Policies

Ohoopee Regional Library System

Internet & Computer Use Policy

Approved by the Board of Trustees, April 1996; Reviewed, April 1998; Amended January 30, 2002; Amended April 10, 2002; Updated June 23, 2003; Reviewed and amended August 26, 2008

DISCLAIMER: The Internet is a global system with information from various sources including corporations, foundations, organizations, and individuals. The library is not responsible for the content or accuracy of the information on the Internet or the statements, views, and opinions expressed there. Some materials may be offensive to some people and inappropriate for children.

POLICY STATEMENT: It is the policy of the Ohoopee Regional Library System to provide access to online databases by patrons. The purpose of online database access by patrons is to promote research, education, and economic and business development. Recreational use is allowed only as time, and other policies and procedures allow. The Internet, as an information resource enables the library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the globe. Currently, however, it is an unregulated medium. As such, while it offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, it also enables access to some materials that may be offensive, disturbing and/or illegal. The Ohoopee Regional Library System has no responsibility for the content of the information accessed though online services or agencies. The library staff can and will provide guidance and instruction, but cannot monitor. The Board of Trustees of the Ohoopee Regional Library System believes that parents have the right and responsibility to determine what is appropriate for their children. Parents must work closely with their children in order to select materials that are consistent with personal and family boundaries. Therefore, by Board policy, youth under the age of 18 MUST have written parental approval before using this service. Youth under 17 MUST have a parent or guardian present during use. With written parental approval, youth under 17 may use appropriately controlled internet accessible computers to access and use GALILEO without parental supervision. Parent or guardian and youth must have a library card, in good standing, from a member library of the Ohoopee Regional Library System or the Georgia Library PINES. Parents are encouraged to read Child Safety on the Information Highway produced jointly by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Interactive Services Association (ISA), and other articles on the safe use of computers and the internet for children, preteens and teens; links to these articles are available at http://www.safekids.com.

According to the U. S. Supreme Court ruling June 23, 2003, on the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the computers connected to the Internet at all member libraries of the Ohoopee Regional Library System have filters restricting access to sites containing materials with graphic depictions of scenes that are extremely violent, gory, or horrific in nature and may be related to sex, bodily functions, obscenity, or perverse activities, or contain, discuss, or show pornography, including pictures, videos, or text of sex acts, or sexually oriented material.  The Official Code of GA 20.5.5, Georgia Children’s Internet Protection Act, also provides guidelines and requirements.  Please note guidelines below for obtaining unfiltered computer use.  

The Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act, OCGA 16-9-90, establishes certain acts involving computer fraud or abuse as crimes punishable by fines or imprisonment or both.  "Hacking" or otherwise tampering with the hardware, adding to or deleting information relating to the software, or other acts that obstruct, interrupt or cause the computer to malfunction or are intended to disrupt computer functioning elsewhere, are included in this act.  The Ohoopee Regional Library System will prosecute both civilly and criminally. The Library reserves the right to prohibit the use of computers to anyone who demonstrates a lack of respect and care for the equipment and/or a refusal to follow the Library's rules and policies relating to their use. This prohibition can be for any length of time, including permanently, if the Library deems it necessary.

The Regional Board notes that current filtering software does not completely or adequately prevent unwanted and objectionable materials, particularly graphics, from being accessed. Additionally, the requirements of the law mandate that safety and security measures be used to control minor use of electronic mail, chat rooms, direct electronic communications, "hacking" and other unlawful online activities, and disclosure of personal ID information. The library will therefore continue its current policy requiring parent/guardian oversight for a minor’s use of the Internet.

The Regional Board notes that current filtering software has been proven to prevent access to certain materials needed for research as well as materials with subject headings that can be misunderstood or misconstrued. Therefore, within the guidelines of the law and this policy, the library will provide unfiltered access upon request of an adult patron and for research use by library staff.  Georgia Code 16-12-100.2, the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 1999, and its related codes, 16-6-2, 16-6-4, 16-6-5, 16-6-8 of the Criminal Code of Georgia are considered relevant and should be considered when requesting unfiltered access.

The document "Rules and Policies" for public computer use will be considered a part of this policy and will be posted at all public Internet access computers.  The document “Youth Access to the Internet” will be considered a part of this policy and the accompanying permission form must be signed for internet use by a minor.

 

 

 

 

Rules & policies for public computer use

USER RESPONSIBILITIES:

Identify yourself properly when using any Internet services.

Be aware that use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right, which may be revoked at any time for inappropriate conduct in the library or online using the library's online connections.

Respect copyright and licensing agreements on programs and data.

Respect the privacy of others.

Be aware of time and resource limitations.

Respect the computers and computer systems and do not interfere with or disrupt network users, services, programs, software, or equipment.

