Internet Use Policy
Benicia Public Library Internet and Electronic Information Use Policy
The Benicia Public Library provides direct access to the Internet, library catalogs, databases, and other electronic resources. These electronic resources support the independent learning of individuals, and provide a variety of resources that reflect the diversity of our region and its interconnectedness with the global community.
The Internet is an unregulated medium that allows access to a wealth of materials that can be personally, professionally and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages. However, it also enables access to material that might be offensive, disturbing, illegal, inaccurate, or incomplete.
The Benicia Public Library does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy of information obtained through the Internet. The Library’s policies governing the purchase of materials are not applicable to materials accessed electronically. Library customers use the Internet and electronic databases at their own risk. The Library assumes no responsibility, and will have no liability for, any direct, indirect, or consequential damages arising from the use of its database server or from the use of its electronic resources or those obtained via the Internet.
Library staff will help identify starting points and sites for searches appropriate to the library’s mission and service roles. Users are encouraged to evaluate the validity and appropriateness of information accessed via the Internet. Each individual user must accept responsibility for choosing which electronic resources they will access. The Library does not censor access to material or protect users from offensive information. Since the Internet is not secure, each user accepts personal and financial responsibility for information transmitted or received.
Children’s Access and Internet Use
The Library does not have the right or responsibility to act in the place of the parent (in loco parentis). Parents or guardians are encouraged to work closely with their children in selecting and using materials and resources that are consistent with their own family viewpoints or values. While access to pre-selected sites is provided on the children’s Internet computers, the Library urges parents or guardians to supervise their children’s Internet sessions.
Parents or guardians and children are advised to read documents produced by Common Sense Media. Parents and children are also encouraged to read “The Librarian’s Guide to Great Web Sites for Kids,” produced by the Association for Library Service to Children.
Ethical and Acceptable Use
All users of electronic information resources such as the Internet are expected to use these resources in a responsible manner, consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which they are provided. It is unacceptable to use the Library’s computer systems and Internet resources for any purposes that violate the law or library policies.
The following is a list of unacceptable uses:
- Viewing material that violates federal, state, or local laws or regulations, including those regarding accessing, viewing, printing, and distributing obscenity or child pornography
- Sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics containing extremes of sex or violence that are an end in themselves.
- Using computers to gain access to the Library’s internal network or computer system or to any other restricted network or computer system.
- Using computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers without authorized permission.
- Violating copyright laws or licensing agreements pertaining to software, files, or other resources obtained electronically.
- Violating another user’s privacy.
- Attempting to alter software configurations or to cause degradation of system performance.
- Engaging in any activity which is deliberately and maliciously offensive, libelous, or slanderous.
- Installing or downloading any software.
- Disrupting or interfering with network users or services. Such interference or disruption includes, but is not limited to: distribution of unsolicited advertising, harassment of others, propagation of computer worms or viruses, randomly initiating interactive electronic communications, or overuse of interactive network utilities.
- Tampering with, destroying or damaging equipment, software, or data belonging to the library.
- In accordance with the Library’s “Rules of Conduct,” use of another person’s library card for Internet access is not allowed and will result in immediate suspension of library privileges.
Any person in the library who views an inappropriate site or violates the Internet Acceptable Use Policy as outlined above will have his or her library privileges automatically suspended for 30 days. A suspension letter will be mailed to the offender, or, for children 17 years and younger, to parents or guardians.
Adopted by the Benicia Library Board - October 2006