, shameful or morbid interest of minors, (ii) it is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors, and (iii) taken as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political or scientific value for minors.
Retrieved from http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/pub/Chap952.htm#Sec53a-193.htm on September 4, 2008 at 10:40 a.m.
Sec. 53-21. Injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children. Sale of children. (a) Any person who (1) willfully or unlawfully causes or permits any child under the age of sixteen years to be placed in such a situation that the life or limb of such child is endangered, the health of such child is likely to be injured or the morals of such child are likely to be impaired, or does any act likely to impair the health or morals of any such child, or (2) has contact with the intimate parts, as defined in section 53a-65, of a child under the age of sixteen years or subjects a child under sixteen years of age to contact with the intimate parts of such person, in a sexual and indecent manner likely to impair the health or morals of such child, or (3) permanently transfers the legal or physical custody of a child under the age of sixteen years to another person for money or other valuable consideration or acquires or receives the legal or physical custody of a child under the age of sixteen years from another person upon payment of money or other valuable consideration to such other person or a third person, except in connection with an adoption proceeding that complies with the provisions of chapter 803, shall be guilty of a class C felony for a violation of subdivision (1) or (3) of this subsection and a class B felony for a violation of subdivision (2) of this subsection.
Retrieved from http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/pub/Chap939.htm#Sec53-21.htm on September 4, 2008 at 10:41 a.m.