To qualify for federal reimbursement, we are required to filter all computers in the Pottsville Library.  Please request the filter to be suspended if you are having problems accessing the information you need, within library policy guidelines.

 

INTERNET USE POLICY

 

PURPOSE

 

      The Library strives to develop collections, resources and services that meet the diverse cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of its library users and community residents. It is within this context that the Pottsville Free Public Library offers access to the wealth of information available on the Internet. It is also within this context that the Library does not offer use of our internet service, either via the Library’s computers or the Library’s wireless connection, for any commercial, unethical or illegal activity.  

 

BACKGROUND

 

      Public access computers are available for any registered library user in good standing on a randomly assigned, first-come, first-served basis.

 

      Wireless Internet service is available during the Library’s open hours of service for library users with compatible wireless devices. Device owners are responsible for configuring their equipment for wireless service. Staff cannot provide assistance in configuring wireless devices nor provide technical assistance of any sort. If assistance is needed, patrons should contact the manufacturer of their device.

 

CHOOSING/EVALUATING SOURCES

 

     Providing access to the global information networks is not the same as selecting and purchasing materials for the Library’s collection. Because the Internet is a vast and unregulated information network, it enables access to ideas, information, images, and commentary beyond the confines of the Library’s collection, mission, selection criteria and collection development policies. The Pottsville Free Public Library is responsible only for data on those pages specifically pertaining to the Pottsville Library. The Library is not responsible for the content, accuracy, or availability of any external sites linked to those pages. 

 

      The resources available on the Internet contain a wide variety of material from varied points of view. Access points often change rapidly and unpredictably. The Library makes a continuing effort to identify and add useful, reliable links to sites with helpful information for our users and encourages users to visit these sites. However, the Library cannot guarantee the accuracy and/or acceptability of the information users may find and cannot be responsible for its content. The Internet and the available resources in its global electronic network may be erroneous, out-of-date, illegal or considered offensive, controversial or sexually explicit. Library users are individually responsible for the resources they access and are encouraged to be good information consumers by evaluating the validity of the information accessed via the Internet

 

USER RESPONSIBILITIES

 

      Since the library computers on which the public can access the Internet are located in public areas which must be shared by library users of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities, users are asked to consider this when accessing potentially controversial information and images. Viewing of certain materials in the public library may be considered improper in time, place or manner. Users should not access sites that are inappropriate for viewing within a public setting. Viewing obscene materials in the public library is considered improper in time, place and manner and is prohibited. The Library expressly prohibits any use of library computers and the Library’s wireless Internet connection for illegal or unethical activities or to access material that is obscene, contains or makes reference to explicit sexual materials defined by Pennsylvania law (18 Pa C.S.A. 5903), contains child pornography, or is harmful to minors. Patrons may not view, print, distribute, display, send or receive images or graphics of obscene or pornographic materials or materials that violate laws relating to child pornography. For definitions of “obscene” and “harmful to minors”, please ask the reference librarian to show you 18 Pa. C.S.A. 5903, summed up below.

 

Definition of “obscene” 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 5903
1. The average person applying contemporary community standards would find that 
     the subject matter taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest;
2. The subject matter depicts or describes in a patently offensive way, sexual 
     conduct of a type described in this section;
3. The subject matter, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, 
     educational or scientific value.

Definition of “harmful to minors” 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 5903
Harmful to minors means that quality of any description or representation, in whatever 
form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse, when it:
i.  predominantly appeals to the prurient, shameful or morbid interest of minors; 
ii. is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole 
      with respect to what is suitable materials for minors; and
iii. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, educational or 
      scientific value for minors 

 

       All users of the Internet are expected to use this library resource in a responsible and courteous manner, consistent with the purposes for which it is provided, and to follow all Internet-related rules, regulations, and procedures established for its use including but not limited to, those of the Library. Responsible, courteous use of the Internet includes:

 

The Library reserves the right to end an Internet session at any time if it is creating a disturbance or if the user violated any rules or responsibilities cited herein.

 

FILTERS

 

     In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA , which requires that Internet access be filtered for children age 16 and younger), the Library has filtering software on its computers. The filter is designed to protect against access to visual depictions defined as obscene, child pornography and material that is harmful to minors.

 

     Filters are not foolproof; the Library cannot/does not guarantee that the filters will block all such material nor guarantee that the filters will not restrict access to legitimate sites. If a site is inappropriately blocked, please seek help from the librarian.

 

     Users who are 17 years or older may request library staff to remove the filter (according to CIPA) only “to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purpose.”