Do not transmit or access threatening, obscene (as defined by U.S., state or local laws) or harassing materials.

  1. A library card, in good standing, from a member library of the Ohoopee Regional Library System, or Georgia Library PINES, is required for computer use. The card must be presented by the holder for checkout. Computers must be checked out and patrons must sign-in and sign-out using the appropriate library computer logs. By signing in patron agrees to follow these policies and procedures.
  2. To use Internet and on-line access computers, patrons under 18 years of age must have written parental approval; patrons under 17 must have parent, or legal guardian, present at the computer. With prior written approval and a current, in good standing library card, youth under the age of 17 may use specially set-up internet computers to access GALILEO, without parental supervision. 
  3. The library reserves the right to prohibit the use of computers to anyone who demonstrates a lack of respect and care for the equipment and/or a refusal to follow the library's rules and policies relating to their use. This prohibition can be for any length of time, including permanently, if the library deems it necessary.
  4. Transmitting, viewing or downloading materials, which may be considered obscene, offensive or illegal, is prohibited. Patrons are reminded that computer screens are visible by children and appropriate local, state and federal laws concerning the display of materials harmful to minors are in effect. Electronic mail may be accessed through the library’s computers. Chat rooms and instant messaging are not allowed on library computers. The patron is responsible for any virus/worm or similar disturbance the patron downloads into library equipment and may be charged time and other expenses for control and repair. The library’s security equipment may prevent the downloading of files with graphics or sound.
  5. A patron may use the computer for no more than 60 minutes at one time, per day, unless extended time is previously approved by the library. If there is anyone waiting, the time limit will be reduced. One use per day. Extended time will not exceed 1 and 1/2  hours, and will be granted on a limited, one-time basis. A sign-up sheet will be used to determine the time and order of use. There will be no reserving of time slots, the list will be made on a first come, first served basis. It is understood that reference and research purposes hold priority on computer usage.
  6. In order to maintain patron privacy and control noise and disturbances the library has a policy of no spectators – one person per computer, with the exception of parent and youth.  The library cannot provide the facilities or space for personal or private computer use lessons, training or tutoring.  Patrons needing reference and research assistance are encouraged to work with a librarian.
  7. In compliance with CIPA, effective July 1, 2002, and in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, June 23, 2003, and the Georgia Children’s Internet Protection Act, OCGA 20.5.5, the library has filtering software installed on all computers. This software is designed to block access to those websites that contain visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, harmful to minors or inappropriate for minors, including sites containing materials with graphic depictions of scenes that are extremely violent, gory, or horrific in nature and may be related to sex, bodily functions, obscenity, or perverse activities, or contain, discuss, or show pornography, including pictures, videos, or text of sex acts, or sexually oriented material.. Patrons may request these filters to be turned off for the purposes of bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
  8. Under no circumstances may the public download or use personal programs or disks in these machines. Documents and similar personal word processing use may be saved to the owner’s disks or devises. 
  9. The reference computers and reference, research, educational and recreational programs, are available for use by all ages. However, any user under the age of six (6) must be accompanied, and assisted, by a parent or other adult guardian. (See library policy on "Unattended minors.”)
  10. For reference programming, only library owned cd’s, disks and programs may be used. All cd’s, discs and programs must be approved by Regional headquarters. These programs are to be used only in the library's computers and are not available for circulation.
  11. Articles and files may be printed out using the accompanying printer. There will be a charge of $.25 (twenty-five cents) per page. Patron is responsible for all pages printed whether intentional or unintentional. Files may be downloaded from on-line sources. Disks are available for purchase at $1.00 (one dollar). The copyright laws of the U.S. apply to both printing and downloading; the patron is responsible for his/her violations of the law.
  12. The Ohoopee Regional Library System has agreed to all license agreements, applied U.S. copyrights and related international treaty provisions for the use of the software and/or installed programs. Other than back-up copies, obtained according to fair use practices for library purposes, these programs may not be copied under any circumstances. Copies of articles from the encyclopedia and other copyrighted reference tools may not be copied, saved or downloaded onto a patron's personal disk.
  13. All library rules and policies relating to the proper care and correct use of library materials will apply to the computer and its peripherals and programs. The patron assumes financial responsibility for breakage or damage occurring during his/her use unless such damage occurred from natural causes or due to continued, reasonable use.
  14. The Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act, OCG 16-9-90, establishes certain acts involving computer fraud or abuse as crimes punishable by fines or imprisonment or both. "Hacking" or otherwise tampering with the hardware, adding to or deleting information relating to the software, or other acts which obstruct, interrupt or cause the computer to malfunction or are intended to disrupt computer functioning elsewhere, are included in this act. The Ohoopee Regional Library System will prosecute both civilly and criminally.