Internet Use Policy and Guidelines
I. Library Mission
The fundamental goal of the Abilene Public Library is to provide services that will contribute to the educational development and cultural vitality of Abilene. To achieve this goal, the Library's mission is to provide access to a broad range of information resources, including those available through the Internet. This service is made available to offer a program of informational, educational, recreational, and cultural enrichment opportunities for patrons of all ages and backgrounds in the Abilene area.
The Library assumes responsibility only for the information provided on its home page and Website. The Internet, however, is a gateway to information of great diversity in many countries and cultures around the world. Because of this international character, there is currently no external monitoring of Internet content. While most of the information accessed can be valuable and enlightening, the user may also find materials that are controversial, unreliable, personally offensive, or illegal under U.S. law.
The Library is not responsible for changes in the content of the sources to which patrons link, nor for the contents of sources accessed through secondary links. The Library can neither censor access to all controversial material nor protect users from information they may find offensive. The Library neither monitors nor controls information accessible through the Internet and does not accept responsibility for its content.
II. Rules Governing Use
- General Use (applies to all patrons)
- Internet access is granted by entering a valid Library card number.
- Users must sign an Internet Access Agreement.
- Access to the Internet is available only on clearly marked workstations located throughout the Library.
- Use of the Internet access workstations is on a first come, first served basis. Those using the workstations may sign up for one hour of use. If no one is waiting at the end of the hour, the patron may continue his/her use until being notified that another person is waiting. Users are asked to begin logging off 15 minutes prior to closing of the library.
- Internet access workstations are intended for information gathering only. The use of electronic mail, news groups, chat groups and other interactive services is prohibited.
- Downloading of files may be done to floppy disks only. The Library is not responsible for damage to patrons' disks or computers, or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur due to a computer virus contracted from patron use of the Library's Internet services.
- Patrons may not load software of any kind onto Library-owned equipment.
- Use by Minors (under age 18)
- The Library must have on file a Parental Consent Form and Internet Access Agreement for any patron under age 18.
- Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children's use of the Internet. The Library does not have the right or responsibility to act in place of a parent.
- All workstations located in the children's area have filtering software installed in an attempt to ensure that obscene, and possibly illegal materials, are not made available to minors at the library. However, such software has a variable rate of effectiveness in screening age-inappropriate sites.
- User Responsibilities
- Legal usage: Computing resources may not be used for any illegal purposes. Examples of illegal use include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Attempting to alter or damage computer equipment, software configurations, or files belonging to the City of Abilene, Abilene Public Library, or the Abilene Library Consortium, other users, or external networks.
- Attempting unauthorized entry to the City of Abilene's computer network or external networks.
- Engaging in activity which is deliberately and maliciously offensive, libelous, slanderous or harassing to others.
- Transmission of child pornography or obscene material.
- Intentional propagation of computer viruses.
- Violation of copyright or communication laws. U.S. copyright law (title 17. U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principals of "fair use." Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for such use.
- Computer Etiquette: Computing resources must be used in accordance with the rules of the Abilene Public Library. Examples of unacceptable use include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Hacking (breaking into or out of any system) and violation of computer systems security.
- Use of computer communications facilities in ways that interfere with, or impede computer use by others.
- Intentional violation of another customer's privacy.
- Obtrusively displaying information with the intent of being disruptive or offensive to others.
- Violations of the rules described above will result in the user having Library computer privileges suspended for ninety (90) days. A second occurrence will result in loss of computing privileges for one year.
- Illegal acts involving Library computing resources, in addition to the sanctions listed under D.1., may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.
- Users are financially liable for any damage caused by either directly or indirectly to any Abilene Public Library equipment or software.
- The Library reserves the right to terminate a patron's Internet/computer session at any time the Library staff deems the use to be in conflict with the Library Internet Use Policy and Guidelines.
[After reading the policy, library card applicants must sign the following forms (if appropriate)]