 

 CHILDREN’S ACCESS

 

       For the Library to be in compliance with CIPA, users 16 years or under must use filtered access. As with all other library materials, parents or guardians must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet at the Library. A parent or legal guardian’s signature for a child’s library card acknowledges the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility for monitoring the child’s access to all library materials and services, including the Internet. Parents or guardians are advised to supervise their children’s Internet access and establish rules for Internet use with their children. Parents or guardians may restrict their children from access to the Internet resources accessible through the Library by requesting their child’s library card be blocked for internet computer use. Children with blocked Internet access can still use the Library’s computers to access Power Library resources and any links included on the Library’s web site. Parents need to know there is no physical block placed; children will be informed of their parental restrictions when checking out a computer and will be asked to comply.

 

     The Library provides filters on its computers to assist in the safe and effective use of the Internet by minors. The Library strongly encourages parents, children and teens to view together the links to SafeKids.com and SafeTeens.com found on the Library’s homepage.

 

      The Library recommends to parents/guardians to encourage minors (people under the age of 17) to:

 

RULES FOR USE OF PUBLIC ACCESS COMPUTERS 

 

1.      All registered borrowers in good standing may use the public access computers free of charge. Black and white printouts are $.10/page; color printouts are $.25/page. Printers are not available to wireless users in the Library. 

 

2.      Use of the public access computers is on a randomly assigned, first-come, first-served basis. Each user is limited to one hour when others are waiting.

 

3.      Unless there is a parent/guardian with a child or there is another specific reason which has been explained to and approved by the reference librarian or children’s staff, only one person may use a public access computer at a time.

 

4.      In accordance with the Library’s purpose for providing Internet access to its patrons, use of the Library’s computers or WiFi for any unauthorized, illegal, commercial or unethical activity, including, but not limited to, entering any adult-oriented or pornographic websites, is prohibited.

 

5.      Users may not alter or attempt to alter the setup of the Library’s public access computers.

 

6.      To reduce the potential of computer viruses, users may not use their own software programs on the Library’s public access computers.

 

7.      Users may not save their data on the hard drives of library computers. 

 

8.      The Pottsville Free Public Library is not responsible for damage to a patron’s disk, flash drive or computer or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from patron use of the Library’s computers or WiFi access.

 

9.      Users are asked to respect the privacy of other computer users. This includes not representing oneself as another user, not trying to gain access to someone else’s data, and not hovering over others using computers while waiting for their turn to use them.

 

10.  Time permitting, library staff will try to help with basic computer problems in regard to the Library’s public access computers. Regrettably, staff is not able to offer extensive explanations or provide in-depth training. Information about computer training opportunities and relevant books/manuals is available at the reference desk. The Pottsville Free Public Library is not responsible for any damage to a computer or disk or for loss of any data in the event a member of the library staff attempts to assist a patron with a basic computer problem.   

 

11.   At the discretion of the Library, a violation of the above rules or any misuse of the computers or Internet access, including WiFi access, may result in loss of your computer privileges. The following schedule will be followed:

First offense:               one week suspension

Second offense:           one month suspension

Third offense:              one year suspension

Fourth offense:            permanent suspension

Filters will not be removed for anyone returning after a suspension.

 

WIRELESS (WiFi) USE

 

      The Pottsville Free Public Library provides free WiFi access. This service does not have security features, and users must assume all risks and responsibilities to provide anti-virus protection, filters, and appropriate security settings on their laptops or wireless devices. The Library recommends that users do not use the Library’s WiFi network for the transfer of sensitive data, such as credit card numbers or bank account numbers, as this data could be vulnerable during transit on the network. The Pottsville Free Public Library accepts no liability for any loss of privacy or data users may experience. Users must assume responsibility for all risk of damage to their personal wireless computers or other wireless devices while using the Library’s facility or connection.

 

       Wireless network users should be certain their laptops or other devices are secured at all times and should never be left unattended in the Library. The Pottsville Free Public Library is not responsible for stolen property.

 

       The Library does not provide laptops or other wireless devices for wireless access. It also does not provide electrical outlets for any wireless device lacking battery power.

        

       Pottsville Free Public Library’s Internet Use Policy applies to users of the Library’s WiFi service.  By logging in to the Library’s wireless network, you are agreeing to our Internet Use Policy which appears as the login page and from a link on the Library’s home page.  If you disagree with our policy, please exit your browser and log out.

 

 

Adopted by the Pottsville Free Public Library Board of Trustees February 17, 1997; revised 7/19/99, 5/20/02, 7/04, 4/19/04, 11/15/04, 4/15/13.

 

Return to the Library's Subject Guide to the Internet or Homepage.