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Internet Access Policy

In order to provide patrons with the best and most current information available, the Ohio County Public Library includes on-line electronic materials as a part of the services provided to patrons. These resources contain a wealth of valuable information. However, users should be aware that some information may be inaccurate, outdated, or offensive. Use of these resources carries a responsibility to evaluate the quality of the information accessed. Parents and guardians, not the library, are responsible for the use of these resources by children in their custody. Parents are advised to supervise their children’s Internet sessions.

It is the policy of Ohio County Public Library to: (a) prevent user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications; (b) prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity; (c) prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors; and (d) comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h)].

Key terms are as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act. (see below)

To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet Filters”) shall be used to block or filter access to inappropriate information. Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors.

Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled or, in the case of minors, minimized, only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

Patrons should know that they may encounter sexually explicit or other material they find offensive and controversial on the Internet, even though there may be technology protection measures in place on Ohio County Public Library’s computer network.

The Library’s Internet access computers may not be used by ANY user to access material of an obscene nature or child pornography. In addition, minors under 17 are prohibited from accessing materials considered to be “harmful to minors” (see definitions below)

The computer must be used in a responsible manner. This means avoiding physical or other damage to the computer or Internet site, inappropriate network usage, and not using it for illegal purposes. Specifically, inappropriate network usage by minors includes: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called ‘hacking,’ and other unlawful activities; and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors.

Also unacceptable are uses that compromise the safety and security of minors under 17 when using e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications, such as giving others private information about one’s self or others, including credit card numbers and social security numbers, or arranging a face-to-face meeting with someone one has ‘met’ on the computer network or Internet without a parent’s permission.

The library may establish time limits, time restrictions, or time exceptions, on internet usage to allow most effective use of our equipment and resources.

To guard against introducing viruses into our computers, diskettes brought in by patrons must be scanned for viruses before they are used in Ohio County Public Library computers.

Printing on a laser printer, if available, will be charged at the same rate as photocopies.

Library staff is available to assist in accessing the Internet and the basics of using the software. The staff can help in searching for particular information on the Internet or in the library collection. However, time limitations prevent the library from offering in-depth training in using the Internet. The library collection contains many books which can help with this.

Misuse of the computer or Internet access may result in the loss of computer privileges.

CIPA Definitions of Terms:

A minor is anyone underthe age of 17.

Technology Protection Measure. The term ‘technology protection measure’ means a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to visual depictions that are:

  1. Obscene,
    as that term is defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code;
  2. Child Pornography, as that term is defined in section 1226 of title 18, United States Code; or
  3. Harmful to minors.

Harmful to minors. The term ‘harmful to minors’ means any picture, image, graphic image file or other visual depiction that:

  1. Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion.
  2. Depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
  3. Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific
    value to minors.

Sexual Act; Sexual Contact. The terms ’sexual act’ and ’sexual contact’ have the meanings given such terms in section 2246 of title 18, United States Code.

  - Approved by the OCPL Board of Trustees, September 9, 2003.

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