Internet Access Policy
It is the mission of the Forbush Memorial Library to provide information in various formats to all Library users. This includes access to computers and the Internet within the Library.
The Library must provide access to information on all subjects that serve the interests or needs of each user, regardless of the user’s age or the content of the material. The provision of access does not imply sponsorship or endorsement. Some information accessed electronically may not meet the Library’s selection or collection development policy.
Library users will not be restricted or denied access for expressing or receiving constitutionally protected speech. (Acceptable Use Policy for Electronic Information Resources)
It is, therefore left to each user to determine what is appropriate. Parents and legal guardians who are concerned about their children’s use of electronic resources should provide guidance to their own children. (Computers in the Children’s Room) Parents and legal guardians, and ONLY parents and legal guardians, have the right or responsibility to restrict the access of their children to Library resources. Librarians and governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to provide equal access for all.
The Forbush Memorial Library does not provide filtering software on any of its computers and cannot be held responsible content on the Internet.
Acceptable Use Policy for Electronic Information Resources
Computer user rights and responsibilities:
- Users have a right of privacy for all legal activities.
- Users have the responsibility of avoiding “Prohibited Uses”.
- Users have a responsibility to be mindful that use of Library computers is in a public environment, and are expected to refrain from displaying graphics which are inappropriate for public viewing or playing audio that could disturb other patrons.
Prohibited Uses of the Internet:
- Using the Internet for illegal purposes as defined by local, state, or federal law.
- Using the Internet in violation of the Massachusetts General Law 272 Section 31, the Harmful to Minors statute
- Unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material in any format.
- Transmission of chain mail, broadcast letters, or junk mail of any type.
- Transmission of threatening, harassing, defamatory or obscene materials
- Unauthorized access to remote computer systems.
- Accessing the Internet on a terminal designated for some other purpose, such as the Library catalog
Computers in the Children’s Room
- Anyone may use the computer designated as “Online Catalog Only”.
- The internet computer in the Children’s Room will be limited to children in the 5th grade or under whose use must be supervised by a parent or guardian. This is strictly enforced.
- Parent/guardian/family member must sign the internet policy for children saying they understand and will comply with the above. The Library keeps a copy, the adult keeps a copy, and the child’s library card will be marked with a colored dot, as well as note it in the child’s record.
Computers on the main floor:
- Library computers on the main floor are available to everyone.
- Since these computers are not filtered and no permissions for children are necessary for children to use the computers, parents are strongly encouraged to be aware of what their children are looking at and to be there with them.
- Wireless technology is available on all three floors of the Library for patrons’ convenience.
- The Library does not have laptops available for patron use, but patrons may bring in their laptops for personal use.
- Library staff is not responsible for configuring laptops owned by the public for use on the wireless network.
Procedures for using computers:
- Computers may be used for up to 30 minutes per patron unless someone else is waiting.
- Computer users must present a valid library card to “check out” a computer. Residents of de-certified communities may use computers in Forbush Library as a “Guest” (Guest Library User Policy).
- Computer users from out-of-town (“guests”) may be assigned a computer with proper identification (e.g. driver’s license, student ID, passport etc.) (Staff will make a copy of the I.D.) (Guest Library User Policy)).
Library staff and the public’s use of computers:
- Library staff will assist library patrons with the computers as time permits.
- Appointments may be made with the Children’s Librarian or the Reference Librarian for individual or group instruction.
- Public computers are not routinely monitored, but staff reserves the right to do so if illegal activity is suspected.
- Library staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of computers and the network, including but not limited to confiscating removable media, requiring a user to leave a computer or the premises, and contacting law enforcement authorities.
Replaces: Microcomputer Use Policy, February, 1991
Clarification on Computer Use Policy, June 2004
Approved by the Forbush Memorial Library Board of Trustees: July 7, 2009