Coos County Library Service District Public Libraries Internet Access & Use Policy
The Coos County public libraries and Southwestern Oregon Community College Library are committed to providing free and open access to informational, recreational and cultural resources for library users of all ages and backgrounds. The District’s computer system provides the opportunity to integrate electronic resources from information networks around the world with the District’s other resources.
In offering global computer network access, the District has no local control over access points, which change rapidly and often unpredictably. The District also has no control over the subject matter added daily to the Internet, and indeed, cannot have complete knowledge of what is on the Internet. Congress and the courts have recognized that there is no single organization to govern, control or select information for the Internet. Because of this freedom of information, the breadth of information on the Internet, the unstructured and unregulated nature of the Internet, and the unreliable state of filtering, the CCLSD cannot control the content of resources available.
As with other library resources, providing access to electronic information does not imply sponsorship nor endorsement by the District. The District does not select the material on the Internet and has no means or statutory authority to assure that only constitutionally protected material is available on the Internet.
The library seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of its customers and their individual right to privacy. However, Internet users must be sensitive to the fact that workstations are in public areas and, therefore, images on the screen are subject to view by a wide audience.
Safety and Users’ Responsibilities:
While the Internet offers a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching, it also has materials that may be offensive, unlawful, or inaccurate. Use of Internet resources carries with it a responsibility to evaluate the quality of the information accessed. Therefore, library patrons use it at their own risk.
For the patron’s safety, minors and others are encouraged not to provide personal information of any kind to strangers, in person or on the Internet.
We strongly urge parents and guardians to monitor and set guidelines for their children’s Internet use. A handout, Guidelines for Internet Use by Minors, to assist you in this effort is available from any public library or Southwestern Oregon Community College Library.
Misuse of our computers will result in the loss of computer privileges, potential loss of library privileges, and possible prosecution. Such misuse includes, but is not limited to: using the computer system for unlawful activities (in violation of federal, state or local laws); hacking into the library computer system or any other computer system, damaging or attempting to damage equipment or software; interfering with system operations, integrity or security; gaining unauthorized access to another person’s files, sending harassing messages to other computer users; altering or attempting to alter settings of the library’s computers; and/or violating copyright laws and software licensing agreements.
Because the patron is the selector in using the Internet by making individual choices and decisions, patrons shall comply with all age restrictions governing access to specific sites, as limited by the content provider, to usage by persons 18 or 21 years of age or older. Some commercial databases on the Internet require a fee. These fees are the responsibility of the patron; they are not the responsibility of the library.
The Coos County public libraries and Southwestern Oregon Community College Library reserve the right to suspend Internet computer use or other library privileges, or to take other action as necessary, for anyone who willfully violates library policies or procedures.
Individual libraries may have additional policies in place addressing local issues such as reservations for use, time limits, or printing charges.
Guidelines for Internet Use by Minors
Supervising Children’s Use: The library, unlike schools, does not serve in loco parentis (in place of a parent). Librarians cannot act in the place of parents in providing constant care and supervision of children as they explore the Internet. The responsibility for what minors read or view on the Internet rests with parents or guardians.
The following are recommended guidelines for parents and guardians to ensure that children have positive online experiences, whether at home or in the library.
Do not give out personal information such as your address, telephone number, parent’s work address/telephone number, or the name and location of your school without your parents’ permission.
Do tell your parents immediately if you come across any information that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Do not agree to get together with someone you ‘meet’ online without first checking with your parents. If they agree, the meeting should be in a public place and you should bring your parent along.
Do not send a picture or anything else to someone without your parents’ permission.
Do not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make you feel uncomfortable. It is not your fault if you receive a message like that. Do tell your parents.
Do talk with your parents so they can set up rules for using the Internet. Together, decide upon the time of day and length of time you can be online, as well as appropriate areas for you to visit.
Do not access other areas and do follow these guidelines.