Internet Policy

POLICY FOR PATRON ACCESS TO THE INTERNET

Integral to the Mission of the Holmes County District Public Library is the provision of meeting the informational needs of our diverse population. The Library

endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services to meet these needs. It is within this context that the Library offers access to the Internet via the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN).

It is understood by users of OPLIN and the Internet that most of the information available is not generated by the Holmes County District Public Library or OPLIN. The Library, through OPLIN, provides access to reference databases of general and special periodical materials, reader’s advisory services, homework centers to assist students with research assignments, and legislative, historical, and archival materials and information.

Information available through OPLIN and the Internet is not warranted by the Holmes County District Public Library or OPLIN to be accurate, authoritative, factual, or complete. The availability of networked information via the Holmes County District Public Library does not constitute any endorsement or ratification of that information. The Holmes County District Public Library and OPLIN are not responsible for the content of networked information. The use of OPLIN and the Internet to engage in any activity that constitutes a violation of local, state, and/or federal laws is strictly prohibited.

All users of this service agree to hold the Holmes County District Public Library and OPLIN harmless from any and all claims, losses, damages, obligations, or liabilities directly or indirectly relating to the use of OPLIN and the Internet caused thereby or arising therefrom. In no event shall the Holmes County District Public Library or OPLIN have any liability for lost profits or for indirect, special, punitive, or consequential damages or any liability to any third party, even if the Holmes County District Public Library or OPLIN is advised of the possibility of such damages.

The policies and procedures in place governing use of the Internet in the library are to allow for equal access to the information and resources available via library computer workstations. All users of the library’s computer workstations will receive a copy of this policy for review. Parents and legal guardians of minors assume responsibility for their children’s use of the library computer workstations while in the library and they must be familiar with the library’s policy for use of the OPLIN/Internet computer workstations.

Restrictions and Warnings

  • Library Internet access workstations may not be used for illegal purposes.
  • Displaying of sexually suggestive objects or pictures could be in violation of State or Federal obscenity laws.
  • Use that damages equipment and/or software is prohibited and may result in legal action.
  • You may not use your own software programs on the Library’s computer workstations. This will help prevent computer viruses that are common on public computers.
  • Software downloaded from the OPLIN/Internet computer workstations may contain a virus and you should have virus-checking software on your computer. The Holmes County District Public Library is not responsible for damage to a patron diskette or computer, or for any loss of data, damage, or liability that may occur from patron’s use of the Library’s computers.
  • Library computers and networks will be used for educational, informational, and recreational purposes only, not for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes. You may not send, receive or display text or graphics that may be reasonably construed as obscene.
  • Use of the OPLIN/Internet computer workstations is limited if others are waiting.
  • Library computers and networks are normally available, subject to periodical maintenance, during regular library hours.
  • Respect the privacy of others by not misrepresenting yourself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others; by not seeking unauthorized access to any computer system, or damaging or altering software components of any network or database.
  • Users may not use Library computers and networks for any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment.
  • Users are not permitted to access sites on the terminals in the children’s area of any Library location that are considered harmful to juveniles as described  in the “OBSCENITY” section of the Ohio Revised Code 2907.31
  • The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the reproduction, distribution, adaptation, public performance, and public display of copyrighted material. Responsibility for any possible copyright infringement lies solely with the user; the Library disclaims any responsibility or liability resulting thereof. Unauthorized copying of copyright protected or licensed materials is not permitted.

User Responsibilities

Choosing Sources

The Internet offers a wealth of educational, recreational, and cultural information that vastly increases the resources available to the Library’s users. It is the user’s responsibility to choose which resources to access. Be aware that the Internet is unregulated and materials accessible through it may be inaccurate, incomplete, outdated, biased, inappropriate, or offensive. Since the Library has no control over the content, individuals use it at their own risk.  We caution users to access and evaluate materials online as they would a printed source.

Children’s Use of the Internet

It is the policy of the Holmes County District Public Library that parents or legal guardians of minor children are responsible for the child’s use of the Internet through the Library’s connections. If there are resources that parents do not want their children to use, they must supervise their children’s use of the Internet. The library encourages parents and children to read Child Safety on the Information Highway and Teen Safety on the Information Highway available at the main library and branches and online at www.missingkids.org. Library staff can also assist you with finding books or other materials on Internet safety.

Courtesy to Others

Individuals are expected to use the Internet in a courteous, reasonable, and responsible manner. Please be mindful that the library is a public place; use discretion in displaying text or graphics that may be offensive to others.

Assistance from Staff

  • Library staff will assist individuals in the use of the Library’s Homepage and other basic instruction in the use of sites directly linked to the Library’s Homepage.
  • Staff cannot assist users in searching through the many other sites available via the Internet. Internet users should have a minimal level of computer experience and be able to use a mouse. Classes are held regularly to assist patrons in making use of electronic resources available through OPLIN and basic use of library computer workstations.
  • Staff time is limited for one-on-one instruction. As time allows, staff members are available to assist you with accessing the Internet or the library website. Library staff cannot provide in-depth training; they may, however, offer searching suggestions and answer questions to assist you with using the computers.

Printing and Downloading

There is a cost per page for printing information from library computers and networks. If you experience problems while printing, please ask for help. Floppy disks or other storage media are available for sale at the front desk.  The library reserves the right to increase the costs for printing and downloading in the future.

The library may provide wireless or other methods for connecting patron owned devices to our library computers and networks. Use of these connections may not compromise network security. Patron assumes responsibility and liability for any device used with library computers and networks.

E-mail

Library computers are not configured for the public to send or receive electronic mail. Web-based email services are accessible.

Time Limits

Use of the Library computer workstations is by reservation. There are time limits set for daily use of the library computers. The library reserves the right to limit the use of the workstations to ensure the equitable use of the equipment and may use a software solution to allow for equal access to this resource.

Children’s Room Computer Workstations

The computer workstations in the children’s room of the main library are to be used by parents and children only. In the event that an adult is assigned to this workstation, he/she may not access sites that are considered harmful to juveniles as described in the “OBSCENITY” section of the Ohio Revised Code 2907.31

Violating these guidelines

Users violating these guidelines will be asked to stop. After one warning, the patron will lose his/her Internet use privileges for the day. Following two warnings, the patron will be suspended for a specific length of time to be determined by the Director. Staff reserves the right to ask users to move to another site or discontinue use if what is being viewed may reasonably be deemed inappropriate, obscene or illegal in accordance with State and Federal laws.

Adopted by the Holmes County District Public Library Board of Trustees November 16, 2006